Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Become Lady Marmelade...

We're slowly moving closer to the summer and already the markets are covered with berries and summer fruits. The garden also provides the first strawberries and a myriad of edible herbs. If you like foraging, Nature is generous to the ones who know where to look...:)
Enjoy everything, fresh or cooked, while you can. Some edibles have a very short growing season. If you align your diet with seasonal produces (what we should all do since our ancestors had no other choice), you know that winter isn't as bountiful. Why not preserve a little bit of spring or summer to enjoy during the winter months? The simpliest way is to make jams and jellies...You too can become Lady Marmelade :).

MORELLO CHERRY & VANILLA JAM
3 1/2 cups sugar (vanilla sugar if you have)
1 vanilla bean
3 lb morello cherries (or any type of cherry available to you)
the juice of 2 lemons or 1 1/4 cups or red or white currant juice

Dissolve the sugar in 1 1/4 cups of water over a low heat, then bring to a boil. Add the vanilla bean and the cherries. (If you have time, pit the cherries and add the buised pits to the misture in a muslin bag). Boil for 15 minutes, then leave to cool overnight. The following day add the lemon or currant juice and boil until setting point is reached. Remove the bag of pits and the vanilla bean, pour the jam into warm jelly glasses, seal and cover.

ROSE PETAL JAM
1 lb (12 cups) red rose petals (grown without pesticide, don't use roses from a flower shop)
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup honey
the juice of 2 lemons

Collect the petals from unsprayed, scented roses and snip off the bitter white heels. They can be collected over several days and stores in a covered jar, sprinkled with lemon juice. Simmer the petals in a little water until tender, then stir in the sugar, honey and lemon juice and cook until the syrup is thick. Pour into warmed jelly glasses and seal.

These 2 recipes where selected from the following book: "The Complete Book of Herbs & Spices" by Sarah Garland

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