Monthly Workshops

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'll be harvesting the wild rosehips this week. Once we have a good frost it's time to wild craft these nutritional goodies. When I first moved to the Homestead I started transplanting small wild rose bushes that were growing on our property to the front of the main house. It has been a very productive source for me and very handy. 
Besides the soup, I dry tray full of rosehips to use in teas. After they  are dried I put them in a coffee grinder so that they may steep well in the hot water.
Here is a picture of my group of bushes when in bloom. this year they were so late in blooming that I didn't get a chance to harvest them. Wild Rose Petals have many uses as well and I'll have to share that in another post. 

Rosehip Soup

This is the basic recipe and method for Jewish Rosehip Soup. It is also popular in Iceland and parts of Scandinavia, where, because of the cold temperatures, it’s often used for colds and sore throats.

1 litre fresh rosehips                               
2 litres water                                                 
For each litre, 1 liquid quart of rosehip pulp                   1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar                                         
1 1/2 Tablespoon potato flour                         
1/4 Cup almonds

Rinse rosehips. Crush dried hips. Boil in water till soft. Press through a colander. Strain the pulp again through fine muslin or coffee filter. Measure the pulp and dilute with water if necessary.

Bring the pulp to a boil and add sugar if it is too tart.
Mix potato flour with some cold water. Thicken the soup while you stir and bring to a boil. Add blanched and shredded almonds.

Hot soup is often served with vanilla ice cream and/or macaroons. Cold soup can be diluted to make a nice thirst-quencher.

The Icelandic recipe differs in that cornstarch is used to thicken it, not potato flour.

The wild rose, or ‘dog rose’, is a common shrub and can be found in woods, hedges and scrub land. Flowering from June to July the tiny fruits appear from late August to November. The fruits should not be picked until they have been softened by the first frost, but do not leave them past October. The seeds are covered with tiny hairs (children split open the rosehips and put them straight down other children’s backs—or grind them up into itching powder!) and care should be taken to strain the cooked hips through fine muslin, as rosehip hairs are not suggested for to consume. Rosehips are reputed to contain four times as much vitamin C as blackcurrant juice and twenty times as much as oranges.!

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