Friday, 10 August 2012

Plum Sauce

Only one of our four Mirabelle plum trees has fruit this year, but I have to say I am still very pleased, as there is more than enough for us to cope with!  This small plum has a yellow flesh.

I have been making both plum jam and plum sauce.  The recipe for the latter was given to me by an anonymous follower a couple of years ago. I have no idea where it originates, so I am unable to credit it to anyone.  It does need time to mature, but it is just delicious and is similar to brown sauce.  We love it on eggs and bacon, or it would be good on a burger or other fried or grilled meats.   This recipe does take some time, so don't plan on doing it in a hurry.  I think it is well worth the effort however!!


PLUM SAUCE
You will need:

2kgs (4.4 lbs) of plums or mirabelles washed and stoned
170g (6 ozs) stoned , chopped dates
113 g (4 oz) raisins
1 large onion chopped
4 large cloves garlic chopped
60 g  (2 oz) fresh root ginger peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt (I use 1 heaped teaspoon)
1 litre (approx. 2 pints) malt vinegar or any other strong vinegar
1 tablespoon turmeric
280g (10 oz) sugar
1/2 nutmeg grated


Place the mirabelles, dates, raisins, onion, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, allspice seeds, cayenne pepper, salt and 1 pint of vinegar into a large heavy based saucepan.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer till the fruit is very soft about 30-40 minutes, leave to cool slightly.
Liquidise well (then sieving is recommended, but I do not bother!) and return sauce to a clean pan.
Add the remaining vinegar, turmeric powder, sugar and nutmeg.
Bring to the boil, then simmer until the sauce thickens, this takes a while, 30 mins to 1 hour.
Pour into sterilized jars and store for at least 2 months before using, to give the sauce time to mature.

This will make about 8 or 9 jam jar size pots. I usually use a slightly larger jar and I end up with about 7 jars/bottles.

Four plum jam on the left, and seven plum sauce on the right.
A few of the day's crop of courgettes are just behind the bottles.

Digging a row of potatoes yesterday; they look good!! :-)

To finish, a glorious sunset from last week!



 
See also - My Life Before Charente updated 11 August 2012

96 comments:

  1. You have a very productive garden this year, and your plum sauce and jam are quite pretty! Enjoy your potatoes.

    BTW, I started your book, and am finding it entertaining. I'm glad you did this for your mother.

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    1. Marjie though everything is late this year we seem to be getting there at last. The potatoes are very yummy ones, trouble is this year they were French and I cannot remember what type they were! Generally I grow an English variety which had a beautiful flavour.

      Glad that you are reading the book and that you appreciate that it was what my mother would have wanted. Have a great weekend Diane

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  2. What a wonderful sunset! We very rarely see anything like that and our damson tree has yet to produce anything.

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    1. We have not had that many good sunsets this year, this was the exception. Hope the damson soon produces, is it a young tree or is it just the weather this year? Enjoy your weekend. Diane

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  3. simply fantastic! I love mirabelles...the parents of my partner live in lorraine, however their one tree has no fruits (but last year was a huge treat:)...your fresh potatoes should taste really good, may I steal some from the pic?

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    1. Jana the mirabelles are delicious but I can only eat so many! The potatoes are excellent this year. Have a good weekend Diane

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  4. Wonderful looking sauce. I love the look of the new potatoes from your garden and that sunset is to die for. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Joyful we used to have many good sunsets but this year they seem to be missing out, not sure why. This was one good one that we suddenly noticed. The potatoes are very good :-) Hope that you have a good weekend Diane

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  5. It all looks delicious but I particularly like the recipe for the plum sauce.
    We don't have any plums but I might give it a try with damsons when we get back to the UK.

    Fantastic sunset.

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    1. GaynorB The plum sauce is really very yummy and everyone who has tried it has said the same. Hope that you do not have to go back too soon :-) Diane

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  6. Oh, your plum sauce sounds really delicious, Diane! i've never made and want to try it. What a great bounty you have---the potatoes look great. I;m wondering where and how you store them. Thanks for the recipe and that glorious sunset photo!

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    1. Pam the potatoes are stored in heavy brown paper bags and stored in the coolest place in the barn. Sadly we do not have a cellar, so like last year when it was warm for so late in the year they did not store as well as usual.

      I hope that you enjoy this recipe it is very tasty. Have a good day, Diane

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  7. That's a delicious sounding sauce. I'm very envious of your plum trees. I'm hoping for a few wild plums this year, at least.

