Hips, haws – and itching powder

17 Sep
Ripe for jelly making: Rosa rubriginosa, or common sweet briar

Ripe for jelly making: Rosa rubriginosa, or common sweet briar

It’s time to dust off your recipes for apples, hips and other seasonal fruits.

The Georgians made a wide range of jellies, using everything from haws and sloes to rowan berries and quince.

My friends the Wordsworth House costumed servants have found out, through a process of trial and error, that some 18th-century recipes taste better to modern palates than others. This is because, rather than eating them on bread or toast, they made these seasonal treats to serve with a choice of cold meats, so they aren’t as sweet as we would expect nowadays.

Rosehips, quince and crab apples make particularly good jellies, which have a naturally less bitter edge, more suited to 21st-century tastebuds.

Some people say that rosehips should be left until after the first frost, but we like to pick ours when they are looking their best – they do need a little more cooking but they are higher in vitamin C.

Even if you’re not planning to make jelly, it’s well worth growing a selection of wild roses, as the hips create a colourful autumn display.

And if you’re feeling mischievous, squashed rosehips make excellent itching powder too!

Dark and handsome: Rosa pimpinellifolia, or burnet rose

Small, dark and handsome: Rosa pimpinellifolia, or burnet rose

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One Response to “Hips, haws – and itching powder”

  1. Yoko Okno September 20, 2012 at 12:04 am #

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