Rosehips contain a shedload of vitamin C - yes, this is a technical term - as well as antioxidants, and during WW2 children were sent out to collect them. The collected fruit was then turned into Rosehip syrup, and some will remember it being given as 'medicine' right into the 60s. Oranges and other citrus fruit were in short supply in Britain, and the Government was presumably almost as worried about the populace dying of scurvy as it was about Hitler. I still shudder when I think about the daily spoonful of malt extract my dad decided was good for us as kids - but was encouraged on looking up recipes to see that rosehip syrup can be poured on ice-cream and pancakes. Rather more appealing than thinking of it as a Lemsip alternative.
If you want to try it, the recipe I used is below. Watch yourself when you're picking them - wild roses do have thorns, and the fruit can be slightly prickly too - also, the seeds can be an irritant. And don't forget to leave plenty for the birds for the Winter, don't strip a bush completely. [If you have roses in your garden, you can use those too, assuming you haven't sprayed them with pesticides etc]
1lb - 2lbs of rosehips
1llb 12oz sugar
Screw top bottles, washed and rinsed and put in low oven to sterilise. (or put through a dishwasher and still hot when needed)
- wash the hips, and chop them in a blender/food processor. You'll end up with something that looks like chopped chillies.
- Bring 3 pints of water to the boil and add the chopped fruit. Return to the boil and then turn off the heat. Leave 15 minutes and then strain through a jelly bag (or you could use a clean pair of tights or a colander lined with a teatowel)
- Reserve the strained liquid. Add the contents of the jelly bag back to the saucepan and pour on another 1.5 pints boiling water. Leave another 10 minutes and strain again.
- Add all the liquid to a clean saucepan and boil until the liquid reduces and you have about 1.5 pints left.
- Add the sugar and dissolve slowly before boiling rapidly for 5 minutes.
- Pour into hot, sterilised bottles.
Apparently it doesn't keep that long once opened so use small bottles if you can. [I used salad dressing and vinegar bottles]. It has an unusual but pleasant sweet flavour, and I can confirm that it is indeed nice on ice-cream. Boy2 enjoyed it, and he's 4. [He's also managed a full week and a half without shoving anything else up his nose, thanks for asking]. I reckon it would make a really good base for any cocktails which require a sugar syrup too. I will look into that as soon as I can swallow again.
Hello to my new followers, it's lovely to have you. I'm working on the swap now (as well as getting rid of my cold) so again apologies if I'm not posting or commenting much. There's still a little time to sign up if you'd like to send and receive some Christmas cheer. And of course, I'd love you to link up your latest and best makes, finds, outfits and general 'ta-dah!' moments as usual.