No not the rock band.
There are some damson trees very close to our house. Yesterday elder son, daughter and I stationed ourselves beneath the trees. The fruit was too high for us to pick but by standing on a step-ladder and bashing the branches with a rake we managed to cause the damsons to rain down upon our heads, into our pockets and even into my bra. We gathered them up into our basket and took them home.
I weighed them and found to my delight we had managed to gather 5 lbs. I usually buy about 5 lb from a farm shop so I was very pleased to have scored free fruit. Not only were they free but they were also sweeter and easier to stone than the ones I usually get.
Chutney is what I do with damsons. Chutney and gin. I put 2 lbs in the freezer to make into damson gin just as soon as I can afford a large quantity of gin. The rest I cut in half and stoned ready for chutneying.
My recipe is from good old Delia. You can find it here. It's also in Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.
I copied it into my recipe journal :o)
All day the kitchen has been filled with the throat-catching smell of fruity vinegar and with wasps.
Chutney is the easiest thing to make, you simply throw everything into pan and leave it to cook slowly for a few hours. Then you pour it into sterile jars. I made four big jars (old mayonnaise jars- 600-700ml) plus one little jar.
Edit: The next day the chutney still seemed very runny in the jars so I poured it all back in the pan and cooked it for another hour. It successfully thickened up and I repotted it into the washed and resterilised jars. However this time I only had enough for three big jars. This was how much I made last year. It wasn't enough to see us through the year so I think I might make some more chutney later in the year, possibly apple.
Now we have to wait for three months for it to mature and mellow.