Plum Jam and Syrup – From FREE Plums!

One way to make sure you are eating well it to make it yourself!  One way to not break the bank while making everything yourself is to see what isn’t being used around you.  Provo has tons of fruit trees that no one ever picks.  On my runs I notice fruit falling to the ground being wasted all spring, summer, and fall.  This year I decided that I would ask some of those tree owners if I could use there fruit.  
Here’s how you get free fruit-
1) Walk through your neighborhood to know where there are different types of trees and take note of ones that seem to have a lot a ripe fruit falling around the base (a sure sign they aren’t being used…)
2)  Loose your pride and knock on the door of the people you think own  the tree.
3) Butter them up – I normally say “I’ve been admiring your tree all summer”
4) Offer to pay – And then I say “I was wonder if I could pick some of the fruit and buy it off of you”.
I have never had any one take me up on the payment part”
Every time I have asked people are more than excited for their fruit to be used.  Most people don’t want to see it go to waste, even if they aren’t going to do anything about it.  SO you using it is really a favor to them!
5) Thank them and set up a time for you to come back so that they know who’s in their yard if you aren’t in your running clothes.
6) Pick, pick-away!
7) Go to the door again with a portion of your picked fruit and ask the homeowner if they would like any of what you have picked.  Some of the older people like the fruit but just can’t get out to get it!  And then thank them! 
EASY!  Now, you go and try it!  Peaches, apples, and grapes are rotting near you!
If you get some plums you can dehydrate them to make prune cake later and make syrup and jam!
To make jam-  Fill a large pot with the ripest washed fruit 2/3 of the way full.  Stick your hands in the pot and squish the fruit to break open the skins and get some juice out.  Heat the mixture (skins, pits and all) over medium heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until all of the plums have turned into pulp, stirring a lot.

Pour the hot cooked plums into a colander (a big one) and let drain for 4 to 8 hours or over night.

Then pour the plum nectar (the skins and pits will stay in the colander) into a big pot.  This is where you decide what you want to do.  You can use low, no, or normal sugar pectin from the store to make jam (follow the instructions on the box), you can boil the nectar down for a few hours to make syrup, or you can add gelatin and honey (to taste) to make sugarless jam.

If you want to make jam with gelatin and honey- add the honey to the hot plum nectar to taste and then add 1tablespoon of gelatin for every 2 cups of liquid.  I then put the jam (and syrup) into pint jars and processed them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

I made 6 pints of syrup, 8 pints of jam, and 4 cups of prunes… all for the cost of a little honey and gelatin!

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.