Recipes | Wild Rosehip Jelly

There is something mysteriously delightful about the process of gleaning from Creation’s garden and being able to process and store and enjoy the homemade food. It was chokecherries earlier this summer, and now it is rosehip season. IMG_1582Last summer while hiking, we found a huge (secret) area of wild rose brambles, laden with the beautiful red-gold fruits of the rose. By the time we got to them, though, it was quite late in the season and many of the fruits were overripe and dry, so we really didn’t get enough to do anything with them. This year, however, we hit them at their peak! Mom and I spent an hour or two west of Custer picking rosehips, and came home with about 3 quarts of fruit. Harvesting rosehips isn’t as productive as harvesting chokecherries, but it is worth it. This afternoon, I processed the hips and turned them into the most beautiful honey-colored jelly. It is recommended to pick rosehips after the first killing frost for the best sweetness – Custer had it’s first frost back in August, at which point I doubt the hips would even have been ripe. Either way, the jelly is very flavorful. I found the jelly recipe online, since this isn’t an inherited project!
IMG_1588Wild Rosehip Jelly

8 c. rosehips, with stems and ends removed (should yield 3 cups of juice)

1/2 c. lemon juice

1 package pectin

1/4 tsp. butterIMG_1590Juice Extraction: In a large pot, cover rosehips with water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, mashing fruit to a pulp as it softens. Rosehips contain tiny fibers or hairs around the seeds, which can cause irritation to the throat, so these must be strained out. Strain fruit pulp through a cheesecloth-lined collander or a jelly bag, saving the juice and setting the pulp aside. Put pulp in a pot and again add water to cover. Simmer again briefly and strain again. Discard pulp. If necessary, use fruit pulp and water once more to get to the necessary 3 cups of juice. For every 8 cups of rosehips, you should get at least 3 cups of juice – I used 12 cups of fruit, roughly, and easily had enough juice for a double batch. Juice extraction is not a science. There are many methods! IMG_1674Jelly: Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to 3 cups rosehip juice. Stir in 1 package of powdered pectin. Stir well. Let the juice mixture come to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once it boils, stir in the 3 1/2 cups of sugar, stirring constantly. When sugar has dissolved, add 1/4 tsp. butter, to prevent foaming. Bring to a hard boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. IMG_1679Remove from heat. Let sit briefly and skim, keeping the skimmings for a taster. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and seal with two-piece canning lids. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. IMG_1681Jelly making is rather captivating – I am planning a trip back west of Custer to pick more rosehips this weekend!

Laura Elizabeth

Great-Grandma Sarah’s 24-Hour Dills

Due to late planting, we don’t really have much in the way of garden produce just yet – We’ve gotten a few zucchinis, a couple of cherry tomatoes, and a tiny handful of strawberries. And lots and lots of dill. The dill volunteered this year, so we left it as a pest deterrent. Unfortunately, though, we don’t have any usable cucumbers. So the girls and I drove in to Rapid to the farmer’s market this morning and picked up a few bags of pickling cucumbers and fresh garlic, and picked the dill fresh from our garden!

Twenty-four-hour dills are a generational favorite –  Guaranteed to be ready in 24 hours, although Great-Aunt Margene says they can be ready in 12 hours. Make them in the morning and serve them at dinner! This is my great-grandmother Sarah Adrian’s dill pickle recipe.IMG_9609Grandma Sarah’s 24-Hour Dills

About 20 small-medium sized cucumbers

1/2 c. vinegar

1/2 c. pickling salt

6 1/2 c. water

dill, garlic gloves, and hot pepper, crushed red pepper, onions, or any other ingredients to tasteIMG_9615Combine the vinegar, salt, and water – According to Great-Aunt Margene, the solution doesn’t need to be boiled. However, I remember boiling it in the past, so I deviated from the recipe and boiled the brine. Wash cucumbers. Slice in spears, but leave attached at ends. Slicing them allows them to be properly steeped in the brine after 12-24 hours.IMG_9617Pack cucumbers in pint or quart-sized jars, with garlic and dill (and whatever other ingredients you are using) layered with them.  Pour the brine over the cucumbers, and seal jars. Let sit for 24 hours, or to taste.IMG_9626I made one jar with the standard recipe, just garlic and dill, but the other two jars I dressed up a bit – One with crushed red pepper, the other with crushed red pepper and a few slices of hot banana pepper. It will be fun to see how those turn out. I made a little extra brine for a tiny jar for Grandma.

Enjoy!

Laura Elizabeth

 

 

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Recipes | Grandma’s Chokecherry Jelly

Canning is a skill that has nearly faded out of reckoning, but it is a useful and satisfying skill to have. And nothing beats homemade jams and jellies! Chokecherries have produced abundantly and early this year, and can be found growing all over the Black Hills. We picked and processed pounds and pounds of berries from our bountiful chokecherry harvest, and turned them into jelly, using Grandma’s recipe (slightly modified), which made it even more fun!IMG_8648_small

Grandma’s Chokecherry Jelly

1 pound of ripe fruit or 4-5 cups of berries (should yield 3 cups juice)

1/2 c. lemon juice

1 package powdered pectin

4 1/2 c. white sugarIMG_8644_small

Juice extraction: Put 1 pound of ripe fruit (4-5 cups of berries) in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer for 15 minutes, crushing the berries as they soften. Don’t crush the pits, since they are toxic. Strain fruit and water through a colander, jelly bag, or cheesecloth, saving the juice and setting the pulp aside. Put pulp in a pot and again add water to cover. Simmer again and strain again. Discard pulp. (For every 4-5 cups of berries, you should get at least 3 cups of juice. If necessary, use fruit pulp and water once more to get to the necessary 3 cups of juice. )IMG_8654_small

Jelly: Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to 3 cups chokecherry juice. Stir in 1 package of powdered pectin. Stir well. Let the juice mixture come to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once it boils, stir in the 4 1/2 cups of sugar, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil. Be careful, particularly if you have an electric stove! The juice and sugar can boil over fast! For this part of the process, an extra pair of hands is helpful – One pair to add sugar and stir, and another pair with hot pads, ready to take the pot off the stove if it begins to boil up. Let boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to keep it from scorching.IMG_8664_small

Skim the foam off the top. The skimmings are edible, though not can-able! Put jelly in sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. IMG_8672_smallChokecherry jelly has become my favorite – I’ll be saving a jar back to enter in the county fair in a few weeks!

Laura Elizabeth