Monday, 15 September 2014

Damn Damsons: Foraging in Kent

I'm the victim of my own frugality. If the opportunity arises, I simply have to forage. The prospect of turning wild-growing, Kentish damsons into jam was just too tempting. 

Wild Kentish Damsons

About 20 minutes of intensive damson harvesting in the more affluent outskirts of Sittingbourne produced roughly 3 kilos of destoned damsons. Despite the presence of gloves in the house, I opted to destone the damsons with my bare hands. (I'm so hardcore.) 

Wild Kentish Damsons

Judging by the looks of my hands now (exactly 24 hours after the damson jam orgy), it may well take a few days until my hands (and nails, in particular) recover to the state they were in beforehand. Good, old UK Bleach works to an extent. Even though neither the use of bleach on skin nor the destoning of damsons with bare hands are endorsed by the author.

Wild Kentish Damsons 

To all who do not know this: Fresh damsons have the unfortunate propensity to turn everything in their vicinity into a dirty, darkish brown. Fresh, almost overripe damsons, on the other hand, are also rather squidgy; and the presence of an oversized, blue catering glove constituted more of a hindrance than help. Disregarding brownish fingertips, I'm pleased to say that my badge turned out fine. 

Yet, despite the addition of cinnamon and cloves, my jam lacks the intensive aroma of these spices, which I still associate with German damson jams from my childhood. Nevertheless, this badge combines just the right sweetness with just the right amount of acidic sharpness. 

Damson Jam in the making

The recipe for my damson jam will be published on the blog in the next few days. 

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