Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Weekend In The Country



















As you know, I have confessed to being a reluctant gardener, while at the same time finding nothing more breathtaking than a magnificent garden. 

We have -- theoretically -- created ours to be low-maintenance with a wide variety of trees and bushes of varied colors, some with bright, shiny berries, that maintain their leaves throughout the year and huge, ancient pine trees.

Then, of course there is the potager -- lots of work (by my standards) and the roses, both of which give me immeasurable pleasure. The fruit trees are pesky, moody devils -- one year on, one year off, a zap of frost and it's all over; forget to feed them, forget about it; spray the leaves that are being eaten by some creature or other; and, oh yes, the birds -- it never stops. (Rest assured we use only eco-friendly sprays on everything.)

As usual, this is a prelude to a far, far more important point I would like to make. Waaaay at the bottom of the garden we have several wild mirabelle trees (small yellow plums). Their branches are so laden with fruit they are sagging toward the earth. We have delivered baskets-full to everyone we know, before this picture was taken.



















These hardy, wild trees have led me to a major conclusion: Let nature do her own thing. Our mirabelles are completely immune to all weather conditions, bugs, worms or other insects, they don't care if there isn't a drop of rain throughout the summer and the birds won't go near them. 

This is my kind of fruit. It's a shame I don't particularly like them. However, when referring to my French/English dictionary this morning to see if there was a translation for mirabelle, I noticed a second meaning, "liqueur, plum brandy." Now we're talking.

If anyone has a recipe, by all means please tell me. (I've also revealed on several occasions to being about as handy in the cuisine as I am in the jardin.)

It's gorgeous and sunny here again. I hope it's beautiful wherever you are. Have a lovely weekend. Can you believe it's the last day of July?

A demain for the line-up.

11 comments:

knitpurl said...

Having attempted a new perennial garden of flowers, I know the feeling. Any plant not attacked by non-humans is my type of plant. Your plums look so delicious.

After the rain we too will enjoy a nice weekend. xoxoxo

LuxeBytes said...

I love the word "mirabelle." I think it's beautiful.

I also still feel my eyes go "Yummy!" every time I see Josephine's gorgeous pin when I read your blog. It's just sublime.

Would mirabelles make a good clafoutis, I wonder? Maybe the vanilla custardy goodness would distract you from the fruit of it.

xoxox --
Marsi

LPC said...

Plum wine, prunelle, the possibilities are endless. I do not have a recipe but I am certain one, or more, exists.

Shelley said...

I think if you Google plum brandy you'll come up with some recipes. If you don't like those, try 'slivovice', which is what it's called in Slovakia. We visited a friend there and he shared his Grandma's slivovice with us, made from plums from her farm. Apparently she has a jigger every morning for her health...

Tina in California said...

My neighbor grows these -- I just call them yellow plums. I don't like them either, a little too tart. We had a great apricot harvest and made jam out of the excess. My mother in law did the work -- lucky me. She offered to make jam out of the plums --- I think that would be good.

TwoMaisons said...

I"m told it's called a riot of plums and I have the same overload in Provence. They do make wonderful jam and I tried a liqueur using a type of wine that's for preserving fruit. Wrong choice. It didn't have a high enough alcohol content and fermented plum ooze out of the jars. I'd use vodka next time. Now I'm looking for someone that has a distilling license. I'm told it's easier to find in the north than in the south so you may have some luck. If you have a local coop they might offer advice. Mine wagged the French finger and warned me that it was now "interdit" to make your own alcohol. But as I was leaving another customer that overheard the exchange advised me to talk to a "paysan"....

Beadboard UpCountry said...

OOPS! I thought you just squeezed em let them ferment and then strain them out..... It will be interesting to see how you use these beauties!Maryanne xo

CailinMarie said...

well, the tree looks pretty and they do look nice in a basket... I hope you come across a marvelous recipe.

Pooch Morning Glory said...

http://www.grapestomper.com/recplum.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2121512_make-plum-wine.html

i always check these sites. i make my own wine but still from kits... honing my skills hehe
~laura

Trouvais said...

Hi Tish. Why can't most effortless endeavors in the garden be the tastiest?! Cherries...birds. Pears...raccoons. I'm hoping the grapes will come through for me this year! My kids love the mirabelles. I think I stuffed myself too much with them as a kid and thus view them with a bilious eye. That said, my kids put a bag in the freezer last year that I mistook for cherries and made a clafotti with them. Not bad. Except for the pits! XO Trish

Belle de Ville said...

I prefer the eau de vie, but lacking a home still, I would use them in a clafouti.

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