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On breakfast, the last one, I swear.

Okay okay okay, last breakfast-babble. I want to talk about fruit. Who doesn’t? (Kindly ask them to leave.)

In posting the following, I may easily alienate many northern-hemisphere readers, who are currently snowed in. I got this out of my garden the other morning:

Pantloads of plums

We bought our house in winter, and spring was an awesome season of surprises as we found out what the previous owners planted. Summer: ten times as good. I’ve found five different plum trees, all bearing fruit in purple, green and yellow; an almond tree; an apple tree; a citrus of some sort and a grapevine. The best part was discovering the fifth plum tree, whose wee green fruits I had entirely overlooked until the cockatoos started on them: greengages! And damn tasty they are, too.

Not unripe, just different.

The plums are this year’s clear winner (so far) in terms of abundance, and it is rocking my world. Specifically, my breakfasts. Stewed plums. Let’s talk. One quick thing: you can microwave stewed fruit and I usually do. But if you’ve got the time, slow is good: it lets the flavours blend and mellow and lets you reduce the juices so it’s nice and thick. If you’ve got a simmer mat, one of those dealies that you slide under a pot to evenly/slowly distribute the heat, you might want to use it for this. What, are you saving it for Christmas or something?

Take as many plums as you can stand to look at and chop them roughly. Keep the skins on, chuck the pits away. Sling them in a huge pot with some lemon juice, spices (I went with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg) and water. I forgot to put sugar in, so this was a pretty sour batch, but when mixed with honey and yoghurt, that is totally not a problem. Still, next time I will sweeten them, and so I say unto you: add sugar.

Already perfect: getting perfecter.

I also threw in the last of this year’s cherries, weeping as I did so. Cherries were a fantastic surprise gift from nature this year: a little pat on the head from the Earth to me to remind me how awesome I am. A tree we all thought was ornamental exploded into cherryliciousness. (Is too a word.) Plums are way juicy, so don’t add too much water. If you were doing apples or pears or something, that’d be different. But we’re not. Stop confusing the matter.

Simmer the lot until it gets thick and pulpy and soft: taste (it’ll be as hot as the sun, so prepare yourself for tongue-burns) and adjust the sugar if necessary. When you’re happy with it, or bored, or have to go out or something, let it cool. You’ll end up with something gorgeous, like a ruby sunset over a field of strawberries and rubies picked by ruby-coloured naiads in scarlet togas. Who are wearing rubies.

A somewhat prosaic picture.

You don’t need to tell me how awesome this is. I already know. This is the easiest way of making your breakfasts just a little more awesome. Even if you don’t totally agree with my stance on prepackaged breakfast cereals (hint: anti), a few spoonfuls of stewed fruit over your Cornflakes will go a long way towards making your flavour landscape stunning. You can freeze stewed fruit, too, so if you’re blessed with a sudden abundance of, oh, say, plums: stewing and freezing is a way of spinning out that abundance for the rest of the year.

I guess I never really made the leap from “food gets grown” to “food is sold in shops”, because finding food growing in my back yard is seriously boggling me. Do people know about this? Food on trees! In my yard! There’s food in my yard, I can totally just walk out there and eat it right now. I feel like I’ve discovered magic or a cure for hayfever or something.

Oh, and if this hasn’t completely sickened you, the plague of fruity abundance has swept over Mumini and Dadini’s yard, too:

You're right to dribble a bit. I am.

See those greenish-brownish, elfy-pointed things? It’s fig season, baby.

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