There is a street not far from our house where we have seen wild plums growing. We drove there a couple weeks ago and saw the plums, but they were not ripe yet. We drove there today and some were ripe -- and a lot were missing, so we are not the only ones who look there.
Jim picked some ripe ones and we brought them home to make wild-plum jelly. It's so good and so pretty.
First, just clean the plums by rinsing them in a colander. Then measure out about 5 or 6 pounds and put them in a large pan with a cup of water. Bring them to a boil, then let them simmer for 20 or 30 minutes. After that, put them in a jelly bag over a bowl and let them cool and drip. You'll want 4 cups of juice.
To make the jelly, prepare your jars and lids. (If you don't already know how to do that, http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/faqs is a good reference).
Put 4 cups of juice and 6-1/2 cups of sugar in a large pan. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of butter to keep the foaming down. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in a pouch of liquid pectin, then bring the mixture back to a rolling boil and boil one minute while stirring constantly. Take the pan off the heat.
Ladle the jelly into the prepared jars, filling to 1/4" of the top. Wipe the jar tops and the threaded rims with a clean, wet cloth (I usually just use a wet sturdy paper towel). Put the lid and bands on; finger tighten. Process in a steam canner or water bath canner for 5 minutes at regular altitude. We are at about 5,480, so we process this at 15 minutes instead.
Then use a jar lifter to remove the jars, and place them on a folded towel on your countertop to cool. They will seal as they cool as long as you don't mess with them.
I love the pinging sound of the jars sealing. When our dog Nugget was still living, he'd let me know when he heard the jars pinging, j-u-s-t in case I didn't hear it myself. He was an excellent kitchen helper.
So, go pick some wild plums, make some wild plum jelly, grab a biscuit and FEED YOUR FACE!