Seriously, you lot, there are loads of recipes online. I refuse to provide a recipe but I will tell you the method…
I know, I know… this blog is about textile art and church sewing and stuff but I’m a maker of many things and this is just lots of fun, easy too. Read on!
Firstly you must find some rose hips, preferably away from traffic fumes and pesticides etc. I surely do not have to explain that to you do I? Good. You may have some in your garden or you may have to forage; if you’re going to forage in your neighbour’s garden be sure to ask permission.
I’ll spare you the details of my expedition. You don’t need to know whither I wander but wherever you go, don’t take them all, leave some for the other creatures and don’t fall onto the thorns!
The annoying thing about recipes is the precision so don’t worry about quantity. Just gather away. I had about half a shopping bag full.
Pick through your haul. Top and tail the little beasties and chuck out any nasties. Rinse them thoroughly!
I only brought a ladybug home but one can imagine spiders and such which don’t do a lot for the flavour profile.
After washing, into a decent sized pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. A stick blender is the very thing here and failing that you can mash them. But do be careful because it’s HOT!
After 20-ish minutes turn the heat off and leave it until it’s pretty cool. Now you have to strain it… do this twice… once through the sieve and then through your jelly bag.
WHAT do you mean, you don’t have a jelly bag 🙄. Oh ok, cheesecloth then or a piece of gauze fabric. The point is to be sure to strain out the little hairs inside the hips, you really don’t want those in there. Trust me on that.
Patience is a virtue. After the liquid has gone through the cloth I put the sludge in there too to get every last drop of juice out. Leave it overnight and in the morning you’ll have nice clear liquid and something for the compost heap…
I’m sorry, now you do have to measure a little bit… ☹️ because we’re making a simple syrup so measure how much liquid you have and put it into a pan. Measure out the SAME amount of sugar by volume.
Bring the liquid to a boil and add the sugar. Stir just until the sugar dissolves and that’s it!
Now I assume you know about cleanliness and sterilising things, right? You should! I just wash my bottles and then put them into a warm oven to dry off.
Hot syrup into hot bottles (use a funnel please) and you’re done. Do wait until it cools down before you start guzzling it. It’s delicious, full of vitamin C and other good stuff.
I love making this, we used to get it when we were kids and it’s one of those tastes which is evocative of childhood for me. Use it as any syrup, over pancakes or oatmeal etc. but it’s really nice in drinks.
That’s it! Easy, off you go to make some. Don’t be greedy, keep it clean and it’ll all be good.
Thanks for reading.