This summer has been all about processing large quantities of raw materials. This past weekend William and I went plum picking. Near our friend Jennifer’s house in Oakland, there’s an elephant heart plum tree filled with fruit. EHs aren’t good eating out of hand plums, so at first I was not psyched. I dehydrated a batch and they were terrible–weirdly rubbery. On a fluke, I cooked a few down, and suddenly had the best fruit in the world in my hands. Two buckets worth. First I stewed about 30 quart jars. In their own juice, they reduce down to a mindblowingly good sweet-tart sauce the color of claret. Then I made a plum coffeecake–oh lordy, sweet dough meets tart, melting plum. Then I finished off the buckets by making about 24 pint jars of plum jam. My thumb hurts from pulling pits, and my fingers are very stained (just like my sister’s blackberried digits).
If you’ve got an extra moment, here’s a profile I wrote for SFgate.com, published online today: