Well, actually not. I just used the title for effect, in remembrance of all of the terribly useful sentences we had to learn in French at school. ‘La Plume de ma tante’ is right up there for usefulness with ‘Le singe est dans l’arbre’. However, I digress. Anyway, the two plum trees were from my father, not my aunt.
It has been soft fruit galore this summer at Mouffetard Towers. Brief but heavy gluts occurred in the following order: strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries and blackcurrant, and now plums. I’m assuming that three figs does not a glut make.
We have only a small freezer, but it is stocked to the gunnels with frozen fruit. Jam has been made, as has ice cream and also plum chutney. It is with the plums that I am particularly pleased. This is the first year that they have fruited to any extent – they have only been in the ground for three years. I have been rather bad and barely thinned the fruit as they developed, which no doubt means that they will go into biannual cropping mode for a while. We have two trees – a bog standard, but ever so delicious, ‘Victoria’ and the slightly more unusual ‘Pershore Yellow Egg’. The choice of both was down to nostalgia – happy memories of shoving the sweet, soft fruits into my mouth as a child, in my grandfather’s garden. Unlike my nostalgia for rubbish 1980s bands* and for rubbish 1970s sweets, the memories have lasted the test of time.
There cannot be a prettier fruit than a plum, particularly a pink or dark-skinned one – the soft white sheen of the bloom, the almost translucent flesh. A taste of late summer, and a taste of the turning year – colder days coming, when plum crumble will warm your soul.
So, if you are in Worcestershire this weekend (which sadly I am not), and this post has made your mouth water for sun-warmed plum flesh, you might want to visit Pershore, home of the Pershore Plum Festival.
DISCLAIMER: I was never very keen on Kajagoogoo but am still rather fond of a range of 80s bands, where, again, reality weighs up well against nostalgia.