Posts Tagged ‘plums’
July 8, 2015 | by Sadie Stein
Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly ... survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it. —Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
There is a very beautiful tree growing on West Eighty-third Street. You don’t notice it at first; it sort of blends into the walls and the weeds growing around it. I didn’t notice it for many years. And then one day, a flash of red catches your eye, and you look closer and see it isn’t a bit of plastic bag or a dead balloon or a Coke bottle or any of the urban flora one grows used to. It is a ripening plum. And then you see that there are many of them, dozens of them, and if you look very closely, you could, in that moment, be anywhere in the world. It’s next door to a church. Read More »
July 23, 2014 | by Sadie Stein
One might wonder at the wisdom of undertaking a batch of homemade jam on a ninety-degree day. But I think about it this way: when people actually canned fresh food to get through the winter, it all happened in the summer; hot weather is when you’re supposed to stand over a kettle stirring incessantly without air conditioning.
Besides, I’ve recently come into a very large—tyrannically bountiful—number of plums, the result of a CSA share lent to me by some generous friends. Their family of four can eat a lot more fresh fruit than one smallish woman living alone. And although there are probably lots of things I could do with them, in my family there is a tradition of plum-jam-making.
Well, sort of. Plum jam was one of my grandfather’s specialties, along with the strips of discounted meat he prepared in his smoker, the icy “gelato” we made in the “electric” ice-cream maker (it was broken, and had to be cranked by hand), and the increasingly dubious loaves that came out of a yard-sale bread machine. While no one can fault the man’s zeal, his technique was, to say the least, idiosyncratic. Read More »