I'm usually more of a traditional female crafter & grafter, although it's mostly my food based skills that have seen a bit more action recently.

This was firstly in the form of some sloe & apple jam - both frozen after last autumn's harvest due to lack of time. Gorgeous colour, as expected, and similar to damson jam. I couldn't wait to taste it. But it had a strange dry, slightly grainy texture like smooth peanut butter, created or activated by the cooking process. I suppose the attraction in a jam made from sloes is of one less sweet, and possibly a little more grown up with a bitter, astringent edge, although I was glad of the minimim 50% apples (I might add slightly more apples to the mix next time).

I was again reminded of this strange texture when washing up the implements - the sloes had left an otherwordly fibrous residue ineverything. It clogged up everything, and had gone a shade of purply green - is that even possible? If anyone knows the botanical explanations for this fibre and texture, I'd be really interested, because no other fruit of this type that I've cooked with before (plums, cherry plums, damsons) have ever done this.



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