Hedgerow Weekend

This Weekend was dry again so the house painting that has consumed or free time continues.  I did opt out for a while and gather some of the ripe bounty of our hedgerow.

Italian Prunes – We have several old trees along the road which are leftover from the days when this property was a prune orchard.  I put a few trays in the dryer this morning and want to pick some more this afternoon.

Rose Hips – The rose hips on the drive are very small this year (lack of water), but I was determined to try to use them in something since I missed the harvest last year.  I did notice some huge, juicy looking hips at the McDonald’s in town, but they probably spray the heck out of them – not to mention the car exhaust.  I did use them, along with the last of the blackberries, to make a syrup that I found at the Kitchen Herb Wife’s Blog.

Blackberry, Apple and Rose Hip Syrup

I think this would be good for cold season

  • 1 lb blackberries (and a few leftover blueberries)
  • 1 double handful of rose hips
  • 3 medium apples
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • ½ of a grated nutmeg
  • 1 pint of water
  • 2 pounds of sugar (for 4 cups of juice)
  1. Wash blackberries and rose hips and place in a slow cooker
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples and add them and the spices.
  3. Cover with water. Heat on high until everything is soft and mushy (around 2 hours).
  4. Use and immersion blender to liquefy the fruits the strain through a cheesecloth – I hung mine about two hours.
  5. Measure the volume of the juice and combine in a saucepan with 1 lb of sugar for each 1 pint of juice. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Pour into heated sterile bottles and seal with screw top lids.

Hawthorn Berries – These are really abundant this year and I hear good for my heart so I pick three quarts yesterday to try some recipes….

Hawberry Elixer

I just sorted and rinsed the berries, ground them up a bit in the blender and covered them with vodka.  They will hang out in a dark room for a few months before straining.

Hawberry Jelly

Apparently, Hawthorn berries have a lot of natural pectin, so I thought I’d try a jelly recipe from Eat Weeds

  1. Put 1.5 pound of the clean, de-stemmed, drained haws into a slow cooker, and cover with 1.5 cups of water. Simmer on high for 3 hours. Mash the berries with an immersion blender.
  2. Strain the mixture over night using some muslin. To keep the jelly clear don’t the jelly bag, just let the juice drip. Measure the amount of juice and add it back to a pan.
  3. For every 1 pint of juice add 1 pound of sugar. Also add the juice of 1/2 lemon.
  4. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes until it has reached the jelly set point.
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