Today we pilfered plums. Well, maybe not pilfered - gleaned.
Along the side of public roads in our area and on no-one in particular's land, there are a multitude of different wild fruit trees. They are stoic souls - they sit un-tendered, un-fertilised and un-pruned, un-watered and survive droughts and neglect and produce. So far, on our occasional journeys to the local little smoke, we have spotted figs, apples, plums, apricots and others we know are fruit trees but right now we are not sure which type. All results of a little stone tossing from the car window?
Today we came across a plum tree loaded with ripe fruit. The fruit was small - so small in fact that at first glance I thought we had happened upon a cherry tree. On closer inspection we were equally delighted to find the tree laden with ripe, red, tart plums. I like my fruit tart.
We gleaned about 3 kgs in my hat partly (which thankfully happens to be plum coloured), but also in one of our shopping bags. We left plenty for others and also for the birds.
On return home, I contemplated the options - eating them fresh?, plum jam?, a spicy plum sauce to eat with cold meats? stewed plums for stashing and having hot in winter? I went for a spicy plum sauce and pretty much made a recipe up.
It was a crazy day to make anything hot let alone a jammy sauce - it was 35C here today and is still at 7pm, 30C. I didn't take note of quantities (except for the weight of the plums), but here is what went in it.
Spicy pilfered plum sauce
lemon rind grated
a few over ripe peaches that needed using up
dried chilli flakes
The plums were so small that it was best not to try to extract the pips before cooking, rather I put it all ingredients in a saucepan and cooked till the fruit fell off the pip then laboriously took the pips out of the cooked mixture - I suspect I have missed a few - take care teeth.
Here is the result.
That's a lot of spicy plum sauce so some of it might become post-Christmas gifts.
Do you know the best thing about today's adventure? I couldn't find a fruit fly maggot - perhaps we are fruit fly free here.
Do you glean? What are you gleaning at the moment? What trees are you eyeing-off for a future raid?