Friday, May 9, 2014

Weird Word of the Week: Damper

Damper, which will be made over campfires by Scouts all over Australia (or at least Sydney) this Mother's Day, to serve to their mums along with hot chocolate, is bread, made of flour and water, and sometimes milk and baking soda, and cooked in a campfire. From Wikipedia:
The damper was normally cooked in the ashes of the camp fire. The ashes were flattened and the damper was placed in there for ten minutes to cook. Following this, the damper was covered with ashes and cooked for another 20 to 30 minutes until the damper sounded hollow when tapped. Alternatively, the damper was cooked in a greased camp oven. Damper was eaten with dried or cooked meat or golden syrup, also known as "cocky's joy".
Nowadays, the Scouts who will be making damper for their mums may be wrapping the damper dough in foil before placing it in the ashes of the campfire, or wrapping it around a stick which they'll poke into the coals. This sounds to me like Girls' Camp biscuits on a stick, without the clever name. Does this ring a bell with any of Madame L's Dear Readers?

Wikipedia says damper "has become available in bakeries. Many variations and recipes exist, some authentic, others using the name to sell a more palatable bread product to the urban public."

Because, damper, yum! But "...a more palatable bread product..."? They have to add ashes, right? So it will seem authentic?

(Madame L checked Google Images for a picture of damper, and found only the "more palatable bread product," i.e., photos of nice round Irish soda bread, along with a lot of photos of some round cooking utensils, apparently devised so the damper-maker can make his/her damper nice and round and perfect with little scorings in the top to help cut it with a fancy knife. Madame L wanted some disgustingly authentic ash-covered shaped-by-the-fingers-of-a-young-scout damper. Too bad Madame L didn't take any pictures of her own U.S. Girls' Camp damper all those years ago. Maybe she will have to make some damper herself, possibly this weekend, possibly this Mother's Day, so she can post a photo of the real thing. Or maybe Lisa will send her a photo of the damper her young scouts make for her on Sunday.)

3 comments:

Jeff Wynn said...

Oh DAMper! I just tstepped in one!

Laura said...

What a HORRIBLE Mother's Day present! "Here, mom. Have some questionable bread made with tasteless ingredients, shaped by my own dirty fingers and cooked in warm dirt. Yum!"

Jeff Wynn said...

Ah, I think it must require a sense of humor on the part of the Mom.