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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sandhill Plum Time

One of my favorite times of the year.
I've been using binoculars to keep an eye on my favorite sandhill plum thicket by the cottonwood tree in front of my house... I finally caught a glimpse of red. :)







As I near the thicket I realize I should have worn jeans instead of cutoffs... the grass is "stirrup high."




Some of the plum bushes tower over my head...




and they are thorny lol...



there were so many green plums, the bushes were loaded with them..








and I found several ripe ones. :)

The first bite of a ripe sandhill plum brings back a flood of childhood memories for me.. spending the day with friends, riding horseback from plum thicket to plum thicket. We knew the location of every plum thicket within a 5 mile radius. :)

If I were lucky enough to make it home with a basket full, Mom would make jelly.



The pasture is so pretty, I got side tracked by the sound of the quail calling back and forth...




and the sagebrush...




I love sage... it's feather soft to the touch and smells incredible....








the yucca pods look like something from an alien world....



I'm 5'6" and these pods were almost taller than me.




my favorite shade tree... I stopped under the mulberry tree to relax. I can't resist the sweet purple berries. :)




I sat under the mulberry tree with the sun setting behind me..... watching the sage and sky change colors by the second. It was so pretty....



I made it home with purple fingers, a purple tongue and enough sandhill plums to make a batch of something. Maybe jelly, maybe wine?

I will definately go back out there in a day or two to gather more.


16 comments:

tjus77 said...

Ahhhhhh, life in the country... Who says there is no God?

Big Dude said...

Sure is a purdy spot. Thanks for sharing it.

Dave said...

Stunning pictures and great remembrances. Thanks for sharing!

cowgirl said...

:) TJ, well said.
It was so pretty out that evening. I enjoyed the short hike.
Thanks TJ...

cowgirl said...

Thank you Larry! Looks like you have been busy. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

cowgirl said...

Dave, thank you! The flavor of the sandhill plum compares to no other.. I think they must be my favorite plum. Probably because of the memories. :)
I haven't decided what to make first...probably jelly.
Thanks again Dave...

Capt. Ron said...

Reminds me of my childhood in N. Texas. We new where all the wild plum thickets were.

I vote for jelly! Of course that will require a skillet of butter milk, cat head biscuits! Yum

cowgirl said...

Capt. Ron, It sounds like you probably had a similar childhood! Aren't the plums so tasty? :)
I like the way you think too.. a skillet of buttermilk biscuits and sandhill plum jelly would taste so good right now.
Think I will make jelly first.
Thanks! :)

Mrs. JP said...

It's hard not to lose track of time in beauty like that. My favorite picture is the sunset. I hope you don't mind but I put it on my desktop background. I'll think of you daily. Are you gonna make plum jam? Sounds delish.
Happy Independence day to you!

cowgirl said...

You're more than welcome to use the picture Mrs JP! The sun was setting behind me but I enjoyed watching the effect it had on the sage and sky in front of me... the landscape changes colors by the second. It was a beautiful evening.
I'm going to make jelly... The plums sat in my bucket for two days to ripen the rest of the way...they're ready now.
Hope you have a great 4th weekend!
Thanks Mrs JP! :)

ufoznbacon said...

Thanks to your post and a couple other websites I have positively identified a nice stand of sandhill plums just up the road from me. Thank you!

cowgirl said...

ufoznbacon that's great!! Hope you have enough to make jelly and wine...
I think they are my favorite plum.
Good luck with yours! :)

plumcrazy said...

Hi Cowgirl!

I have finally located some bushes that are in a friends pasture, I am very excited! Alot of people have taken their bushes out, actually alot of counties have, especially those that were by the side of the roads. I remember picking sand hill plums with my mom and siblings...would you care to share your recipe for sand hill plum jelly...I have no idea how my mom made hers...Thanks!

cowgirl said...

That's great Plumcrazy! So glad you were able to find some.
I use sure-jell pectin.
5 1/2 cups of juice, add one pkg of sure-jell, and 1 tsp of butter to the juice (cuts down on foaming).
Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly...
When you reach a full rolling boil add the sugar.(7 cups) boil for one minute stirring constantly.
Then remove from heat, skim off any foam. put into clean sterilized jars and either seal by inverting for 5 minutes or by using a water bath canner.

If the plums are really sweet, I add about 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the plum juice (replace 1/4 cup of plum juice). to raise the acidity level.

I hope to post pictures when I get a chance.

Hope this helps Plumcrazy...good luck with yours!

Anonymous said...

I have tried to make this jelly using recipes given to me & they do not call for Sure-Jell. Help because the Jelly is not setting up...recipe is 4 c sugar & 4c juice. I cook to 220 & test. does it take time for it to gel? I have a mess of plums along the road & am determined to get it right. My favorite jelly. Also it is not ruby red but rose colored...eeek

cowgirl said...

Hi Anonymous! I use sure-gel to make sure it sets up.. Sandhill plums need some sort of pectin to set.
Apple or crab apples contain pectin and do not need added sure-gel ... but the sandhill plums DO need it.

Any type of jelly or jam pectin will work, it doesn't have to be the sure-gel brand.

Hope you have good luck with your jelly! If it doesn't set, use it as syrup.. it's still tasty. :)