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It’s been a busy time in the garden and orchard lately. I’ve had so many tomatoes, some of which are waiting for me to deal with them in the freezer. But I have made lots of pasta sauce, and some of Annabel Langbein’s country harvest tomato sauce – delicious!

I also had a great harvest of damson plums.

The skin of a damson is blackish purple, and as it ripens a coating of natural yeast develops, giving it a beautiful ‘frost-at-midnight-bloom’.

The flesh is greenish yellow, becoming more yellow as it ripens. Here’s a quaint recipe I found for damson plums from yesteryear.

Take Damsons before they be full ripe, but gathered off the tree. Allow to every pound of them a pound of Sugar, put a little Rose-water to them, and set them in the bottom of your pan one by one. Boil them with a soft fire, and as they seeth strew your Sugar upon them, and let them boil till the Syrup be thick. Then while the Syrup is yet warm, take the Damsons out and put them in a covered gally pot, Syrup and all. The revered Victorian writer on food and household management, Mrs Isabella Beeton

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