It must be August

Half of Saturday's cucumber harvest
This past week I have been sucked into the garden/canning vortex. We’ve been given free picking rights to a friend’s apricot and plum trees. Plus the garden is exploding: cukes, peppers, zucchini, corn, and the beginnings of the tomato crop. Saturday yielded a couple dozen each of cucumbers, corn, and tomatoes, enough to overload my counters.

Canned plums and sweet pickles

In the past week we have canned apricots, plums, apricot jam, plum jam, sweet pickles, pickle relish, and plum chutney.  I have never done chutney before– I used a recipe that I adapted from Recipezaar.

Plum Chutney

Makes 10 half-pint jars


6 cups plum puree (seeded plums, whirled in food processor)
2 cups brown sugar
2-1/2 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups seedless raisins
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1/2 packet fruit pectin (optional, for thicker sauce)


Combine sugars and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugars dissolve. Add remaining ingredients; mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently 30-40 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir often to keep chutney from scorching. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes. For best flavor, allow at least one month to season before opening.


  1. I remember from growing up on a farm how terribly frantic canning days were. But nothing is better in the middle of winter than ice cream with blackberries – or a big jar of homemade pickles! But for now, I’ll be happy with the memories and shopping at the farmers’ market. :0)

  2. This is definitely an area that I have never ventured into. What do you do with the dozens of cukes and peppers?

  3. Wow! What a bounty! You must be exhausted, but what an amazing accomplishment. And a great gift to yourself and family to have so much summer goodness packed away in jars for the cold months to come.

    My garden and I are envious and inspired!

  4. As someone who is trying out gardening for the first time this year, you inspire me! That looks like a wonderful recipe.

  5. I remember days like that from my childhood….helping Mom. Looks like you’ve been overloaded! Oh but the bounty will be nice this winter. Hope you post a picture of your pantry once you get everything ‘put up.’ I think you did that last year after you made applesauce; I was amazed.

  6. I’m so jealous of everyone’s posts about tomatoes. We buy a farm share every year and I just got an email that the farm has tomato blight. It seems to be pretty serious here in New England. There is nothing better than a “real” tomato (as opposed to those grocery store impostors). Please enjoy them extra for me.

  7. That is so awesome! I can’t wait to start our canning (soon, soon, soon!).

  8. My mom and I canned plum sauce one time. Cooked the plums and ran them thru the food mill and added sugar. We used it for sweet and sour sauce and warmed up for a sauce over pancakes. We made too much though and overdid it and haven’t made it again. It was good though!

  9. What a beautiful, bountiful harvest Mary. Great job!!

  10. Yummy, I have been making jams and preserves here lately, love those in the winter months. What do you do with all of the zucchini though, I have tons and not sure what to do with it!

  11. Can the plums be the really juicy kind, or do they have to be the plum/prune kind?

  12.! I wish we were neighbors. 🙂

  13. Canning is tiring work but boy oh boy are those homecanned items good come winter!

    The Plum Chutney sounds yummy!

  14. Canning is tiring work but boy oh boy are those homecanned items good come winter!

    The Plum Chutney sounds yummy!