If you read our last blog, you know that we are now permanently living in Bella Italia and have been here since the end of May. Since then, we have been working hard to settle in and there has also been some good progress on the renovations at Fonte Martino. We promise to write about the updates very soon, but now we have a different story to tell…
Picture it, Montepulciano…May 2018. (For all you Golden Girls fans out there…you get it!) We arrived at Fonte Martino and it was in the middle of a jungle! Unfortunately, we made the mistake of waiting to mow the lawn until we arrived. During mowing, cutting, chopping, and trimming our three plus acres, we discovered that we had many plum trees. Now, if you follow our blog, you know that we wrote about eating these amazing plums from our tree last July (2017). We knew we had at least two trees, but what we didn’t know is that we actually have seven! We were very excited because these seven trees were covered in little baby plums.
We immediately starting thinking of all the possibilities…plum preserves, plum tarts, plum cake, shaved fresh fennel salad with plums – the list goes on and on. For the next two months, we were constantly checking on the plums and imagining all the delicious possibilities. We knew these wonderful purple globes would be ready to pick in July, which could not come soon enough.
After one of our weekly Italian lesson with Professoressa Gaia…who is a Saint and so patient with us, we walked her to her car. When we passed the plum trees, Gaia told us that they are a local variety known as “Nun’s thighs”. We thought this was a really unique name and asked why they were called that. Gaia said because they are round and plump…just like (some) nun’s thighs! Needless to say, we found this adorable and now smile whenever we see the trees.
Finally, after a long two-month wait, the green plums turned into beautiful purple globes of sweetness warmed by the Tuscan sun. We just could not stop eating them!
It was time to pick the plums and so we took our baskets and went from tree to tree. Only the ripest, sweetest, most purple globes were chosen. Before we knew it, our baskets were heaping and we didn’t even put a dent into the number of plums our trees have gifted us. The first thing we wanted to do was make the very first Fonte Martino Plum Preserves. Thoughts of warm croissants with our very own preserves swirled through our minds.
After washing and removing the pits, we began to cook them in a large pot. We added a little sugar and soon they were boiling away. The intoxicating smell filled our home as we waited for the plums to turn into preserves. After what seems like an eternity but was actually only an hour or so, the first batch of preserves were finished! After two months of waiting, a morning spent picking only the most perfectly ripe fruit, and an hour of cooking, it was finally time to taste the very first Fonte Martino Plum Preserves on a warm croissant. One word…Heaven! Our seven plum trees gave us a wonderful gift of fruit that we then turned into delicious preserves. It doesn’t get much better than this…