Friday, September 05, 2014

Prune primer

Our two prune* trees are loaded this year. The dogs help themselves to the ground falls, and the chickens enjoy what I deliver. If the horses had access to the upper pasture right now, they would be eating their share of prunes (and apples), too. There's plenty to go around – if you can get past the yellow jackets.

Rick braved the feisty insects for the first batch, from which I've dehydrated a load and made a batch of spiced plum butter (just getting started above).

This morning my guys left at o'dark thirty to go salmon fishing with one of Rick's clients. I couldn't go back to sleep (not that I'd slept much prior), so I figured I might as well be productive. I did some computer work; then, when it got light enough but before the sun and yellow jackets were out, I picked another passel of prunes. Now the dehydrator is humming, my canner is heating, and I'm on to other tasks.

*Prunes are a distinct type of plum, not just the dried version of what most people refer to as plums. I had never seen fresh prunes before we moved to NW Oregon; now I prefer them! Prunes are sweeter, denser, and free-stone, with a much different nutritional profile than plums:

That's it for now from . . .

6 comments:

Susan said...

Prune are my favorite kind of fruit! I have a GF 'plum' crumble that is to die for. Thank you for reminding me - we should be getting them in our area soon.

farmlady said...

My Italian family came from the Napa Valley at the turn of the century and planted prunes. They were definitely prunes... not plums. They were wonderful and I can still remember picking them with the helpers, the very tall ladders, the wood boxes and the fragrance of them in the orchard... and the Yellowjackets.
Spiced PRUNE butter sounds really good.

Michelle said...

Susan, I'm going to make a prune and rhubarb crisp for tomorrow's church potluck. I think they will marry nicely!

When I googled for recipes, farmlady, I was tickled to see that the linked recipe is really for prunes, in spite of its name.

fiberjoy said...

Mmmm, that butter recipe sounds delicious. My daughter's tree is loaded. I also like to can a bunch of prunes that I've stewed and pureed with nothing added. It makes a wonderful partial substitution for oil in cakes.

In the early 1900s Scotts Mills was the "nation's prune capitol" http://geog.uoregon.edu/edge/gs_documents/Projects/2009/Gault/Digging_for_Friends/Scotts_Mills_Prunes.html There are still a number of prune trees in this area but no sign of the booming industry other than in the historical records.

Michelle said...

You know, Wanda, I've used that commercial prune paste fat substitute; why NOT make my own? Thanks for the idea!

Nancy Kay said...

What a beautiful sun-rise. And your kitchen/house must smell wonderful.