PLUMB out of plum recipes?

dear shoppers, Last month we did a house "swap" with a family in Brittany (France) where my father is from. It was my first house swap so I was a little nervous as we approached the house which was set (way)  back on a narrow country road, about 15 minutes from the nearest village  -- and quart of milk or baguette.

We arrived in complete darkness shortly before midnight after a long drive from Paris. Once inside, the house could not have been more welcoming.

On the long farm table in the dining room, our hosts had left a kind note along with a jar of homemade plum jam, sweetened with honey from their own hives. "The plums are at their peak. Make sure you get to them before the birds do."

Indeed , when we awoke the next morning, we discovered a sprawling garden  (complete with chicken coop) and several fruit trees: apple, fig, and lots and lots of plum trees. A small ladder with a built in seat perfect for fruit-picking was already set up near one of them.  Within seconds Mina had clambered up it and was already pocketing the ripe red fruit.

For the next two weeks we had more plums than we knew what to do with - literally. After making crisps and tarts and even clafoutis, we found this GREAT  recipe  for a a Plum Quatre Quarts (the French version of a pound cake) that is made with OLIVE OIL (yay! Kontoulis Olive Oil is here this week).

Americans tend to prefer their plums fresh out of hand but these stone fruit, known as "drupes" for their center pit surrounded by flesh, really shine in the cooking which intensifies both their sometimes reticent sweetness and color.

There should be no shortage of plums at the market this week -  yellow, green, red, purple and even indigo. Concklin Orchards has been bringing a Vampire plum variety - with a blood-red flesh.

For more suggestions on what to do with plums (from a bbq sauce to an end of summer cocktail) check out   these ideas   from Cooking Light Magazine.

See you at the market!