The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Plums in our garden

plums in basketWe have our own plum tree in the front garden, self seeded from a plum stone. This is its second year of fruiting and the harvest is still quite poor. Danny spotted that the plum trees in a couple of adjoining gardens were laden with plums and had branches overhanging our plot. He came into the kitchen, eating one and suggested that we pick them for plum chutney.Poor D suffers from acid tummy and malt vinegar is not good for this condition but he can eat our homemade pickles and chutney as we use cider or wine vinegar and this seems to be fine.

I found the step ladder and spent an hour picking the heavy ripe fruit. Last night I was up till three chopping the ingredients for two large saucepans of chutney. The plums were so soft they wouldn’t last another day.We are not experienced chutney creators so don’t have our own recipe just yet. The one recipe that I would highly recommend is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Glutney Chutney. This is in his super book The River Cottage Year, worth buying just for the photos alone. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is one of my heroes and I really admire him. We also make has delicious jampote recipe and there is a copy of this recipe on his website We make a lot of this and it’s great as a present for friends. If you can get hold of the book, the jampote recipe also makes a tasty by product – hot and sour dipping sauce, which is excellent and keeps for about a year. Important update 6th October 2006:

We now have our own plum/wild plum/damson chutney! Click on this link to find the recipe

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