Thursday, November 17, 2011

About those nannyberries and rosehips....

About the rosehips...

A couple weeks ago, I was reminded of something from what seems like another life... My husband dumped a bucket of shriveled up, discolored rosehips into the chicken-scrap bucket. Oops. I should've dumped those a month ago.

My mind wandered back to the end of September, warm and sunny weather, a soft breeze blowing, almost 9 months pregnant, as I blissfully picked rosehips from the wild rose bushes.

But I was jerked to the present as I looked out the window and checked the thermometer... there were a couple inches of snow, and a temp. that dared to dip into single digits.

I guess I'll have to try the rosehips some other time.

For those of you that don't know what rosehips are, they're what is leftover after the petals fall from a rose. It looks like this:
The thing about the rosehips is that they are pretty labor intensive. Most of the time, that doesn't bother me. But let me walk you through it...
  • Pick rosehips after a frost when they're nice at bright orange or red. They acquire more sweetness then. The rosehips I picked were pretty small, averaging about 1 cm. in diameter.
  • Cut them in half and scrape out the seeds and hairy wisps. Also cut off dried up ends leftover from the roses. Not much is leftover then. You may need to let the rosehips dry up a bit before you start cutting, otherwise the insides can stick to the seeds, and it just gets to be a frustrating mess. I started doing this with a few of them, while my husband watched. He said something like, "Um, just forget about it. That will take you forever." And since I wasn't too excited about doing it and had other things to do, I was easily convinced.
  • Then you can dry the rosehips, or cook them to make jelly or whatever.
About nannyberries...

I actually did pick a big bucket of nannyberries, and even made some jelly with them. Well, it was more like sauce, since, once again, I did the long-boil method, which I detailed in my post about squashberries, and it turned out the same (saucy) since I couldn't get the temp. quite to 220 degrees. I would definitely use pectin with nannyberries, since the final produce ends up separating in the jar... the bottom half is thicker and more pulpy, while the top is lighter in color, and thinner.

Nannyberries are not quite so labor intensive, treat them like the squashberries. They look similar to the squashberries, except they are dark purple to black in color, and slightly oblong in shape, instead of circular. I just cooked them down and strained out the seeds, which looked like the squashberry seeds... flat and circular.

I did take pictures on my phone camera, but they have since been pushed out of the phone camera's memory...

And that was another adventure into wild foraging!