Slow News: Plum Crazy

Apologies for the blog delay, but we’re in the midst of a plum emergency.  My plum tree decided that it was time for every one of its 600 plums to be ripe.  NOW.  So the kitchen’s been a-boiling with vats of jam, butter, chutney, and sauce.  For days, I’ve been slicing, simmering and spicing up plums, filling hot glass jars and screwing on lids; sliding the filled jars into the boiling water bath, and whew!   I’ve been a one-woman assembly line.  The best part is when, after ten minutes in the boiling bath, the shining jars come out of the bath to cool.  That little ‘pock’ you hear when the lids seal tight is one of the loveliest sounds of summer.

What could make life more complete?  Well, it turns out this week that I’ve been translated into French on the writer Nathalie Chassériau’s blog “Vive le Lenteur”—Long Live Slowness.   To which I say, Amen.   I was shocked to hear that I’d missed International Slow Day on June 21 (I guess the news was too slow to reach me in time), but I do love the way I sound in French:  « Nous sommes tellement amoureux des technologies que nous ne prenons pas le temps de penser au meilleur moyen de nous en servir,  ni quelles peuvent en être les implications. Les livres sont devenus pour moi le lieu idéal où  je peux enfin lever le pied ».   I said most of that (in English) to a Newsweek reporter, but I don’t remember saying the part about “enfin lever le pied,” but now that I think of it, what a bonne idée!  Merci, Nathalie!

So, quick post this week, to catch you up on the plum situation.   In the coming weeks, look forward to more Slow News from North Oakland, including some slow book reviews, and your eagerly-awaited update on the neighborhood farm news.  In the meantime, I’m going to crack open a new slow book I just bought and lever le piedVive le Lenteur!  And le jam.


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11 Responses to “Slow News: Plum Crazy”

  1. dr john latham Says:

    Congratulations!!! About the French connection, as well as the plums. This slow thing seems to be catching on quickly.

  2. DeAnna Says:

    Your plums look great! If you have any extra fruit remaining, I am hoping to do some canning tomorrow and am a bit short.

  3. Charla Says:

    I do love that little “pock” sound always reminds me of my Mom canning everything in sight from the garden. Since I don’t have a garden right now I still have had the need to can and freeze for the long cold winter in Texas – ha ha. We have been stocking up at the farmers market and then I start the chopping and stockpiling of the loot. So far many bags of tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, green beans and quick pickles. This Saturday will be another trip to the Market for more. VIVA la produce!

    • Tracy Seeley Says:

      Your Mom is the first big reason I fell in love with gardens–so it’s a happy thought to imagine you stocking up for the winter there in your downtown condo. Lucky you to get local jalapenos. It’s not really hot enough in Oakland to grow the little fire plugs–though with the current heating trend, we may be there in a few years. Hope you’re staying cool down south. Just thinking about it makes me want to brew a tall, cold glass of sweet tea.

  4. Georg Says:

    Hello Tracy,

    I am reading Newsweek here in France, sent the article to a friend living in San Diego and she gave me the link to your blog via another article printed in the Guardian.

    As the the expression “lever le pied” (lift up or raise one’s foot) means you stop pressing down your car’s accelerator pedal. The expression is used here when you want to say something about slowing down doing this or that.


    • Tracy Seeley Says:

      Whew! I love this global travel story. I also love the expression “lever le pied” and thank you for the information on how it’s used where you are. I plan to lever le pied whenever I can.

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