TO­DAY TOMORROW TO KEEP

LIA LEENDERTZ EN­JOYS A SEA­SONAL CROP WITH A TRIO OF RECIPES FOR NOW AND LATER. THIS MONTH: PLUMS

The Simple Things - - LIVING | STAPLE FOODS - Pho­tog­ra­phy: KIRSTIE YOUNG

Reach your hand into the dappled sun­light fil­ter­ing through the canopy of a plum or green­gage tree this month and you should find bounty. Those dusted with a bloom should be given a lit­tle squeeze, to see if the flesh yields enough to make them wor­thy of pick­ing and eat­ing right there in the cool shade, or tak­ing home for break­fast with a spoon­ful of thick Greek yo­gurt.

Plums are proper glut crops; the fruit all ar­rives within a cou­ple of weeks in a won­der­ful dis­play of over-abun­dance, but once picked or bought, starts to rot within a few days. You need to move fast. Be ready for them, armed with plans and recipes to make the most of their soft, juicy flesh be­fore it tips into go­ing off. Luck­ily there are many ways to eat them. They pre­serve beau­ti­fully, into jams, fruit vod­kas, pick­les and cor­dials, and this is the way to keep them go­ing into the next few months. They cook well, too, into savouries and puds, so, even af­ter gorg­ing your­self by the tree, and putting away plenty for the win­ter larder, you must have a cou­ple of summer plum meals while they’re at their best.

Even if you don’t grow your own, you’re likely to come across a glut of pro­duce from time to time – given to you from a friend’s al­lot­ment, per­haps, in your weekly veg box, or at a stall at the farm­ers’ mar­ket. Find­ing var­ied ways to eat and to store this sea­sonal bounty is sat­is­fy­ing to mind, ap­petite and pantry. Spend a few hours with your glut and make a dish to eat right away, an­other for the next day, and a lit­tle some­thing for the larder as a fu­ture treat.

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