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