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Simple, Quick and Easy Homemade Greek Plum Jam Recipe - 100% Natural


Plum Crazy Jam By Greeker than the Greeks
Plum Crazy
Homemade Jam
By Greeker than the Greeks


Thirteen years ago, in 2004, I planted a plum stone (pit), against all odds and despite, in its baby stage, having to be nurtured by my son, while I was living it up in Italy, it flourished!



Homegrown Plums
Homegrown
Plums


I’m not sure what type of plum it is, in Greece it is called “Vanillia”, to me it looks like a Victoria plum, but what do I know?



As 2004 was the year the Olympic Games were held in Greece, I named it “Olympic plum”.



My little plum tree grew into a big plum tree, with not much help from me, just plenty of water and lots of Greek sunshine, and after maybe six or seven years produced its first flowers, not many, but oh, my excitement when the flowers became fruit.



Each year, my tree produced more and more plums, not enough to actually do anything with, until last year, a bumper crop I thought, resulting in a couple of crispy plum crumbles and deliciously sticky plum cake.



Sticky Plum Cake
Sticky Plum Cake



Well, compared to this year’s crop of plums, last years, which I was quite happy with, was positively meager.



When the tree blossomed this spring, it was a picture; a cloud of delicate, honey-scented, white flowers which became tiny, hard, green plums, which, as they grew larger, bent the frail branches earthwards under their weight.



Plum Tree in Blossom
Plum Tree in Blossom



We gathered a few bowls of plums, but mostly they were ignored, that is, until one evening, sitting and listening to the “plop” of falling, ripe plums I began to feel guilty, “I must do something with these plums” I thought to myself.




Plums from our tree
Plums from our tree



MGG (My Greek God) was sent up the ladder and we collected twelve kilos of plums, but how much plum crumble can you take?




Plum crumble and ice cream.
Plum crumble and ice cream.


I must think of something else to do with my plums; “Make jam” I was told.



I’ve never made jam before and was under the impression it was difficult and time-consuming and that strange equipment, such as funny thermometers and special pans were needed, and then there was the rigmarole of sterilizing jars.



Time to phone a friend; my friend Sophia, who, with her husband Georgos, run a thriving business;




To filema tis Lelas, in nearby Kiato, produces the most mouthwatering jams, Greek spoon sweets, chutneys and many more fruity concoctions, all one hundred percent natural, check them out them HERE on Facebook.



Sophia and Georgos To filema tis Lelas Kiato, Greece
Sophia and Georgos
To filema tis Lelas
Kiato, Greece




Just a sample of the delicious delights cooked up  by Sophia and Georogos at To filema tis Lelas, Kiato, Greece
Just a sample of the delicious delights cooked up  by Sophia and Georogos
at To filema tis Lelas, Kiato, Greece



Sophia had great faith in me; gave me a simple recipe and patiently explained how I was to go about making the perfect jam.




Recipe for Sophia’s plum jam



Ingredients



Ingredients for Sophia's plum jam.
Ingredients for Sophia's plum jam.



1 kilo plums

700 g Sugar

Juice of half a lemon

200 ml Water



Method



Sterilize jars by heating them in a microwave for a couple of minutes, heating them for twenty minutes in the oven at 100 degrees C, or running them through the dishwasher.



Remove the stones from the plums, cut into small pieces and place in a large pan, along with the sugar, lemon juice and water.



Stir everything together, bring to the boil and lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.



Remove any foam that forms with a slotted spoon.



Remove any foam that forms
Remove any foam that forms



As the jam begins to thicken, stir continuously to avoid jam sticking to the pan and burning.



After about thirty minutes of cooking, test to see if the jam is ready by dropping a spoonful of the jam onto a plate, gently push it with your finger, a line should form, and remain in the jam, if not, boil for a further five to ten minutes and test again.



Once the jam is ready, immediately pour into hot, dry, sterilized jars.



Pour jam into sterilized jars
Pour jam into sterilized jars




Place the lids on the jars tightly and turn the jars upside down (this helps make the jars airtight) and leave to cool.



Once opened, keep the jam in the fridge.




As I had so many plums (Twelve kilos), I decided to make three kilos of jam at a time, so I trebled the recipe.



