At this time of year, the warmth, the sweetness, the shine of summer is gone from the air, but now it hangs in berries and fruit, hedgerows and trees.
One of the best things about growing your own is picking food at the perfect moment. Supermarkets have to pick under-ripe, so it makes the journey from field to shelf without bruising or bleeding. In my own allotment, I wait til the fruit is almost bursting its skin with juice and sugar, before twisting it from the branch.
Booze is good and fruit is good and the two together are even better. You can make alsorts of fruit liquors by just leaving fruit and sugar in alcohol to slowly do its thing- but this is perhaps my favourite.
750ml bottle of gin
Either give the damsons a light bashing or a little pricking (like a sexed up Mrs Beeton), pour them into a jar with the sugar, and then glug in the gin. Leave it for as long as you can. I have the first of mine at Christmas- its colour and warmth is perfect for an icy December day.