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A forgotten treasure

Well I hope it's a treasure.

Just before Christmas I was overwhelmed with the number of wild plums we had growing in our garden. Most of them ended up as jam, now filling the lower shelves of my pantry waiting to be eaten by me or given as gifts.

When I was getting totally fed up with making jam I suddenly came across half a bottle of brandy in our drinks cupboard, and so I thought I would have a go at plum brandy.

It's a very simple thing to do - you just put the plums in a jar with the brandy and some sugar give it a stir and forget about it. I think I might have put a couple of cloves in with it as well. And I did slit the plums so that their goodness would seep out into the brandy.

I said forget about it. And I did. I completely forgot about them this time. After all I don't go into that cupboard very often - or at least the dark lower shelf where it is stored. But for some reason today I suddenly remembered it.

We are going around to my gardener friend's house this afternoon, to collect some proper plums, and I was pondering on what little gift I could take to show appreciation and for some reason it popped into my head, although initially I couldn't even remember what fruit I had treated in this way.

So there we are. And I've just realised I've thrown the plums in the pre-compost bin, when perhaps they should be actually eaten. They have gone a very unappetising pale brown/beige colour but I guess they could taste good. I will go and see if any of them are retrievable and give one a try.

Which just brought back a memory of one of my early sojourns in France when I was offered some brandied fruit - apricots, plums, cherries? I can't quite remember now. I didn't like them. But then I was very young - early teens and really didn't like alcohol back then. Those were the days when even the children in France drank watered down wine at mealtimes. I did try it to be polite, but didn't like it, so they bought me Vichy water from then on. I can taste it still. It has a distinctive taste.

I did strain my plum brandy through a sieve but it probably wasn't fine enough and will probably throw a little must in the bottom. We'll see. It was an experiment. Almost forgotten. And actually now that I think of it I guess it's only been two months. Oh dear, perhaps I should have left it longer!


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