When God Gives You Plums

Or rather, when your neighbor Glennis — who is godlike in her own ways — gives you plums…

About this time every year, we get the call from next door. “The plums are ready!” The kids and I head over and wind our way down into the Watermans’ terraced backyard, where sure enough the plum tree is overloaded with beautiful purple plums. And we gather and gather and gather.

Plums as far as the eye can see.

Plums as far as the eye can see.

Unlike, say, a tomato plant which may continue giving you tomatoes throughout the season, a plum tree comes full and ready all at once. If you get a week, you’re lucky — especially with the incursion of various lean and hungry summer critters. More

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Acid and Fat

My neighbor Chris, a man of noble appetite and impeccable palate, invited us over for a Sunday barbecue. It was the much-hyped, much-feared “Carmageddon” weekend, in which the busiest freeway in the country would be shut down for two days. No one was going anywhere. So the commute 50 or so feet to the Watermans’ house sounded perfect. And I took it as a good omen when I saw Chris out in his pajamas at 8 a.m. that morning, tending to his smoker.

The Man & his smoker, "R2D2"

Chris hails from Florida, close enough to the smoking belt of the Deep South to count. More