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    1. Phil it is a very yummy sauce, a bit time consuming to make and then you really do need to wait for a couple of months for it to mature but the end result is worthwhile. I hope that you find some wild plums. Take care and enjoy your day, Diane

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  8. Oh how lovely being able to make produce straight from your garden. I've never made anything like that before but I do fancy trying to make some jam.

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    1. Ellie later in the year we always appreciate the results of summer. I have also been making marrow and ginger jam which is yummy. Take care and enjoy the weekend Diane

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  9. Sounds like a great recipe. The potatoes are awesome looks like you will have a nice crop.

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    1. Horst I am very happy with the potato crop this year. The first time I have grown French potatoes rather than ones I have brought from the UK. Now if only I could find where I so carefully wrote down what variety these are this year!! Have a great weekend. Diane

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  10. Hi Diane, your plum sauce and jam look so good. Excellent... nothing beat the homemade. It's so pure and no chemical free.

    Love your harvest, the potatoes are so chubby :)

    Thanks for sharing. I'm back to blogging, thank you for your lovely comments during my hiatus.

    Have a nice weekend, regards.

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    1. Amelia I am glad that you are back blogging but I think that occasionally you do need a rest from it.

      I agree nothing like home made and home grown. Have a fantastic weekend Diane

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  11. What an interesting recipe! Does it work with other fruit, like apricots or peaches?

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    1. Rosaria I have no idea what the taste would be like with apricots or peaches. I guess you can only experiment and hope that the sauce tastes OK. Have a good weekend Diane

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  12. The plum sauce sounds delish and your vegies look good too. Oh how I long for fresh.

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    1. Gaelyn I wish I could share some with you but a little far to send it over. Take care and enjoy you beautiful canyon. Diane

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  13. Your plum sauce looks lovely, as does the confiture.
    Our poor Victoria plum tree is a sorry sight this year. It has plenty of fruit on it but they're still small and green and now the leaves are going brown. Last year I harvested all the plums and took them on holiday with me to make my jam, which I enjoyed doing and it was gorgeous. This year I don't quite know what will happen. Maybe they will all fall off the tree before they ripen or they will ripen when we are away and the birds will get them. We shall have to see.

    We don't have our housesitter to gather them for us while we're away this year. My dad has finally, at the age of 83 ....... decided to come with us for the week !!

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    1. Jean I do not think this has been a good year for fruit. Our neighbours apple orchard is looking very sad!

      Pity about the house sitter but great that he is coming with you to France this year. Nigel's Dad came here about 3 years back at 88. I am hoping we may get another visit from him yet, he is now 91.

      Have a great weekend, love to Lulu, Diane

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  14. Replies
    1. Ola a rare sunset this year. We used to get some magical ones, but either I am just missing them or they are not happening this year. Have a great weekend Diane

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  15. We can't find our potatoes! The tops died down and the ground dried up too hard to harvest them! Ah well, will have to wait until we have sufficient rain to get them dug up. Next year we are going to have a go at planting them above ground, in straw, which should solve the problem of having to earth up, which we didn't this year because we forgot, and harvesting. Your plum sauce sound lovely, might have a go at that myself.

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    1. Ooops that is a problem Vera. Straw sounds like an excellent way of growing them if you have very hard soil. I might try some next year and see what results I get. The plum sauce is good just a bit time consuming to make and then of course you really do need to sit and look it for at least 2 months to let it mature. Last years sauce is now perfect :-) Keep well Diane

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  16. Hello Diane:
    We are enjoying plenty of fresh plums at the moment but, sadly, not from our own trees. How wonderful to be able to have fresh produce on the doorstep and to create these marvellous preserves. We particularly like the marriage of plum sauce and duck. And nowwe are hungry just thinking about it all!!

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    1. Jane and Lance sorry to make you hungry :-) Not sure that this plum sauce would be perfect with duck. I must have a look and see if I can find another recipe to go with duck. Even the jam would be nice as I put a lemon into it this year so it is not too sweet. Enjot your day Diane

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  17. Diane, I so love your life style and reading about it - it is just everything we want to do when we can. xx

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    1. Karen it was what we always dreamt of. Retiring to an old house in France with a garden just big enough to supply us with our own vegetables. Now if only I could get rid of this cough life would be just perfect. Have a fantastic weekend Diane

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  18. OOO, what a lovely post. My mum also makes a very good plum jam. She also puts a little bit of rum extract in it. For some reason, it brings the taste of plums even more.
    Enjoy the fruits of your labour :-)

    Red

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    1. Boye By Red, mmmmm rum extract sounds good. I have no extract but I have got some real rum :-)
      Have a great weekend. Diane

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  19. You really never stop!
    Jam, Sauces, recipes...
    I'd love eat your cuisine!! LOL!
    Fantastic sunset too!
    You chose a beautiful area to live!

