I arrived home on Monday night to discover that my plums were perfectly ripe and waiting to be picked. Unsurprisingly, my recently planted, young tree has produced very few plums this first year but there have been enough for D and I to enjoy a sticky piece of fruit every morning and evening for the past few days. He can’t get over how delicious they taste when plucked straight from the branch!
In stark contrast to my meagre bounty, my grumpy neighbour has LOTS of plums. And, thus, the fruit thieving issue rises again…
Last time it raised its ugly head everyone agreed that it was fine for me to eat the raspberries that had climbed through the fence and into my garden. Not sure why I fretted about that. In hindsight, it’s a no-brainer. But getting up at dawn in order to climb up the adjoining fence and stretch out precariously to plunder plums… Well, in some people’s eyes, that would be totally unacceptable. But I did it.
In my defence, the grumpy neighbour and his family are not picking the plums. Their fruit ripened earlier than mine and I have been sadly watching perfect pink plums pass their best, shrivel and fall from the tree, unfulfilled. In my mind, I am not a common thief but a hero of fruit. I ask you: what better fate could a plum have than to be greedlily eaten in a car on the way to work or to be introduced to duck, spring onion and cucumber? None, I tell you, none!
Convinced? Me neither.
350g pitted plums
225g demerara sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 lime, juice only
- Add the plums, sugar and water to a pan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
- Mash up the plums. Add the star anise, cinnamon, chilli and pepper. Cook gently for 30 mins.
- Cool and add lime juice to taste.
I usually eat this with my aromatic crispy duck in pancakes. Today, however, I boiled some noodles and tossed with a dressing of walnut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and powdered ginger. I then added chopped cucumber, spring onion and some shredded duck. Topped that with the plum sauce.
D claimed it to be the best thing I’d cooked in ages. I choose to be flattered by that rather than read into it too much!