Monday, 18 September 2017

Monday night preserves - rosehip syrup, cucumber and onion pickle and free tomatoes

Tonight has been a mix of lots of different things which wasn't my intention, but you know how things go. There's so many things in season at the moment, I can't stick to one thing.

At the weekend we foraged for rosehips which I wanted to turn into rosehip syrup as I've read good things about its health benefits. The most commonly talked about benefit is that the hip is loaded with vitamin c. It was hugely popular during the Second World War when the whole berries were added to jams, jellies and casseroles. The syrup was taken as a tonic to ward off winter ailments. My Mam has fond memories of foraging with her dad after getting the local bus and walking some distance to pick the bright red jewels.


Although it's not proven to ward off these winter nasties, there's more belief that they can reduce aching joints.  Something we could all do with in the winter!

I followed Pam's recipe which calls for 500g of picked over, rinsed rosehips. I popped them in the food processor on the chopping blade as she states they need to be minced. 

Then add the minced hips to 800ml boiling water, boil for a few seconds or so (mine was most likely a minute or 2 by the time I realised!) and then and bring off the heat to sit for 15 mins.

Scald a jelly bag and drip the hips and juice through, leaving them for an hour.


Whilst they were resting I thought I'd take a photo of the Aga at work. 


The aga really does come into its own in autumn and winter. Only last night did I put the chicken bones in with some (raw) veg that my Mam kindly chopped up for me after Sunday lunch. I left it in for 24 hours in the simmering oven. Sounds extreme but it produces the nicest stock ever. To be fair I've only ever tasted mine, so the bar may not be set very high!! Above, the stock is in the cream cast iron pan waiting to be strained and frozen.

After an hour, I brought another 800ml of water to the boil and added the pulp from the jelly bag and repeated the quick boil then drip process. This time I will leave it to drip overnight. I've stored the first lot of juice in an air tight tub in the fridge in the mean time.


The second lot of juice will be added to the first in a pan with 650g sugar. Pam says there should be around 1 litre of juice in total to add to the sugar. Then warm it through, boiling and stirring for 3 mins to dissolve the sugar and then bottle into sterilised bottles. Water bath if wanting to keep for longer than 4 months in the fridge. I'll be taking a daily dose from tomorrow so I will keep you posted!

I was gifted 1.5kg of tomatoes tonight by my lovely neighbours parents. So I made it up to 2kg and washed the tomatoes, chopped them in half and put them cut side up in the roasting tin with some bashed up cloves of garlic. They were sprinkled with sugar and seasoned then olive oil drizzled over before roasting for an hour. This has to be my favourite flavour of summer.


I pushed the roasted tomatoes and garlic through a sieve and puréed them so everything except the seeds went through the sieve.


After it cooled it went into a used butter tub and labelled with the couples name who gifted me them. How kind!

Finally I started prepping a fridge pickle as Louise calls them. Using the food processor again, I had 1kg of cucumbers and 3 small onions sliced in seconds. 



I put them into a bowl with 250g sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 200ml cider vinegar. They'll soak overnight and I'll update this post tomorrow to show the next stage. I can't wait for these to be ready!



I hope you're finding my preserving posts interesting or possibly even useful. I am really enjoying doing them each week.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy

    If you are doing the rosehip syrup you can do a jelly. I know you were not too happy with the other attempt you made but just to let you know the process is not that much different and if you foraged more rosehips you could turn it into rosehip jelly which is also good as a side sauce for meats. Make sure you have a lemon for fresh lemon juice to help with the set. Or you could do a combo of crab apple and rosehip jelly. We used to be given a daily dose of rosehip syrup as littlies I believe that the brand was called Del Rosa.

    The bread and butter pickle is also a good one that I do every year for OH. He is a gherkin freak and cucumber. Glad to see that you are getting the full use out of the Aga.

    Back to the rosehips again as you have the Aga if you pick further rosehips dry them in the low oven of the Aga. You can then use them as a basis for making rosehip wine when you are not quite so busy (I use that term loosely). they keep for quite a long time in a Kilner type jar. My Nan always used to do this and her rosehip wine was lovely. I pick and harvest the rosehips and then sit and take all the seeds out which is a tedious business as I just want the shells so that I can dry them and then grind them down into a fine powder. I then add this into my breakfast cereal as it is meant to be good for arthritis. I vary my cereal from ordinarly muesli or bircher muesli and to porridge and granola. It hides very nicely in there. The muesli and the granola I make myself and store in one of the big Roses Glass sweet jars in the pantry. As I have said before you can chuck the L Plates away you really have got to grips with most things and especially the preserving which I am very pleased about. Well done you.

    Pattypan xx


    P.S. I love the cooking and the experimenting but oh I do hate the washing up!

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    1. Now that sounds very interesting, the jelly. The redcurrant wasn't much good as you know but I still managed to use it all in gravy and stews etc so I'm determined to do a better job next time! I'll take a look on your blog to see if you've a recipe otherwise I'll google it. Thanks for the idea.
      Made me smile re when I am not so busy as it's all my own doing. I like to be busy and the cooking makes me happy as it does you.
      I'm going to have some space at the weekend for another batch of wine something so I will see if there's any more hips locally as I am trying as many wines as I can this year.
      You amaze me taking the seeds out of them as even de stalking just 500g was tedious! I take my hat off to you!
      Oh thank you re saying I'm getting to grips with things, that's very kind of you and one day I hope to be in your league!
      Your muesli sounds lovely!!
      Xx

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    2. Haha yes the washing up I am not so good at 😏Xx

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    3. Tracy,

      I hate the washing up with a vengeance.

      Here is a link to the recipe I use for making all jellies i.e. equal amount of juice and sugar i.e. 1 pint of juice to 1lb of sugar. Its the old fashioned way of making jellies but I have had very few failures using this method.

      http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/rosehip-and-crab-apple-jelly-or-apple.html

      I have within the post also included a link to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's take on Crab Apple and Sloe Sorbet. I do not see why you cannot do the same with the Crab Apple and Rosehip. HFW has had a cookery slot on the Guardian and there are many recipes from different folk on there which are equally as good. Also check the internet for his recipes putting in his name and an ingredient and then see what comes up. I am afraid I like to be busy too. Don't forget with the wine making use the kits as well. I have black cherry on the go from Wilkinsons which has been about £7 a tin at the moment normally £9 which is a lovely wine. Our house wine is usually orange, lemon or grapefruit so if time gets scant at least you can still produce something to drink for the festive season or throughout the year. Taking the seeds out of the rosehips is very tedious but I sit on my Nan's stool, put the radio on and commence the attack sometimes they fly like missiles across the kitchen floor but for the best part it is worth the effort especially now I have the dehydrator.

      Better go. Catch you soon.

      Pattypan

      x

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  2. Great preserving Tracy it's all I seem to be doing lately. Mustn't grumble.

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  3. Your kitchen is really being used to its full potential chic! Glad you are trying the fridge pickles. I love them! I'd love somebody to gift me some tomatoes to make up for my poor harvest. Well done and nice touch with the label.x

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  4. My girls are groaning today about having to do dishes. I warned them I'd be canning again (even though I'm deep cleaning the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Playing catch up in blogland. You are making some great things. It must be 30 years since I last made Rosehip syrup - I think I even used the big hips from my garden roses for it too, as a neighbour said she always did. It's delish poured over ice cream.

    Lou's fridge pickles sound good.

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