Saturday, August 15, 2009

Recently Rowan and I read The Homeschool Liberation League. One of the interests of the main character is eating food that grows wild. I've been interested myself lately in learning more about what's edible. There's an amazing amount of food growing around us that we think of as weeds or ornamentation.

I always knew roses were edible, but I really didn't know what to do with them. This weekend I tried out a recipe for rose petal jelly. I've made lots of preserves, but this was my first jelly. It's a simple one to start with.

I used petals from the Rose of Sharon we inherited from whoever landscaped our pool area.

3-1/4 cup rose petals or any edible flower petals (be sure they have not been sprayed with anything you wouldn't want to eat)

2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup white grape juice

1 package powdered fruit pectin

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup rose petals

Remove bitter white nail of all the rose petals. Rinse petals and pat dry. Bring the 3-1/4 cups rose petals, water, and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil; reduce heat.

Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for several hours to overnight.

Strain syrup, discarding flowers.

Combine syrup, grape juice, and pectin in a saucepan; mix well. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 3 cups sugar; mix well. Bring to a full rolling boil that will not stir down. Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat.

Place remaining 1/4 cup rose petals into 4 hot sterilized 1/2 pint jars (or 2 pint jars, if you're me). Ladle jelly into jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace; seal with 2-piece lids. Drape jars with a towel. Cool to room temperature and store in a cool place.

Yields 2 pints.

All of the color comes from the petals. The color leaches out of them very quickly when you first start to cook them. In the morning the syrup is a beautiful purple (the picture doesn't do it justice), which lightens up to pink as you add the other ingredients. Most importantly - yum.


Madeline Rains said...

Beautiful! I had wondered what these flowers were. We have them near us. We have put edible flowers in salads but I'd never heard of them in jellies.

Jessica said...

I am not sure where you live, but I recently bought an awesome book that has allowed me to forage in the country and the city in the NE Tennessee area. There is so much to eat!! The title is Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild and not so Wild Places by "Wildman" Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean. Most of what is in it is edible rather than medicinal, but I like this because I would rather eat. My best find this year has been the Kousa tree. It is everywhere and I never knew it. It is an asian tree originally and looks like a dogwood except that the flowers stay on for a really long time. The fruit doesn't look so good, but is so wonderful! It is a little smaller than a pingpong ball, lumpy redish/orange and rather hard on the outside. You peel away the outside and in it is an orange mush that is so yummy! I can't really explain it, sweet/mild/mangoey/plummy goodness. Enjoy the forage!

Rue said...

Jessica, we're in Massachusetts. We definitely need a book like that.

Ren said...

You know that Rose of Sharon is a hibiscus not a rose right? I bet the jelly is delish though! I used to make rose petal jelly and I haven't for years now...need to get back to it.