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Karen Solomon


Photo by basecadet from the CAA Flickr pool

Hello Canvolutionaries and Food Eaters!  I love plums.  And since it’s summer, and you’re likely human, chances are that you really, really like plums, too.

A  few years ago a friend invited me over to his house to help myself to his  abundant plum crop.  Not only did we fill our baskets (and our stomachs, and the  bottoms of our shoes) with as many plums as we could hold, but I had the awesome  challenge to get creative with what to do with all of the fruit.  Some plums went  into smoothies, and some became jam.  Some got bottled in a complete nest of  sugar, pushed to the back of the pantry, and intentionally forgotten about–eventually, I am hoping this will turn into plum brandy of some kind.  Last  Christmas, some of this extremely macerated fruit found its way into fruitcake  along with some equally-macerated kumquats.

But, my most favorite thing to happen to the majority of Tom’s plums was this plum catsup. I like it so much I included the recipe in my new book, Can It, Bottle It Smoke It. This is always in our fridge–seriously–because my entire family really digs it, particularly on baked French fries, a roasted pork loin, or even as a stir fry sauce for vegetables and tofu mixed with a little Chinese cooking wine and white pepper.  This can be hot water bath canned, but if you have the fridge space it will live in there for ages very happily.  Eat this warm or cold or anywhere in-between.

I like my catsup more tangy than sweet, but if your plums are kinda tart, or if you’re craving it as sweet as the bottled tomato stuff, by all means up the sugar to your liking. Now is the time to crank out a serious batch of this stuff–you may find that it disappears quickly.  Oh, and while it’s not by any means necessary, you get bonus extra cool points for including your own homemade marmalade.


CAA Contributor Karen Solomon is the author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It and Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It (Ten Speed Press), and the host of the Jam It Salon at 18 Reasons.  She has been a well-published food writer for over a decade. Her edible musings on the restaurant scene, sustainable food programs, culinary trends, food history, and recipe development have appeared in Fine Cooking, Prevention, Yoga Journal, Organic Style, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Zagat Survey: San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants, and elsewhere, all of which showcase the diversity of her word-wrangling plate.


Recipe Spotlight: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

Check out the recipes that we have from Karen Solomon’s fabulous book, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It!

While you’re at it, be sure to enter our Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It giveaway!  We have 7 books that we’re giving away to enthusiastic canners!