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Rose hips - is it too early to pick them?
Fri 14-Sep-12
5:16 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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I cannot believe how many bushes are laden with lovely big fat rose hips all around the country park where I walk the dog every day. It's driving me mad walking past them and trying to ignore them.

I know I read somewhere that it's best to wait till they have had a first frost but last year when I was all new to making rose hip syrup and jelly they were few and far between by October.

I have had so many people asking me for some of the rose hip jelly I am really tempted to start harvesting some. I recently sold virtually all of my jams and jellies and chutney to raise money for the Little Dog Rescue so would like to get going on some more to replenish the stock but I don't wan to pick them too soon in case it affects the flavour or the goodness of the rose hips.

What do you think.....does it make any difference having a frost on them? Would putting them in the freezer for a couple of hours/days have the same effect?

Same question for sloes.........

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Sun 16-Sep-12
6:28 pm
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JoannaS
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I seem to think putting them in the freezer is a good alternative. cheers

Sun 16-Sep-12
8:02 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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My rose hips are now red, just waiting for the first frost!

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Sun 16-Sep-12
8:57 pm
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mauramac
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My daughter told me that her rose hips are already falling off the bushes so off I went this afternoon with hubby and dog in tow to pick some and I was amazed at how many of the bushes previouly laden were now looking rather sparse. Maybe over anxious pickers like myself I thought but no, loads of hips on ground and all the leaves gone as well. Fortunately there are acres of grounds where we walk with hundreds of bushes so still plenty to choose from. We picked a few from each bush we passed and soon had a large bag full which I picked over and cleaned up this afternoon. Will pop them in freezer and hope for the best.

Wonder why they dropping tho ponder

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Sun 16-Sep-12
11:24 pm
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Terrier
York

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I'd not heard of them needing a frost, I pick them as soon as they are red and before they soften and go wrinkly...not heard of them falling off the bushes either.

Mon 17-Sep-12
7:25 am
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Aly
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Thanks for that as I have been unsure of the frost bit. Mine are red now so I think I will pick them in the next few days. I have a home day on Thursday when I plan to bake so will do the rosehip syrup then.

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Mon 17-Sep-12
8:52 pm
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Terrier
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I'd definitely pick them Aly, if they start to soften, it's too late.

Mon 17-Sep-12
9:06 pm
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Aly
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Ok thanks

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http://www.letertregites.com

Tue 18-Sep-12
9:45 am
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mauramac
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Aly - how do you make & bottle or store your syrup? I have only made jelly so far but would be interested in making syrup. I have a few tall glass bottles which have ordinary screw caps and one with the swing top stopper. Have looked at prices to buy the ones with stoppers online and they seem quite pricey. Wondering if screw top ones I have would be ok to use for this syrup?

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Tue 18-Sep-12
10:32 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Maura, 

I think screw-top bottles will be fine, that is what I intend to use this week. Of course you must sterilise them first. Here is Fiona's advice & recipe from a couple of years ago.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 18-Sep-12
11:08 am
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mauramac
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Thanks Hattie

I think I will give it a go and have printed off both recipes on here for syrup and jelly. I use a juice steamer to extract the juice so need to find out if I should chop up the hips prior to steaming as they do for boiling.

I have one jar of jelly left from last year and have just opened it and it is still delicious - was bit worried it might not keep but it is fine. I'm sure I would have used Fiona's recipe to make the jelly last year but can't find my notes! I now keep a note of everything I make in a little folder - it has been invaluable to read back on what happened including all the mistakes big_laugh 

See.....one day I'll get it right first time brightsparklystuff

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Tue 18-Sep-12
12:02 pm
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Aly
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Everything goes in parfait jars here, with the metal rubber sealed disc and screw lid. I just buy new seals each year as the glass jars go on forever. If I find cheap parfait jars in boot fairs etc I snap them up as even the screw tops can be bought separately here. I have been building up my stock for a few years. I also have 12 jam jars with screw top lids I bought from Lakeland a few years ago and they are reused each year. As they break they are replaced with parfait jars.

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Tue 18-Sep-12
12:36 pm
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Hattie
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Hi Maura, 

As I now have a steam juice extractor I thought I would try doing the first steaming with the hips whole, which will soften them, then put them through the food processor & then back in the steamer again with the 2nd amount of water, then strain all of the liquid.  What do you think?

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 18-Sep-12
1:33 pm
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mauramac
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Hattie said:

Hi Maura, 

As I now have a steam juice extractor I thought I would try doing the first steaming with the hips whole, which will soften them, then put them through the food processor & then back in the steamer again with the 2nd amount of water, then strain all of the liquid.  What do you think?

 

Sounds like a good idea - might be a bit messy but worth a go. Now I'm wondering if you really need to steam them twice when using a steam juicer? Last year I put a muslin square in the bottom of the steamer pan before putting fruit in whole and only steamed them once. Then when I drained the juice I put another clean square of muslin over the jug I was draining juice into and that way the juice was lovely and clear and no hairs or bits to worry about. Thinking back on it I must have just followed the details given from the http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/steam-juicers/Mehu-.....es.pdf as I only steamed it once. Do you know why they do 2 lots of boiling with the jelly bag method? The Jam world recipe only boils once and the jelly I made last year tastes really good so I'm not too sure if it is necessary to boil or steam twice. I have 2 large bags hips in the freezer with 1kg hips in each bag so might try doing it both ways to see if any difference (if I get the time whistle) When are you thinking of doing yours? I desperately need some 8 oz jam jars for the jelly so might have to go buy some as only large ones left.

By the way - I have 9 jars (assorted sizes) of failed lavender jelly aargh It tastes lovely but would not set for me. It doesn't have much of a lavender flavour either so I'm thinking maybe I could use it to add to something else. It's like a very loose wobbly jelly at the minute so might use it to add to other fruit jellys.

p.s Aly - don't laugh but I bought one little parfait jar from Dunelm Mill as it looked so pretty - cost £1.99 and if I wan't some more lids they are £3.47 for 10 frown but I do have quite a few large kilner jars given to me a while ago and still waiting for me to sort out new seals and rings for them. I'm so disorganised, I really need to get cracking and sort my supplies out. My excuse is getting Dylan the Villain rescue dog who is monopolising all our time these days.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 19-Sep-12
10:09 pm
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Terrier
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Not sure why the lavender jelly didn't set properly, it's just a simple apple recipe (with the added lavender|) so don't understand, did you use cookering apples or eaters?

the taste is a bit of a trial & error thing unfortunately, it's better to be cautious than the other, as the taste is rather overpowering if you over do it.

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