I knocked on my neighbor’s door a little less than one hour ago, and they graciously allowed me to pick the plums from their tree. There weren’t many–only enough to do a couple jars (one of which I will give to them as a thank-you).
I brought them home, tossed them in a cool water bath in the sink, and started a saucepot of medium-heavy syrup (about two and a half cups water, two cups of sugar), and threw in a cinnamon stick and a few grates off a whole nutmeg. Put this syrup mix on high on the back burner.
Brought three pint jars up from the basement and washed them. Put two of them in my stockpot to sterilize with a part of a cheese grater in the bottom (my makeshift rack for a small batch of canning). Cut the plums in half and packed them in the jars. The third jar was for the over-ripe ones that I will just put in the fridge in the syrup without processing them.
Poured syrup over the plums in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom, wiped the rims and topped them with the lids I had warming in a second pot, and put the two jars for processing back in the stockpot of boiling water. The third jar, pictured below, will go in the fridge once it cools a bit (the syrup was boiling-hot).
After twenty minutes–they’re done! From tree to jar in (slightly less than) one hour!
P.S.–I have been using the boiling water from my canning projects to kill weeds along the boundary between my sidewalk and the neighbor’s driveway. It’s a little dicey carrying a big pot of boiling water out the back door and down the steps, but it’s a very effective weed control method.