A persuasive writer, dynamic editor and audience advocate for companies ranging in services from health care to financial, and from real estate to appraisal. Ability to work cooperatively with employees as diverse as CEOs, physicians, nurses, salespeople and engineers. Extensive experience as a manager with responsibility for determining budgets.

Waiting for Plum Jam

Now I know why so many women left the farms. Making preserves is hard work. Somehow even though I made plum jam last year, I thought this year would be easier. Last year, I did the jam over two nights during the week–agonizing over when the plums would turn into the right consistency. This year I was making it on the weekend. It had to be better, right?!

Yesterday, I cut seven and one-half pounds of Italian plums into quarters, removing the pits. I added one cup of raw cane sugar per pound, a little sea salt, and the juice from one lemon. So far, the task was pretty easy. I loaded up an oversized saucepan for the sugar to do its magic overnight in the refrigerator.

This morning about 7:20 a.m., I pulled the juicy plums and sugar in the saucepan from the refrigerator onto the burner. I stirred, I read, stirred again, again, and again. I sat in the kitchen–watching my plums do a slow boil and slowly thicken–for hours. The plums still needed more cooking. (I did make one error; for the first three hours, the lid was on.) At 6 p.m., the plums were finally the right consistency to spoon into sterilized jars, add sterilized tops and bands, and load into the boiling water of the canner.

This year, I made 10 small jars of plum jam that smelled and tasted heavenly versus nine last year. And it took one of my precious weekend days. Maybe the two weekday nights was better. That will be my plan for 2012 Christmas gifts. Waiting for plum jam isn’t as long as Waiting for Godet, but it sure seemed like a long Sunday.

Dec. 11, 2009