Monday, 20 September 2010

Foraging for jelly and syrup-making

Even though we'd left it late in the season for South East England, there were still just enough elderberries and rosehips left to pick with my lovely God-daughter Florrie and her sister Martha this weekend.

They love finding things and helping out, well, when not glued to CBBC of course. Here are some of the pictures and Martha's home-grown explanation of how to separate the tiny elderberries from their stalks.

If you live further north, or at higher altitudes, I expect there are still plenty of elderberries, rosehips and even sloes to be picked.

Making the jelly and learning a bit of chemistry

I've been making preserves for years and learned a really good lesson yesterday. If you want your jelly or jam to set when adding pectin or lemons, make sure you add the sugar AFTERWARDS. If you don't, it won't set. So having followed the recipe for my red-currant recipe (see link below) with the elderberries, I added the sugar before boiling the juice with the lemon juice. Now I think I may have some delicious and very concentrated elderberry cordial on my hands!

Rosehip syrup
I'll be tackling this later today, but in the meantime if you're looking for how-to, see the link below for our rosehip syrup recipe (or at least, one of them).

See also Foraging map on the MIAMI Forums
Recipe for red-currant jelly
Wartime recipe for rosehip syrup

All the best from Clare O

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