Hips don't lie

Friday, October 05, 2018

Round our way there doesn't seem to be much competition for rosehips. I suspect unlike the easy pickings of blackberries to eat straight from the bramble and the sloe collecting for tasty sloe gin over winter the rosehips are deemed rather unfashionable and left for the birds. Roses have some rather vicious thorns though so do take care.
The dog roses were a wonder in spring; the rose petal jam was a luxury (still uneaten, I don't dare waste it) but once they're gone it's a long wait until the hips are ready for use. We have been particularly fortunate in that we picked many very locally and made two batches, two weeks apart. In previous years we have gathered the succulent fat japanese rugosa hips too which are wonderful for syrup but this year just the dog roses.
Rosehip syrup is a flavour I describe as tutti-fruitti, something difficult to pin down but delicious nevertheless. Not only does it taste fantastic but it's easy to prepare, it's packed with vitamin C and makes for a lovely treat. I say it's easy to prepare, but you will need to chop up the bullet-esque hips (slicing attachment on top-feed food processor is my tip), and eventually pass the boiled hips and water through a muslin and this is important to remove all the itching powder fibres. A lemon and sugar are the only added ingredients and unlike the nuisance of judging how ready to set a jam may be, you just reduce as much as you fancy.

They say it keeps in a sterilised bottle for about 4 months but I prefer to judge it for myself.
And between this and the elderberry syrup I'm going to pep myself up morningly to keep my immune system tickety boo as best as I can.
Take care,

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