I Love Not Camping ~ Day Seven

Last day. And just as well. Idleness and gluttony are not attractive qualities. I find I need useful occupation.
Today I went to the farmshop to buy a bushel of apples for Tom (he would live on them if he could). There I found the first of the new season's crop. I found damsons also. The damsons growing near my house  have had their lower branches hacked off by those skilled gardeners otherwise known as 'the council' and the fruit is now out of reach. I bought four pounds of damsons; three for chutney and one for gin. I still have plenty of last year's damson jam and jelly but the chutney is down to the last jar.



This morning I stoned the damsons for chutney-making tomorrow. This is a tedious and sometimes painful task (slippery fruit and sharp knives) but once it is done chutney-making is simply a matter of throwing everything into a pan and cooking it. I find repetitive jobs like stoning damsons and chopping vegetables very satisfying; they provide opportunity for thinking one's own thoughts whilst being productive.

I opened the last jar of damson chutney to eat with my sausages and baked potato and was so glad I would soon be making more.



Comments

  1. Evening.
    Are you missing them?
    Now please tell me, what is the difference between chutney and pickle? I know I like the word chutney better but apart from that...?
    Ax

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    1. I am missing them, absence, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder.

      Pickles are fruits or vegetables which are cooked briefly in vinegar (usually with sugar and spices too). They should be crisp and crunchy. A chutney is cooked for a long time and has more ingredients including sugar, vinegar and several kinds of fruit and/or veg. It is more like a vinegary jam. Brinston pickle is not really a pickle but a chutney.

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    2. I meant Branston pickle of course.

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    3. OK. Now I know. And I still like chutney better than pickle regardless of actual name preference... Thank you, x

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  2. Oooh, good to know that you've found damsons already...I shall up my search in order to make Damson Jam! Have a good/last evening before the grand reunion!

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  3. We have no damsons at all this year! I'm worried that I won't find any to make damson gin!

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  4. I'm so happy that you found a way to bring the word bushel into a post. I have no real idea how many apples that entails but it sounds like a generous supply. Now we need a peck, a chain, a furlong and a fathom.

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    1. I looked it up -a bushel is 4 pecks or 8 gallons, a peck presumably being 2 gallons. I'm not sure whether that is American or imperial gallons though. At any rate it is quite a lot, and my son can eat quite a lot of apples.

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  5. I'm hoping my Mum has a decent enough crop of damsons this year because I am bent on making some damson gin.

    She is going to have a bumper apple harvest so I have just bought a juicer in readiness. Going to have a little practice today with the leftover fruit from the weekend.

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  6. I'd wager you feel slightly less fondly about the return of the family when you see how much washing they bring home for you! That ought to provide plenty of gainful employment - wishing you sunshine and plenty of drying breeze.

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    1. You are quite right Ali -not a wager I'd be willing to enter into. I am keeping my fingers crossed for good drying weather.

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  7. I've been patiently waiting for the apple recipes promised when you told us about your total lack of quinces this year. Now that the wanderers are returning, will an apple pudding production line spring into being?

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    1. I promise there will be apple puddings but not for a while Nicky, not until the apple season gets well under way.

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  8. Sue your idea of idleness always includes some lovely confections, you raise the bar for all of us who consider caring for a home and family a job worth doing.

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  9. Anonymous10:19 am BST

    THank you for a glimpse into your non camping hols. ALways enjoy reading your blog. Jennifer x

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  10. Showing my age now, info about bushels and pecks and other long lost measurements used to be printed on the back of school type exercise books from Woolworths and part of mental arithmetic when I was at primary school -'if a pint of water weighs a pound and one quarter, how much does three and one half gallons weigh'. We started everyday with ten such questions. Money in £.s.d sharpened our brains somewhat! Off to see if Clive's have damsons yet, tomorrow.

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  11. I do enjoy your not camping posts. I can remember what Jee spoke about, we must be of a similar age but my brain wasn't sharpened at all!

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    1. I can remember 'going decimal' but I can't remember using old money -just a bit too young :)

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  12. You often mention your lovely local farm shop Sue but I can't find the link to it from your older posts. I'm tempted to tootle over there and stock up on damsons (and lots of other yummy things) as there are none at all on my tree this year.

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    1. Kate it's Broomfield's at Holt Heath.

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    2. Thank you Sue I shall plan a trip asap!

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  13. You need a cherry pitter, Sue! Makes the task of stoning damsons (or indeed, cherries, for that matter) a strangely pleasurable one. Not to mention a great deal quicker.

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    1. I have an olive stoner -didn't think to try it.

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  14. Sue, that photo of your sausage, potato, chutney meal is a beaut! Who would not want to sit down to that menu, perhaps with a glass of something suitable at the side.

    I love the idea of using all those beautiful plums. Even at the farmers markets here in New York, all the fresh and delicious fruit and veg carry a high price...I cannot imagine buying anything in any large quantities.

    Hmmm, this is yet more encouragement to follow my country dreams and have a garden of my own.

    xo

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  15. Pati from London4:08 pm BST

    Dear Sue, what a joy it is your blog! I'm still in Spain with my kids and family so haven't been able to read it everyday or comment on it but I've adored the minutes when I've been able to catch up on it. Your tarragon chicken reminded me of the one you had last year in your camping-less week and I remember that I cooked it at home and we all loved it. I will cook it again as soon as I'm back. I also loved your poem on your domestic comfort's post. I am surprised about the damsons, though, as I thought they did not appear in the shops until September! I hope there are more next week as I am planning to make gin with them, loads of it!!!!!!!! Pati from London from a very hot Spain.... Xx

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  16. That damson chutney looks lush!

    Apple jelly making is on the to do list here ... I've been given a big bag of windfalls.

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  17. Hi Sue,

    I just found your blog and I must say, I could get used to not camping too. The only trouble is, Other Half isn't too fond of it either..

    I love simple tasty food that is quick to cook. Your fried goats cheese fits the bill perfectly.

    Jessica.

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  18. Wow, looks like you had a great time not camping! And I need to fix an early lunch now as your pics leave me hungry and I had an early breakfeast today...

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