Let’s turn some lemons into lemonade today.
Lemon: our neighbors have walked on their mortgage, leaving the house next to us vacant.
Lemonade: Giant beautiful rose hips open for the taking.
(I actually really love the idea of urban foraging. Something about reclaiming what most see as a waste really resonates for me.)
I didn’t get a huge collection – most of them had turned bad, and a few green ones yet to ripen. But there are enough to make an Herbal Syrup, which I have been itching to try for a while now (ever since I made some KILLER strawberry syrup earlier this year from our strawberry picking trip).
I settled on slicing them in half and simmering them (seeds and all) in a simple syrup for 5 minutes, then straining the whole mess. I had read that doing this has the chance to turn the taste to a bitter, tannic side so I added a little splash of vanilla help blend that taste in. The result was (I say was because I have used it all up in my iced tea over the holiday) a tasty sweet syrup packed with vitamin C.
There wasn’t an overwhelming flavor from the rose hips themselves (mine were not the best rose hips – you get better flavor with the Rugosa rose apparently), just a slight rosey/herbally sort of flavor. Via and I call it our Fire Potion and before we added rose hips it was the Rainbow Potion.
The following Fire Potion makes about a little more than a cup of syrup.
Rose Hip Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 quarter sized rose hips, cut in half
1 tsp vanilla
Glass storage Jar (like a canning jar, or a jar with a tight fitting lid)
Combine water, sugar and vanilla, bring to boil. Add rose hips and simmer for 5 -8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a small canning jar through cheesecloth (the excess rose hips and seeds/fibers can be tossed). Label with contents and date. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
There are a few things to be aware of when processing Rose Hips – the hairs on the inside of the rose hip are apparently very irritating (I guess they have been used as itching powder). So if you decide to see your rose hips, make sure to wear gloves. Additionally, be mindful of how many you take – the birds eat rose hips as well! So be sure to save some for our little feathered friends.