The morning started cool and breezy with an undertone of autumn in the air. Today, I decided, would be the day to make plum jam. Priscilla and I headed out front with flip flops on our feet and fruit buckets swinging merrily from our arms.
The branches of our tree were weighed down with the pretties tart cherry plums. No ladder was needed to fill the buckets.
I have to admit, picking plums for me was addicting. Out in the front yard of our quiet country home, the warm summer breezes blowing wisps of hair across my face, and all the birds cheerfully going about their busy day. But as much as I was enjoying the picking, I could only use so many plums and there was a LOT more work to be done.
As I worked today, my mind wandered back to the days when my kids were little. They too loved to pick fruit, but not for very long, and they certainly did not want to help out with the kitchen work. All the pitting and cutting that takes so long. My kids remember many a time when I pulled out the famous tale of the 'Little Red Hen,' and read to them how her little chicks did not want to help her either...
But when it was time to eat the bread, they were all lined up ready to have their share. But you know what that mother hen told them? She made it all by herself, and now she will eat it all by herself; and she did! I always read them the scripture about those who would not work should not eat. Reluctantly they would join in the work. Did it pay off to read them that story? Well...
They sure are good and willing helpers now! Priscilla, Felecia and I worked all day, pitting plums. Shane wasn't feeling well due to shots, but he is a hard worker around here too.
We boiled up three large pots of plums and sugar. We started at noon...
and finished a little after 7:00. I had dinner in the oven to boot.
Was it worth all that work? Well what was it that the Little Red Hen always asked when she was done baking her bread?
"Now, who will help me EAT the bread?" asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will!" "I will!" I will!" And we did. I made a batch of fresh whole wheat biscuits to go with dinner and to eat the fruit of our labor.
Oh, and just for a side note, according to my calculations of what a jar of plum preserves cost at a local grocery store, I made $80 worth of jelly today in 7 hours. That makes me worth, with the help of the girls, approximately $11.50 an hour. With the added benefits of not having to leave the home plus pesticide, preservative, and Karo syrup free jelly I'm probably even worth a lot more than that. Not bad huh!?