I found these beautiful plums at a farm stand the other day and promptly bought a small amount. They were more than I usually spend on plums, but I went ahead and indulged myself. The shy young woman at the counter didn’t know what kind they were when I asked, and I didn’t press further. Could they be a cherry plum (too orange, I think), a Chickasaw plum (probably not), or a Mirabelle (my guess, but maybe wishful thinking)? Mirabelles are a favorite French plum for jam making, and they are easy to pit, as were these, so maybe? Regardless, they were dazzling—glowing orange and pink and yellow.
I pitted and chopped one pound and added a half pound of sugar to it, letting the mixture sit overnight in the fridge. They cooked up quickly into a warm orange jam. The skins stayed intact, so I pureed them a little midway through to break them down. These small domestic acts are even more of a balm now than they have ever been. Right now, I feel a palpable threat, as I make granola, and cookies, and jam, and tend to the garden, pulling the greens and planning for the fall garden. I am very thankful for the time and space to pursue these acts of personal sustainability, but still I feel powerless.
Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, or maybe you are nodding your head with me. Maybe you are wondering what I am talking about? You could read articles on the recent federal forces going into U.S. cities. Or you could read this article from the New Yorker on the upcoming election, which is only in 102 days. I feel the next six months may define us, for better or worse, and I can’t help but to think this as I make jam from some little plums I bought on the side of the road.