Twelve kilos of plums.
Twelve kilos of plums.



Removing the stones from three kilos of plums is no joke, it’s time consuming, MGG and MJGG (My Junior Greek God), were asked to help, which surprisingly, they did quite happily!



MGG lending a helping hand
MGG lending a helping hand


MJGG of Extremers Base getting in on the act
MJGG of Extremers Base getting in on the act


 
After the stones are removed, the plums need to be cut into small pieces, also time-consuming!




Plums; cut into small pieces!
Plums; cut into small pieces!



At last, I can begin with my jam making, but not before I prepare the jars, I took the easy way out and ran them through the dish washer, timing it to finish at around the same time as the jam would be ready, so the jars would be hot.



I used my largest pan, which really was not large enough, everything fit in, but once the ingredients came to the boil, it began to bubble and spit; everywhere, on me, the walls, the cupboards and even the floor, which became rather sticky underfoot.




Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
Hubble Bubble
Toil and Trouble




After about forty minutes of this hubble and bubble, I tested the jam, and yes, a line remained in the dollop on the plate, it was ready.




The jam is ready!
The jam is ready!



I poured the ruby, steaming syrup into the jars, quickly put on the lids, and turned them upside down, just as Sophia had told me to.




Flip jars upside down to help keep them airtight
Flip jars upside down to help keep them airtight





Then I stood back, and proudly surveyed my morning’s work; I had made jam!





Plum Crazy Homemade jam by Greeker than the Greeks! Labels by  Mando Handmade
Plum Crazy
Homemade jam by
Greeker than the Greeks!
Labels by
 Mando Handmade




I waited anxiously for the jam to cool, I was not only eager to taste the fruit of my labours, but also, to see if the jars had sealed properly, if the lids did not bend and give, making a clicking sound, all was well, it meant they were airtight; to my great surprise, and joy, there was no clicking noise when I pressed the center of the lids, and no give; I had done it!



I spread butter onto a slice of fresh, crusty bread and slathered on my jam; lovingly looked at it and took a bite; delicious, I had succeeded, Sophia would be proud of me.




The fruit of my labours
The fruit of my labours



But this is not the end my friends, I still had another nine kilos of plums left, and so, for the next three days, I stoned, chopped and boiled.



 My finger nails became sore from digging out the stones, and because I was using a pan that really wasn't large enough for three kilos of plums, I washed down splattered cupboard doors, walls, and myself, more times than I care to remember.



I produced another six kilos of jam, and on the third day decided to try making Greek spoon sweet with plums; now, I had not asked Sophia about this, so went into it blindly, more or less, I did take a glance at spoon sweet recipes on the internet.



Plums Galore
Plums Galore



Things went awfully wrong with my Greek spoon sweet, the plums, which should have remained in plump halves, turned to a pulp, not one to be defeated, I made plum syrup, or coulis, call it what you will, by boiling up the plums, zapping them (while still in the pan) with a hand blender, and then passing the mixture through a sieve.




Sieving plum syrup
Sieving plum syrup



I bottled the syrup as I did with the jam, in sterilized jars, and shall pour it over Greek yogurt, ice cream, my old-fashioned blancmange and creamy panna cotta, and use to top cheesecake, the next time I make one.



Greek yogurt with plum syrup
Greek yogurt with plum syrup



I don’t know how long it will be before my family become sick at the sight of plum jam, but right now, I am feeling ridiculously proud of myself for making something which turned out to be so simple.



Plum Crazy All my own work; with a lot of help from Sophia
Plum Crazy
All my own work;
with a lot of help from Sophia



I shall take my jam to Sophia, and ask her to give me marks out of ten, and to find out what went wrong with my Greek spoon sweet, although I really already know;



I didn’t have Sophia’s expert advice on how to do it!



See more mouthwatering Greek recipes below;
































Amorgos and the 1988 Cult Film "The Big Blue"- Revisited After 29 Years with "The Authentic Big Blue" Diving Competition


Amorgos, one of the prettiest islands in Greece Authentically blue!
Amorgos, one of the prettiest islands in Greece
Authentically blue!


