Monday, October 06, 2008


Yesterday, after church, Sarah and I took the kids down to the gully by the ball field where there is an enormous wild rose bush covered with bright red rose hips. As soon as we started picking Sarah began commenting that she had seen much larger ones on her walks with Emily. I was reluctant to abandon the bush because they were plentiful and I liked the idea of all of the rose hips coming from Camp Maranatha, but I eventually relented and we loaded up the van and drove to other spots along Idyllwild Creek and Strawberry Creek. Sarah was definitely right and I was very grateful that she persuaded me to go elsewhere. Those little rose hips from our gully were very much inferior to the other ones we found.

We ended up picking most of the rose hips from a spot next to Strawberry Creek. The owner of the land graciously allowed us to pick them on his property, and in gratitude I set aside a jar of jelly for him.

Dennis Cavanaugh, one of our friends from church, saw us picking and stopped to talk for a while.
There are some big beautiful rose hips down by Strawberry creek.
We ended up filling four buckets, which ended up being the easy part of the job.

Sarah's and my fingers were stained and sticky from picking so many.
I spent the rest of the day sitting in a recliner separating the rose hip from the remnants of the blossom.
The end result was seven quarts. I only used four quarts. The remaining three quarts I froze for a more ambitious day.
Boiling the bright red jewels. They kind of remind me of cranberries.

Mashing up the rose hips into a deep red mush. If you had walked into the house at this point it would have smelled a little like rhubarb.
Then Sarah strained the mash through a cheese cloth, and this was the byproduct. It looks a lot like ground beef.
Then I took the strained juice, and added Pectin, lemon juice and sugar (lots of sugar).
Then we canned the finished product, and here they are- six jars of rose hip jelly. I also made two more jars of rose hip syrup for use on ice cream, pancakes and such. I'm pretty proud of this experiment, and it truly is delicious.
Two days eaten up by rose hips so I can eat up some rose hips. Fair trade?


Nathanael said...

I got the knife today. Thank you very much

Tate said...

I'm proud of you, Josh. If I were to come by with some english muffins would you slather on some delicious jelly for me?

barefootkangaroo said...

Yes, I would. If you came by we would make english muffins from scratch.

Mom 8X said...

I'm sorry Josh, but I have some very negative memories concerning roes hips. When I was in my mid-teens and vacationing in Maine with the family, my father told us to go pick some rose hips to bring home. It was our last day in Maine and we spent it picking them by the very busy roadside next to the beach! How embarrassing is that?! Dad never did anything with them at home because they were wormy. Now everytime we visit Maine and see the rose hips quess what I remember.
The jelly looks good, though!

Sandy said...

I want some!!
Next batch?
Will pay shipping.

Annie said...

That looks like such a great family project! Thanks so much for sharing it, and for the pictures of the process. I have never made jelly. I'm almost envious, but way to proud of you for it to have a chance.
And when I tell my class about fruits that make jelly and they look at me like I'm from Mars, I can now show them!!!

Annie said...

WHOOPS- spelled "too" wrong. When will I listen to Sarah and edit myself? It sounds like work...

I'm almost envious, but am far TOO proud of you for it to have a chance.