Monday, 6 May 2013

Things I saw in the woods today, part 9

Cowslips and wild damson flowers. Damsons (which will be ripe in late September/early October) make a lovely jam but it requires a bit of cunning. Rather than remove the stones from the fruit which could take days and a truckload of patience, savvy cooks boil the fruit whole with sugar. The cooked fruit disintegrates and the stones float to the top of the jam. All that is needed is a steady hand and a spoon to skim the stones. This may sound obvious but it took a chance encounter with a forager one autumn day (as we were scavenging for damsons) to pass on this useful tip.

The cowslips are the yellow flowers by the way! Cowslip are primulas and native to the UK. Garden nurseries import fancy-coloured primulas and charge a fortune for them when the wild variety is abundant at this time of year. Usually found in meadows and very close to woods.

Photos copyright SvD.

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