Entries in Wild Foods (2)


Rose Hip Jelly

Poking around in my freezer, I discovered a bag of rose hips that I picked with my friend Hthaiwan last summer at a Cape Cod beach. Rose hips – sometimes called wild beach roses – grow in abundance along the beach dunes here in New England. You'll recognize them by the jaw breaker sized red berries. My plan was  to make something with them as soon as I returned home to Boston, maybe dry them out for tea or even find a recipe for rose hip soup, a dish I've never had, but have always wanted to try. Well, that never happened. I ended up throwing them in the freezer and finding them nearly 11 months later.

Needing freezer space, I thawed them out and they looked pretty good. The seeds and hairy insides are irritating to the mouth, and I've been told that the hairs can be used to make itching powder, so I decided to make a jelly. I removed the stems, put them in a pot of water, and simmered them for over an hour. Near the end, I mashed them with a potato masher to bring out the tart flavor and strained them in a jelly bag. I brought the liquid to a boil, and added sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Man, was I surprised how good this tasted! The fragrance was also very sweet  and floral.  I then did the usual prep ending with a 10-minute processing in a water bath canner. I ended up with some excellent canned jelly: a little sweet, a little tart.

Next week, I'll be spending some time on a Cape Cod beach and I'll be bringing a jar of my Cape Cod rose hip jelly to the beach cottage. I expect, I'll be returning back to Boston with more foraged rose hips.

While foraging for rose hips, resist climbing around the protected dunes. There's always more than enough within easy reach.

Rose hips are very high in vitamin C.

Next I'll deal with that bag of Asian raspberries in the freezer, that I picked last month from my own garden.


Edible Wild Plants

I went on an edible wild plant walk with Russ Cohen author of Wild Plants I Have Known and Eaten, at Alandale farms. It was the coolest 2 hours I've spent in a long time.  Now I'm seeing the weeds in my back yard as food. I'll be eating that Japanese Knotweed that I've spent 15 years trying to get rid of it. His book has a recipe for strawberry knotweed pie.