In the beginning of the day it was only drizzling lightly and I figured it can go one of two ways: it could stop or get worst. I like to think of myself as optimistic so headed out into the garden to weed the flower bed – number 10 on the list if you are following along vicariously. It didn’t stop raining and eventually got to the point where I knew I should go inside before Hubby the Un-Gardener would come along and growl at me again. I hardly had a chance to make a visual impact.
Building the greenhouse in the dry of the shed was out of the question as I was still waiting for my bolts so this was out of the question. I cast my eye over the list and came up with number 17… do something with the rosehips. They were residing in a basket in the corner of the kitchen making me feel intense guilt every time I walked past. It is not just for myself that these need processing. My lovely family are waiting with baited breath to see what amazing thing I turn these things, that they took the trouble to send to me, into, and then anxiously await their share of the resulting produce.
There was talk of rosehip vodka, which sounded exciting, but I didn’t have any vodka, so I looked in my cupboard. We would work with what we have. I have loads of sugar. Rosehip Jelly it is! The recipe that I … well I can’t say followed as I don’t do that very well – so we shall say took suggestion from, boiled them up whole, but I figured it would happen quicker if I cut them in half. See I told you I don’t follow instructions well!
As a gardener I saw a treasure trove inside: Seeds, loads of seeds. I saved a couple from each fat one I came across, however there were a lot of fat ones. Finally I managed to fill the pot, cover it with water and get it cooking, but you know when you start something that seems like it was a good idea and then by the end you are like “I should have followed the instructions and done them whole…. This is taking forever!!!!” But then I wouldn’t have found the seeds.
While it was boiling away I went off and sowed the seeds. I checked out my Jekka McVicka Seeds book to find out how to grow them and in my impatience it seemed like a bit of a palaver so I just sowed them in seed raising mix, watered them in and will hope for the best! I’m such a shocker! I ended up sowing about 18 so if they come up I shall a forest of roses. Actually I am told it is some kind of climbing rose so maybe I could grow some kind of arbour / gazebo thing … oh wow how marvellous, now my head is swimming with possibilities!
So after hours of boiling up these strange smelling things, which I thought – ‘how could this ever taste any good’, they were deemed soft enough to move on to the next stage. A glance at the recipe saw the rosehips all mushed up with a potato masher. While great at breaking them up and extracting further juice it did make it a bit cloudy and I had to strain it twice – without squeezing – to get it looking remotely clear again. I think in future I will skip this bit – if there is an in future – which let’s face it – if all 18 rose seeds germinate there will be…
In the end I had one litre of juice to which I added 1 kilogram of sugar and boiled it until it reached the jammy setting point. And I ended up with two and half biggish jars of a sweet delicious treat and two small jars for sharing with my lovely family.
Come again soon – I need to press on and get things done!
Sarah the Gardener : o )