Well, it’s been ages since I’ve last written, but I promise you I did not put waste to that time. Life got in the way of my writing time, hell, personal time and the blog was one of the first things to suffer. But I hope to remedy that as I find some new pockets of time after having my second baby and our summer season finds more rain than I’ve ever seen in this country.
It’s a bit intimidating coming back to the page… where to start, what to say, how to catch you up on the last hundred years of my absence…so here’s a general run down: I went back to work, we got turkeys, I started a small-batch gourmet canning business and started selling at local markets on the side of my town gig, we built a greenhouse, we had more colts, we had more chickens, I shot a bear who ate said chickens, we made, grew, foraged and hunted a bunch of our own food, we butchered the turkeys, I got pregnant, I got my Permaculture Design Certificate from OSU, we went to Hawaii, our first baby grew into a full blown toddler, we got a LDG puppy, I had the other baby and now, here we are. Phew. Some other stuff happened too, but I’ll get to that later. Or not. Let’s be honest, I’m in no position to make any promises to you. For now, I want to share a recipe that recently bloomed on the farm.
I am a huge lover of wild foraging in the Peace River Valley and just recently the Wild Rose came into bloom. I’ve used the Wild Rose in many creations over the years, my favourite is its use in my skin salves and skin products as it’s a highly beneficial plant. But lately I’ve delved into the wonderful world of the wild flower culinary scene and I can’t get enough. Fireweed was my gateway “herb” and I haven’t looked back since. Oh to be an adult.
I started by making some Wild Rose Sugar which is a staple in my morning (and 2nd breakfast and elevenses and afternoon and evening) tea. Hey, I’m breastfeeding and running around behind a toddler and running a farm and a small business, I need a lot of tea. I’ve also used it when baking delicious deserts and dusting anything frosted in this wonderful stuff. But how could I take that to the next level? I NEED MORE WILD ROSE IN MY LIFE AND IN MY BELLY! I won’t calm down, you calm down.
And so it was born, the combination of a few different recipes, but ultimately my favourite – my Wild Rose Jam. I LOVE the combination of something wild but delicate and ladies and gents, this is IT. So far I’ve mostly eaten out of the jar and on homemade bread, but hope to slather my cookies, my cakes and my meats with it real soon.
For those of you lucky locals, this product is coming to a Farmer’s Market near you real soon! It’s been pH tested by a lab to ensure that it is safe to can in a water bath method.
Wild Rose Jam – Makes 10 – 125ml jars (ish)
4 cups of fresh wild rose petals, cleaned
4 cups of sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups of water
1 pouch of liquid pectin
Take some time on a beautiful day to harvest wild rose petals. Sort through your bounty and separate the petals from any pollen, stems, leaves, bugs and dirt. Rinse rose petals in a salad spinner and spin dry. Add the lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar to rose petals in a bowl and massage until makes a paste. This will release the colour and perfume. Let sit while you combine the water with the remaining sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and add rose petal paste. stir well and bring to boil. Revel in the intoxicating scent that fills your kitchen, dancing encouraged.
Boil for 20 minutes and add pectin. Hard boil for another 10 minutes. Test jam in freezer on frozen spoon for consistency. You don’t want to cook for too long or you will lose the delicate colour of the jam. Clean and sterilize your jars, rings and lids by either running them in the dishwasher right before you fill them or wash in hot soapy water with a good rinse. Pour jam into hot jars, wipe rims clean and place lids. Tighten rings until finger tight. Place in water bath for 10 mins.
This jam is slightly syrupy and won’t set up as a hard jam. Once placed in the fridge overnight though, the consistency is divine and spreads beautifully on some home made whole wheat bread.
As for me, we continue to be as busy as bees on the farm and I will do my very best to bring this blog back to life. Happy Summer folks! It’s a beautiful day.