Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dealing with damsels

People around here waste nothing. If it grows, and it's not poisonous, it's edible. Left, damsons off the vine

This is the story of the damsel. That's the local name. The real name is damson, and it's a plum. but I found out about that part later.

I tried for a long time to find out about the damsel. This about-to-be-harvested-fruit was excitedly talked about by locals, and a box of them was shared around. I absconded with a large ziploc of the plum-like fruits. Now what to do?

A google search for 'damsal' or 'damsel' yielded nothing. Hmmm. I searched for Georgia fruits, and scanned the description of the names. It took a few pages but finally the damson seemed a match. Eureka!

Wikipedia says "The skin of the damson is heavily acidic, rendering the fruit unpalatable to some for eating out of hand (for which the "President Plum" variety is better suited). Because of this acidic, tart flavor, damsons are commercially grown for preparation in jellies and jams." Hmmm. I think I might substitute the muscadine recipe below for the damson.

Left, boiling them. A rich purple juice comes out. Romans cultivated damsons to use for the purple dye. Below, after the sugar boil yielding lots of juice and meat.


2 1/2 c. muscadines grapes
1 box white cake mix
1 box blackberry Jello
3/4 c. oil
4 eggs

Cook 2 1/2 cups muscadines in 1 1/2 cups water until hulls are tender. Remove seeds. Separate hulls and juice. Mix one box white cake mix, one box blackberry jello, 3/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup muscadine juice, add eggs one at a time. Beat until fluffy. Fold 1 cup hulls into batter. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees until done.


Bring to a boil 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup juice. Spoon over cake while cake is still hot.

Will let ya know how the cake turns out!

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