It's early in our house, a time I am usually and staunchly in denial of. But this morning Hugo woke at 5am needing some resettling and once back in bed, I began to sink into the world of unfounded worries that plagues me when I wake with darkened hours to spare. Instead of burying my head under the pillow, I crept downstairs and made a cup of tea with an assurance to my soul that I would recapture my day's allotment of bed hours with an afternoon nap.
On Friday morning before leaving for our little beach holiday I made this year's batch of jam. The farm we live on was bought by Jonno's grandfather when he returned from World War Two. I am unsure whether he planted it or not (I will ask Poppa - Jonno's Dad), however, Jonno's family have been celebrating the plums for the last seventy odd years. Even when we first met in Australia Jonno reverently told me of this plum tree with big fruit, small pips and the sweetest red flesh imaginable. They were worth moving for, even the skins are without that sourness that so many of the blood plums have.
Last Thursday Archie and I met Jonno at the top of the hill where he set a ladder for us and left us to fill our shopping bags. And the following morning I captured summer so we could taste here and there when we start to sag under the weight of winter. Jam is bottled sunshine and happiness and green shade on a hot day... it smells like it anyway.
The recipe is from my 'P.W.M.U. Cookbook'
4 cups of water
Boil plums in water until softened and then add sugar. Continue to boil quickly until a cold drop of jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger - this is the setting point. Bottle up.