    PS: Sorry about my Tit, wasn't meant to come out tonight!!

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    1. Noushka LOL sorry that your Tit came out tonight Ha ha :-)))

      Pity you are not a bit closer I would happily give you some bottles of goodies. Take care Diane

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  20. Oh! That plum sauce looks good!

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    1. Meredith it not only looks it but tastes it as well, just off to make another batch!! Have a good day Diane

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  21. Je ne connaissais pas du du tout cette recette avec des prunes. Nous nous contentons de faire des compotes et de la confiture et de mettre des fruits au congélateur pour faire des gateaux cet hiver. C'est toujours un délice de faire de la cuisine avec ses propres fruits! Votre jardin est merveilleux et votre travail est joliment récompensé!
    Très bon dimanche à vous!

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    1. Mon congélateur n'est pas très grand! J'essaie d'autres façons de préserver. Merci pour votre commentaire. J'apprécie toujours vos visites. Vous avez un bon dimanche aussi. Diane

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  22. You are living "The Good Life"

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    1. diane b now if only we had Jerry and Margot as neighbours LOL. Diane

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  23. How cool to pickle your home grown plums. Wish I can grow a plum tree here as well. haha....
    Have a great day, Diane.
    Blessings
    Kristy

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    1. Kristy I am thankful that we have only one tree with fruit on this year. Last year all four were laden and I was here alone trying to preserve what I could!! Take care Diane

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  24. You have been busy, but it must be satisfy to see the fruits of your labors sitting on the shelf and waiting for winter use. Have a restful weekend, Diane. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Mary, ha ha not much rest when fruit and vegetables are lying around waiting to be preserved. The plums go over so very quickly!! Have a great week Diane

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  25. DEAR DIANE, I JUST WROTE A COMMENT, BUT IT DISSAPEARED. FUNNY BLOGGER! I HAD TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I LIKED THIS RECIPE, I WILL SURELY TRY IT IN SUMMER, IT'S WORTH THE JOB. TAKE CARE

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    1. Sorry Pamela, yes blogger does these odd things from time to time!! I made another batch of sauce today so we should have plenty to see us through till next year's crop :-) Have a great week Diane

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  26. Sauce looks great. We don't have plum trees but our neighbour gifts us qith the odd clafoutis made with her mirabelles. I also get gifted damsons which I make into jam for over the winter.

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    1. Niall and Antoinette oh if only you were a little closer..... Have a great week. Diane

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  27. It must be so wonderful to look at the food you've grown and preserved. I need to live in place with room for a garden.

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    1. Maureen I would hate it if I could grow no vegetables. I have been lucky even in my smallest gardens I have been able to grow something. Have a good day and thanks for the visit and the comment, Diane

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  28. I can see why you love the recipe! It is a great one with all those lovely spices. I've copied it already!

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    1. lostpastremembered I hope that you like it as much as we do, it is very yummy. Have a great week and keep well Diane

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  29. would you believe that I had our mirabelle tree cut down ? Had I read this a month ago, I might have left the tree... but hélas, I did not know what to do with all the mirabelle !!

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    1. This is Belgium, Oh I am sorry, they make magical jams and sauces. They also freeze well for puddings :-) Never mind, have a good week. Diane

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  30. Hello Diane, YOu have been a very busy bee :-) Yes this Plum sauce is so tasty, you gave me a jar ..:-) Hope you are well, (apart from your annoying cough) take care xox Anne

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    1. Hi Anne, I have sent you a message, but yes you are right that plum sauce is very good :-)
      Hope that you are well. Diane xx

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  31. Well it looks like you have plenty of plum sauce to see you through the winter.

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    1. Linda probably too much, but other people like it as well so I can always hand out a few :-) Keep well Diane

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  32. Quelle chance d'avoir autant de produits nature à portée de main.
    J'aime beaucoup cette sauce aux prunes. Je note.
    A bientôt

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    1. Nadji, J'espère que vous apprécierez cette recette. Bonne journée. Diane

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  33. Thank you so much for visiting my test blog page on blogspot. I needed to test it to see if we could use easy recipe on there and to use the email. My blog is actually orgasmicchef.com. I can make a bit more than toast. :)

    Lovely to meet you!

