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Full of vitamin C

All Areas > Food & Drink > Wild Food Foraging

Author: Steven Hawley, Posted: Wednesday, 24th June 2015, 08:00

Last month I spoke of the flowering part of the dog rose. Shortly after they flower, you should be able to harvest the hip (red berry like part). Below is a recipe that is straight out of the wartime leaflet “Hedgerow Harvest, Ministry of food, 1943”. Full of vitamin C, families were encouraged to harvest the Rosehip to replace missing vitamins in their diet normally found in oranges and the like, which were next to impossible to come by during the war. For 2 pounds of hips:

1. Have ready 3 pints of boiling water. Mince the hips in a coarse mincer, drop immediately into boiling water or, if possible, mince the hips directly into the boiling water and again bring to the boil. Stop heating and place aside for 15 minutes. Pour into a flannel or linen crash jelly bag and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.

2. Return the residue to the saucepan, add 1½ pints of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip. To make sure all the sharp hairs are removed, put back the first half cupful of liquid and allow to drip through again.

3. Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about 1½ pints, then add 1lb 4ozs sugar and boil for a further five minutes. Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once. If corks are used these should have been boiled for 15 minutes just previously and after insertion coated with melted paraffin wax.

It is advisable to use small bottles, as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once the bottle is opened. Store in a dark cupboard.

If you’re not 100% sure that the plant you’re picking is safe for human consumption, don’t pick it. If you’re prone to food allergies, or pregnant, always seek medical advice before consuming anything foraged in the wild.

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