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Jolene Philo's Wild Plum Pudding

Jolene Philo is the daughter of a disabled father and the mother of a child with special needs. After a 25 years as an elementary teacher, she left education in 2003 to pursue writing and speaking. Since then her articles have appeared in regional and national publications including Focus on the Family, Home Cooking, and ParentLife. Her books, A Different Dream for My Child and Different Dream Parenting were released by Discovery House Publishers in 2009 and 2011. 


She speaks throughout the United States about parenting children and adults with special needs and post-traumatic stress in children. Her BLOG provides resources and encouragement for parents of kids with special needs. She also blogs about life on her dusty gravel road  at www.jolenephilo.com. With their two children married and on their own, Jolene and her husband are kicking up their empty nester heels in Boone, Iowa.


Jolene's Latest Book: Different Dream Parenting

Parenting can be difficult and tiring, especially when you have a special needs child with medical, behavioral, or educational issues. In Different Dream Parenting, author Jolene Philo offers guidance and encouragement through biblical insights and her own personal experiences. Find spiritual wisdom, practical resources, and tools that can help you become an extraordinary advocate for your child. Discover how you can move beyond the challenges and experience the joy of being your child's biggest and best supporter.

Jolene's Wild Plum Pudding Recipe


This heirloom recipe came from my grandmother’s grandmother who lived in the late 1800's. In those days, wild plums were plentiful on the prairie. Wild plum trees still grace the fence rows and ditches of the Midwest. They flower in early spring and are ready to pick in late July and August. But, cooks without access to wild plums can substitute tart pie cherries for almost the same taste.

1 cup sugar                                                               
1 cup butter                                                             
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned wild plums (or canned tart pie cherries)  - pit, drain and keep juice

Pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Combine dry ingredients (flour, soda, and spices) and alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to creamed mixture. Carefully fold in plums. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 35 – 45 minutes.

Plum Sauce:  Drain plum juice into a two cup measuring cup. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and enough water to equal two cups. (My sister adds ¼ cup rum in place of some of the water.) Pour into a sauce pan. Blend together 1 cup brown sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch. Add to liquid in pan and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. To serve: Cut into squares and serve with warm plum sauce.