Last night after work, I went out and picked a bag full of rose hips pretty much out my front door. Then this happened:
Sometimes living in Portland is so complicated. To the general outsider or SoCal transplant, all of the “Keep Portland Weird” stuff might seem charming or a nice departure from the rest of the world’s strip malls, but it’s not easy being a native Oregonian. When I meet people from other parts of the country they ask me questions like, “Do you have stock in a brewery?” and “Do you ride a unicycle to work?” And then I have to shake my head and set them straight, “NoooOOOO…but I know someone who does…”
You see, living in Portland means there’s a fine line between being a fun, interesting person who enjoys good food and doesn’t mind the rain, and well…a super aggressive hippie or an super obnoxious hashtagging hipster (I say this as blog in my snakeskin leggings and cat shirt). Hopefully everyone knows by now that my ultimate goal is to be a Golden Girl so I think I’m safe (hence the snakeskin leggings and cat shirt!).
So to get to the point, last night I went out and picked a big bag of rose hips at sunset. I read that you’re typically supposed to pick rose hips right after the first frost, but it’s been so hot and dry that many of them are already shriveled. Why pick rose hips? Supposedly they are crazy high in Vitamin C and are good for your joints (and just like old people, I am big into joint health!). You can make tea (which I still haven’t tried), or make cocktail syrup (which I probably will try) or jams/jellies (which I did try).
I sorted through them and picked off tops and stems which was a little messy, but doable. Multiple recipes on making jams and jellies explained that you needed to “deseed” the rose hips, and that turned into a really laborious process. Since I wasn’t planning on canning a pantry’s worth, but more wanted immediate enjoyment, I made up my own recipe.
MY TOTALLY MADE-UP ROSEHIP JAM/JELLY RECIPE
1 cup of rosehips (deseeded)
1/4 cup coconut nectar (blonde)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp pectin
Run the rose hips through a food processor to break them down, add the water and blend until smooth. In a saucepan, heat the rosehips puree, lemon juice, and coconut nectar on medium-low until desired sweetness. Turn up the heat to a rolling boil and stir in the pectin. Pour into a jam jar.
I’ll admit I didn’t sterilize the jam jar because I knew that I would be eating it right away so I’m not worried. Honestly, I was too lazy to strain the puree, but I also wanted some of the texture so it’s not exactly jam, and it’s not exactly jelly, but this morning it was the perfect thickness. I heated up a frozen waffle with ricotta and spread the rose hip jam-elly on top. Super good.
Tonight, I totally cheated and ate a spoonful on top of a scoop of coconut ice-cream. Better than breakfast.
Will I do it again? I don’t know…it was a lot of work for one measly jar of jam, but on the other hand, it’s really good. Maybe it can be a once-a-year fall tradition. Martha Stewart would be proud.