Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Ahh dear me... Not very much to tell about today. I'm a little upset with my mother-in-law but you don't want to hear about that do you?

I've been waiting the last couple of weeks for green plums to come into the supermarkets and I found them yesterday. (I knew they were soon to appear since the plum orchard near us is full of green plums.) Plums are very important in Japan and the most popular way to eat them is the salty/sour plum that Japanese eat on white rice or in rice balls for lunch. These are called umeboshi and they take quite a lot of work to make. You wash the plums, spray them with alcohol. dry them in the sun for a few days, pack them in salt and red burdock leaves and a couple of months later you have the soft, extremely salty, extremely sour plums to eat with plain rice. I'm a so-so fan of salty plums, but the funny thing is that when I was pregnant I craved the plums just like pregnant women in the States might want dill pickles or something. Tetsu was amazed and said I'd really become a Japanese if I wanted salty plums! Once many, many years ago I tried to make some and they were a complete flop so I've never made umeboshi again.

The reason I was looking for plums though was because I do know how to make a plum syrup that Leiya absolutely loves and so in honor of her coming home I wanted to have some ready. It's easy to make but takes time to sit. Wash the plums, pack them in rock sugar and let sit in a cool place for about a month. The plums get all wrinkly and the syrup has a love exotic flavor (ever tried Japanese plum wine?) Since this for Leiya, obviously I'm not making plum wine, but most people will add liquor to the plums and sugar and let it sit for months until it becomes wine. Anyway, my plums are packed. It may not be syrup by the time Leiya gets here but at least before the end of the summer I'm hoping we can enjoy it. Once the syrup is ready I just dilute it with water to taste, make it icy cold and it is wonderfully refreshing!

Wish you could join us for a cold drink and some visiting!


anne bebbington said...


Mrs. Goodneedle said...

That sounds yummy! When will your DD arrive home? I know how excited you all must be for that.

Anonymous said...

Mom, I love "ume juice"!!! I am so, excited!!!
Just looking at the pictures, I can smell the sweet ume and can taste the sour, sweet, fresh, icy cold Ume juice!!! Can’t wait to drink it~

Laurie Ann said...

Yummm.. I love umeboshi. My Japanese girls usually bring it when they visit. One year a gal brought some that her grandmother had made and it was the best!!

atet said...

Oh my, that syrup sounds yummy! Wish I could come over for a cool drink.