If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Amorgos, one of the prettiest and unspoiled Greek islands, do yourself a favour; before you go, take time to watch the 1988, cult film:

 "The Big Blue"




"The Big Blue 1988" Cast : Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno , Rosanna Arquette, Director: Luc Besson
"The Big Blue 1988"
Cast : Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno , Rosanna Arquette, Director: Luc Besson


Wonderful soundtrack Le Grand Bleu  by Eric Serra



1988 "Big Blue" trailer


“The Big Blue”, one of the many  Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands. directed by Luc Besson, filmed in Amorgos, which shows the amazing monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, perched high on a mountain side, the idyllic Agia Anna beach and Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia (Which inspired Besson to film on Amorgos), is the film which sparked worldwide interest in free diving for extreme sports enthusiasts and, of course, the island of Amorgos.


Now, twenty nine years later, the film is being revived through the fabulous project:

"The Authentic Big Blue" 

Happening in Amorgos, 17 September 2017.


Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia Amorgos
Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia
Amorgos


Amorgos, the small, Eastern-most island of the Cyclades, in the South Aegean Sea, accessible only by boat, has incredible views, (owing to heights of more than 800 meters above sea level), pristine sandy beaches and many archeological remains, especially the walls surrounding Arkesini.



1024px-Acropole_Arkesini_Amorgos CC BY-SA 3.0
Acropolis Arkesini
Amorgos



Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa
Amorgos



Agia Anna  Amorgos Island (Cyclades)  Greece
Agia Anna  Amorgos Island (Cyclades)
 Greece
"The Authentic Big Blue" diving is to take place here, off the Agia Anna Beach,  17 September.2017



 Many famous Dokathismata-style, Cycladic figures, dating from 2700 BC, were unearthed on the island of Amorgos, mainly in the cemeteries of Agios Pavlos and AgiaParaskevi.




Dokathismata figurine, Early Cycladic II, Syros phase (2800–2300 BC)  Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art   Photo;Ophelia2
Dokathismata figurine, Early Cycladic II, Syros phase (2800–2300 BC)
 Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art
Photo;Ophelia2



Amorgos, with its two ports, the main one; yacht-filled Katapola, the second; Aegiali and Chora, the town (known as Amorgos), is not really the place for beach lovers, but is more of a “back to nature” island, the perfect place for walking, hiking, rock climbing and diving.




Katapola, Amorgos Photo: Leoniedas
Katapola, Amorgos
Photo: Leoniedas


Amorgpos Cyclades Greece
Amorgos
Cyclades
Greece


Amorgos island, Greece  Photo @dounazoe
Amorgos island, Greece
Photo @dounazoe



To celebrate thirty years since the making of the original film, “The Big Blue” on Amorgos, in 1988, a documentary, directed by Jerome Espla (To be released 2018), and, again, filmed on Amorgos, is the reason actor Jean-Marc Barr, now aged fifty six, who played Jacques Mayol, twenty nine years ago, is back on the island, to help in production of the documentary, and with team promotion.





Actor Jean-Marc Barr (Center) with Freedivers Association AIDA Hellas president Dimitris Koumoulos and vice president Christos Papadopoulos.  Photo Source amorgos-news. gr
Actor Jean-Marc Barr (Center) with Freedivers Association AIDA Hellas president Dimitris Koumoulos and vice president Christos Papadopoulos.
 Photo Source amorgos-news. gr


Watch the video below, Barr's thoughts on "The Authentic Big Blue"




Interview with Jean-Marc Barr;
Barr talks about the documentary, being filmed on the island of Amorgos, and his experience of filming "The Big Blue" back in 1988, his first major role in cinema.
Courtesy Amorgos News



The Authentic Big Blue Photo: Amorgos News
The Authentic Big Blue
Photo: Amorgos News



 “The Big Blue”, is the heavily fictionalized story (In real life, neither diver reached 400 feet, and neither diver died whilst diving), of two friends, Enzio Maiorca (Jean Reno) and  Jaques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr ) both free divers, growing up in Greece in the 1960s, until their deaths in the 1980s.

 (Free diving; diving without breathing apparatus, is nothing new, for hundreds of years divers have used this method, diving for sponges, shellfish and pearls).




