Archives for posts with tag: rose hips

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Rhubarb– an avatar of springtime, tart, glorious, friendly.

I happened upon this recipe for a wonderful Rhubarb Compote  with it’s suggestion to roast the rhubarb for better shape retention, and the inclusion of a link to a Rhubarb – Rose Petal Jam. Heavenly.

But on my countertop — me whose husband did once affectionately suggest I name this blog Kitchen Counter Clutter for all my space-occupying experiments– sat a jar of Rosehip Syrup, the hips suspended since September in a sugar syrup.   It needed using up.   The syrup had never developed the intensity I’d wished for, and next autumn I will wait until frost softens the hard shells and perhaps do some simmering– the old fashioned way. But, there was a nevertheless a lovely perfume to it, and a slight bite despite its sweetness.

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So I strained out the hips, added a little wild Blackberry Apple Vinegar (I’d read Jamie Oliver somewhere adding a dash of balsamic vinegar to his rhubarb) to dilute the sugar crystals on the bottom, and poured the syrup over the stalks. And into a medium oven it all went, maybe for 20 minutes.

Indeed they did stay stalkier, less mushed. And were wonderful with the homemade, vanilla-flecked custard and crumbled shortbread biscuits.  Really good. And the juice on the bottom of the roasting pan— mmmmm— rhubarb infused rosehip syrup.  Just decadent with the last of the custard clinging to the bottom of the pan.

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In past years I’ve made jams I call Tutti-Frutti for their mix of rhubarb with orange, apple, strawberries (classic), raspberries– whatever is around.  And I love Deborah Madisons use of orange juice and cloves in her stewed rhubarb in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and that’s become a fall-back combo for me.  Lots of people love ginger, fresh and powdered, paired with rhubarb (perhaps oddly, I don’t).  Maybe it’s wonderful with all bright and spicy flavours.   Now I’m thinking…. hibiscus tea! Also everyone’s hedgerow jams that linger in the cupboard– maybe my friend’s Crabapple Jelly, maybe black currant preserves…  Would all be wonderful in compotes and tarts.  Want to explore.

Rose Hips

Sometimes I can be just shattered by beauty, and this did it for me. Sorry for the photo which I took hastily, which only represents what I saw, not the brake-your-bicycle-squeakily approach to a vision of if-not-neglect then accidental splendour. Either someone just didn’t clip off the dead rose buds, as might be a gardener’s wont, or they were able to imagine this: an arched trellis woven with Rose Hips red in a moment of sunshine. To whoever planned this: Wow! To whoever didn’t plan this: Wow!

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The Bramble and The Rose

I was picking rose-hips in the car-park of the church next door, and there were some blackberries too, and of course, what should I do but sing The Bramble and the Rose, a song I really loved for so many years…

I am hoping to make something very easy and full of Vitamin C– a rosehip syrup, the easy way. Chris of Ipso-Phyto told me this — simply layer the ripe rosehips in sugar, and wait several months (score them if they are not ripe) — the sugar draws out the goodness. Then you don’t have to mess with the boiling and the hairs — this is my first time doing anything with rose hips. Hooray for knowing nothing because then there is so much to learn!

(just had a teeny peek and realize that lots of people recommend waiting until after the first frost to harvest rose hips– I guess the frost breaks down the hard shellish-membrane? I will think of this as a Raw-rose syrup… 🙂 Anyway, always good to learn by experiment and even error…

I often have mixed feelings about using (especially white, heavily processed) sugar (stay tuned for a post on jam-making) but alas, it has fantastic uses for preserving, in moderation. I just couldn’t get the motivation to do anything time-consuming with the rosehips so am trying this… Writing here, I’m wondering if there are great old WW2 type instructionals to pursue…

Check out Chris’s website.

 

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Postscript the following April — here’s a piece I wrote that describes how I used this syrup and a verdict on the easy method– good, but next time will try  the post-frost boiling method….

 

 

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