Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

W.I. and Cherry Plums

I missed June's W.I. meeting but got to July's which was all about the birds, butterflies and plants around RSPB Minsmere
The speaker was a man who takes guided walks all around the area and had fantastic slides........ most were photographs he had taken himself.
Given that we lived just a few miles from Minsmere and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths for 23 years I recognised most of the places he had photographed.
He said "this is an interactive talk" and put up photo's of birds and plants and asked if anyone knew what they were and rather than have a long silence I usually piped up with an answer and got some right. At the end, one of the ladies asked me how I knew so many birds and plants and I guess it's because of always living in the countryside and being interested in what's going on.
From the age of 5 to 11 we walked to school down a quiet road (wouldn't want to walk it now - too busy) and always picked any flowers that we saw and took them into school where we could look up the names in a book, write a label and then put them on the "Nature Table". Nowadays I still look up things I don't know .

Our representative who attended the Annual Meeting in Liverpool reported back on the resolutions and we had a feast of cakes and savouries as usual.
Next month there is no meeting as it's a theatre trip instead. This is something that I find a bit annoying because for people who are at work, don't want to go or can't afford the £11( this time) for a theatre ticket it means that WI membership isn't as inclusive as it should be - one less meeting for our fee - if you see what I mean. I think trips out that cost extra shouldn't be instead of the meeting but extra to the meeting.


Anyway getting away from the politics of the WI, we went back across the field and down the old railway track bed to the cherry plum tree and came home with several pounds of plums. We were only just in time as several had been damaged by birds already.

The problem with these is that the stone doesn't separate from the plum very well which means they are not good for jam making.
We sorted through, kept some for eating fresh, cooked up the rest and divided them into portions for the freezer.


Here's a dull photo of a tray of breadcrumbs! Which was another thing I did yesterday. It was my turn to take something for refreshments for W.I.  I made egg and cress  mayo sandwiches (and scones, jam and cream) and cut off the crusts, I turned all the crusts into crumbs and dried them out in the oven when cooking dinner. They get popped in the freezer and used to top pasta bakes.


 Waste Not Want Not was often quoted at me............thank goodness!

Thank you for comments and apologies for not replying and not leaving comments elsewhere. I'm trying to cut down on lap-top time and scheduling posts for the next morning so that I don't pick up the computer until late in the day.......in theory!


Back in a mo
Sue

31 comments:

  1. I simmer the cherry plums until they are soft, then mash slightly and the stones rise to the top and can be skimmed off. They do make the most delicious jam!
    J x

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    1. That's what I do too! I agree, makes the most fabulous jam :)

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    2. There weren't really enough for jam. Some were way to high to reach - sadly

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  2. The plums look delicious. Yes I think everyone had a great time at Liverpool. Regarding not having a meeting in August a lot of WIs in my area do not met in the summer due to holidays some get together and have an informal meeting others just go out for the evening. We don't have a speaker but do a craft or something similar instead. I know some have a board game evening might be worth a suggestion. Glad you are enjoying being a member. Hazel c uk

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  3. I do admire the way you utilise everything Sue.
    Also I agree re W I - I was on Regional W I for some years and Chairman of the Craft Committee and in those days it was a regular moan from some branches. In my opinion a year's membership should mean a year's meetings - surely any trips could be arranged on another day.

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    1. There's also the Garden Party month and the Christmas meal Month which means actually not many proper meetings

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    2. WI should provide 11 free meetings per year (may be 10 but I don't think so) Free is defined by you not needing to take your purse to attend (although you may want to buy e.g. raffle) if your group are providing less they are wrong. We don't have an August meeting, although we have a get together of some sort - this year we had a 'bring a plate' garden party. In December we have a meal, but we also have entertainment and it is still free - it is at the usual place and time. This is what your membership fee pays for. A quiet reminder to the committee may be required!

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    3. The constitution and rules are all on MyWI, which you should have been given a log-on for - so you can double check and be informed. You can email me if you need any information!

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  4. I agree the trips out should be an optional extra perhaps when you have your feet under the table you could suggest it.

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  5. The yellow mirabelle plums stone easily and are lovely eaten fresh. The red mirabelle plums can be more tart. Both can be stoned with a plum or cherry stoner although the red one is harder to do.

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    1. I've not seen any yellow ones anywhere around and I know the mess I used to make with a cherry stoner!!

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  6. I agree with your reasoning about the WI meetings. Trips should be an optional extra and outside the normal meeting times for those that want to pay and go on a jolly. Not all people want to.

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    1. Seems that a lot of groups don't have any meeting at all in August

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  7. Agree wholeheartedly about the WI! Here, in August they don't meet at all! Mind, they do have a gardening and craft club, both also meet once a month, so you get three meetings a month for the {expensive} annual fee.
    I know someone who counted their wild plums into the jam and counted the stones out! A lot of faff, but a delicious jam.

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    1. I'd love a craft group but not enough people to do it!

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  8. Our trips to our local theatre to see films and watch live feeds from London theatres are an added extra to the monthly WI meetings. We're a very new group and make our own rules! I picked a couple of kilos of cherry plums on Sunday and roasted them with the zest and juice of an orange, a piece of cinnamon stick and a tablespoon of muscovado sugar. Delicious with homemade natural yogurt, just need a saucer nearby to spit out the stones.

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    1. The visitor from another group who was there to talk about the resolutions asked why they went to Southwold Theatre rather than Aldeburgh. And the answer was" because we always have!"

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  9. Hope you enjoy the play if you go. Delicious cherry plums and if you can bear to get the stones out they will be delicious jam - or just delicious to eat of course!!

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    1. No, Ill not be going.It's over an hour journey + the cost and then a fish supper.

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  10. The plums looked lovely. Here I've started picking any blackberries I see out and about.
    We've got a strawberry tea this month at my WI which sounds yummy. I'm a newbie at mine so just learning about how my group works. They all seem to be a little individual. Best wishes

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    1. I'm a newbie at this group too, only a small group here

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  11. Did you ever see series Jam and Jerusalem on TV with Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders et al? Very funny.

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  12. I mainly use my crumbs in home made stuffings. A good haul of those cherry plums (nowt like that round here, sadly).

    We went to Gloucestershire today and saw some HUGE juicy blackberries beside the main road into Gloucester on the way home, but they won't get picked so lots for the birds.

    I agree with you about the WI trips should be inclusive, not exclusive.

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  13. Unfortunately there are lots of cherries on the A120, the road is littered with them. I will be picking some near my grandsons school tomorrow if they're still there.

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    1. A120 is a bit busy to stop and pick them!!

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  14. I have several of these Cherry Plum trees. Other than eating them as I pass by (they NEVER contain worms), I make Plum Sauce. I cook them with a small amount of sugar then pass the mush through a sieve with the back of a ladle. I fill cheap plastic cups and stick them in the freezer.

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  15. I can definitely see where you're coming from with the theatre trip. Lovely as an add on if you want to partake, but shouldn't be instead of a 'proper' meeting. Is it a WI rule to provide sandwiches and cakes at the meetings? If it is I think I may have to join :) xx

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