How it all began. At the beginning of the film "The Deep Blue" Jacques and Enzo challenge each other to collect a coin on the sea floor and Jacques loses.
How it all began.
At the beginning of the film "The Big Blue"
Jacques and Enzo challenge each other to collect a coin on the sea floor and Jacques loses.



Jacques Mayol (1927-2001), played by actor Jean-Marc Barr, a free diving legend and author of "Homo Delphinus, The Dolphin Within Man( His philosophy on whether humans have hidden aquatic origins, awakened by physiological and psychological training), of French nationality, born in Shanghai, China, was already an experienced diver when he first met Enzio Maiorca.




Enzo Maiorca und Jacques Mayol
Enzo Maiorca und Jacques Mayol



Maiorca was the first to dive below 50 meters, Mayol reached 60 meters and in 1976 Mayol broke the 100 meters record, with a no-limits dive, of the coast of Elba, Italy.

 Tests during the dive showed that, amazingly, Mayol's heartbeat dropped from sixty to twenty seven beats per minute, a characteristic of “Mammalian diving reflex”, more noticeable in whales, seals and dolphins!




Jacques Mayol 1990
Jacques Mayol
1990


Mayol’s last dive in 1983, at the age of fifty six was to a depth of 105 meters.


In 2001, suffering from depression, Mayol hung himself in his villa in Elba.


Enzo Maiorca (1931-2016) born Syracuse, Sicily, learned to swim at the age of four and despite his fear of the sea, entered into the world of diving, beginning with spear fishing, which he abandoned in 1967, to concentrate on free diving.



Enzo Maiorca
Enzo Maiorca


When the two divers; Mayol and Maiorca, reached 76 meters in 1970, the International Diving Federation ruled the depths too dangerous and refused to acknowledge any further records.

Dare-devil Maiorca, defied medical experts by swimming to a depth of more than 91 meters in one breath, and in 1988 set his final record at 101 meters.

Maiorca managed to block the release of the film “The Big Blue” in Italy until 2002, a year after Mayol’s death, he thought the film portrayed him as an uneducated Sicilian, and ordered certain lines of dialogue removed, before the film debuted in Italy



Jean Reno (Enzo) and Jean-Marc Barr (Jacques)  "The Big Blue" (1988)
Jean Reno (Enzo) and Jean-Marc Barr (Jacques)
 "The Big Blue" (1988)



Friends; Enzo and Jacques and the Fiat 500 used in the film "The Big Blue" 1988
Friends; Enzo and Jacques and the Fiat 500 used in the film
"The Big Blue" 1988


"The Authentic Big Blue", paying tribute to free-diving legends Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca, is the biggest event to hit Amorgos for the last three decades, set to take place on Sunday 17 September until Sunday 24 September 2017.

 Winners of the competition will be awarded specially crafted “Jacques Mayol” and “Enzo Maiorca” medals in memory of the two heroes.



Free diving  "The Big Blue" 1988
Free diving
 "The Big Blue"
1988
.

Surreal poster for the film:  "The Big Blue" 1988
Surreal poster for the film:
 "The Big Blue" 1988


This is the first free diving competition, approved by AIDA (International Association for the Development of Apnea); to be held at Agia Anna beach since death- defying Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo (Jean Reno) competed there, twenty nine years ago, in 1988, during the filming of “The Big Blue”.



Sneak peak of things to come with;
 "The Authentic Big Blue"
Amorgos, Greece
17-24 September 2017



Coinciding with this unique event; “The Authentic Big Blue”, is “Amorgos Gastronomy Week” so, it’s going to be all go on the island, if you’ve been considering paying a visit to this beautiful Greek island, what better time is there than now?



Amorgos Gastronomy Days Amorgos September 2017
Amorgos Gastronomy Days
"The Authentic Big Blue"
Amorgos September 2017



And who knows, maybe someone will break the current world record for free diving, held by Austrian Herbert Nitsch:

“The deepest man on earth”




Herbert Nitsch, World Record Holder Freediver
Herbert Nitsch, World Record Holder Free diver


 Herbert Nitsch, with his best dive of 214 meters (328 ft), the world record, also has another sixty nine official world records to his name!



See details of this wonderful event at the official website:

 "The Authentic Big Blue"  .




If you like it, why not share it? Thanks!