Friday, July 27, 2012

Garden: The Sugar Plum tree

This is the season for my purple garden blooms.... and fruit.
morning glories....



 lavender ....

    and my three ancient trees of sugar plums, probably here from the 1920's ... if plum trees indeed last that long....and still going strong despite aphids and termites.

The "sugar plum" has such an evocative sound.  There is a sugar plum fairy in the Nutcracker Ballet , And Eugene Field has a lovely child's poem below.

   I don't really know if there is such a thing as a sugar plum tree or is it just a name from stories.   But for want of a better description, what we have in our garden at the moment are little purple sugar plums falling to the ground each day.

  I have made plum cake and compote and given some to the neighbors with this huge harvest.  And Jeanne is going into full domestic mode making compote, cake AND confiture with pectin and sugar.  (In France they mix the two together for jam making.)   I can't wait to taste her jam as she used a cinnamon stick .

 But now that I have been mostly staying away from sugar  with the PALEO plan,  the plums seem  so sweet to my taste that I call them sugar plums.    I will use some compote to make pancakes and PALEO desserts instead of using sugar.

 It  feels so French, not wasting a single gift from the garden.   That is something the French do not take for granted and neither should we.      

by: Eugene Field (1850-1895)
      AVE you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
      'T is a marvel of great renown!
      It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
      In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
      The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
      (As those who have tasted it say)
      That good little children have only to eat
      Of that fruit to be happy next day.
      When you 've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
      To capture the fruit which I sing;
      The tree is so tall that no person could climb
      To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
      But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
      And a gingerbread dog prowls below--
      And this is the way you contrive to get at
      Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
      You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
      And he barks with such terrible zest
      That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
      As her swelling proportions attest.
      And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
      From this leafy limb unto that,
      And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground--
      Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
      There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
      With stripings of scarlet or gold,
      And you carry away of the treasure that rains
      As much as your apron can hold!
      So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
      In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
      And I 'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
      In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.                     

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