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    1. Maureen I never thought otherwise but I am glad that I now have found your main blog :-) Diane

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  34. Yum! This would be delicious on a baguette with grilled chicken, spinach and brie!

    Thanks so much for the recipe,

    Murissa
    The Wanderfull Traveler

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    1. Murissa you are so right, that sounds like a fantastic combination. Have a great day, Diane

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  35. Wow, your potatoes are huge? How do you start a potato plant?

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    1. chubskulit I buy seed potato in about Feb/March and I am just reaping the benefits now. You could just plant an ordinary potato, but I prefer to buy disease free from the nursery. It is too late to plant now in the Northern hemisphere I think. Try some next year. Have a good day Diane

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    2. Oh I never thought that potatoes have seeds. Maybe I will l0ook for that next year,.

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    3. chubskulit they are not seeds in the normal way, sorry I did not explain. Seed potatoes are small potatoes that are generally treated against bugs etc that you plant and they grow to plants. When the top has flowered and died down then the potatoes should be ready. See http://www.gardenhealth.com/grow-your-own/hints-and-tips/what-are-seed-potatoes/ this may explain it better than I can, Diane

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  36. The food looks delicious - and I love that sunset

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    1. Mister D,that was one of the best sunsets this year, we seem to be a bit short on supply this year! Have a good day Diane

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  37. Hi Diane..... finally have good wi-fi and am able to visit and see what you are up to.....Lucky you...to have such a wonderful and prolific garden.

    Plum sauce sounds divine.....we used to like it on Chinese food...but have never seen a recipe for it.

    xo

    Jo

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    1. Jo our wi-fi is fine until I wan to play a video then it is a waste of time! Glad that you can now visit. This sauce is pretty yummy. Have a great day, Diane

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  38. i've never tried plum jam or sauce but the colour looks wonderful, bet it is even tastier than it looks! that's a beautiful sunset, for long time i've not seen something like this :)

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    1. Lena our sunsets have been few and far between this year so I enjoyed this one for the short time it lasted. Have a good day, Diane

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  39. Your plum sauce sounds delicious and plum jam is my favourite jam. The fig jam and jelly you gave us is so yummy. Thank you for sharing x

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    1. Kerry I know you said you were going elsewhere next holiday, but if you are not too long in visiting France again, there may still be some plum jam and plum sauce still around :-) Have a good day Diane

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  40. Thanks Diane, might not be until April next year :( If you have any left, a nice dollop on toast would be lovely x

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    1. Kerry I am sure we will not eat it all by then. Just hope we do not get too many visitors!! Diane

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  41. I wish I lived near you Diane! Your jam and sauces look amazing:) Love the sunset photo!
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne if you were closer you would be welcome to some, we have masses here at the moment :-) Diane

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  42. Hello Diane,
    Very nice to see how you've made this all. It looks very delicious.
    And what a great shot of the sunset, wonderful!!

    Many greetings,
    Marco

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    1. Marco Alpha, The bottling just seems to go on and on, the garden is producing courgettes, tomatoes and beans faster than I can preserve!!

      That was the best sunset I have seen this year. Have a great weekend Diane

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  43. A burger with plum sauce sounds awfully delicious! :)

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    1. Sara Louise it is the waiting for the 2 months for it to mature that is difficult!! Have a great weekend. Diane

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  44. plum jam - yum! I'll take a spoonful on my toast any day! Sounds wonderful!

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    1. The Café Sucré Farine you are right it does taste wonderful :-) Have a great weekend Diane

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  45. Hi Diane .. they look so good - congratulations on being so industrious with your garden goodies - I love plums. Great photos ... and enjoy those potatoes and squash ... ever made marrow chutney .. it is delicious .. I used to do it in South Africa .. and was surprised at the taste and texture etc ... Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary I don't not make a lot of chutney as it takes too long, pickles are so much quicker!! I tried fig chutney last year and that was wonderful, but it takes time and it is too hot as well in the kitchen. Take care Diane

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  46. It sounds so good, I love to see all you get from your garden!

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  47. Happy birthday! Mine is this Sunday! I sure hope your mouth is getting better, I hear shingles are so painful. Feel better soon!

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