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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hedgerow Harvest

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is. than a stalled ox and hatred herewith.
~Proverbs 15:17~


Hello dear friends!  The other day we set out on a little trek to gather wild rose hips for making rose hip syrup.   It was such a beautiful day,
working in the warmth of the sun with the cool breeze of the lake.  While we were there,  we also found wild grapes, that in the past before our own vines were productive, we would use them to make the loveliest wild grape jelly.  There were also plenty of elderberries and apple trees.  If we hadn't our own trees, we could have taken a bushel home for applesauce.  The old country lanes are lined with with old abandoned apple trees.  While they are not the most beautiful, the fruit from these heirloom trees often have much better flavor than the commercially grown varieties.  Every area has national forests and public parks that are free for the picking.  See!  God does provide!  You just have to keep your eyes open

Rose hips are very high in vitamin C.  Their flavor is very tart and slightly citrusy, and you don't have to worry about them tasting like perfume.  We make a syrup that you can take when feeling a cold coming on, but it isn't strictly medicinal.  It's very good on cornbread for something different for breakfast and on pancakes also.  Here's how to make it:

Rose Hip Syrup

Wash a quart of rosehips.  Place in a plastic storage bag and smash with a hammer.  Put the smashed rosehips in a pot with  1/2 - 1 cup of water.  Boil until the flesh softens.  Strain the mash through a jelly bag, (this takes some muscle).  You'll end up with about 2 cups of juice.  Put juice, 1/2 C, honey, 1 C. sugar, 1 tsp, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, and 1/4 tsp ginger into a heavy saucepan and boil to the desired thickness  (takes about 20 minutes).  Pour into sterilized  1/2  pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Place sterilized lids on top and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Another "free" food is mushrooms.  Ran and I attended a lecture on harvesting wild mushrooms, but after listening to all the cautions, we  decided that except for morels, we'd buy them from the store.  But here's the words of wisdom, we gleaned.  Always identify the mushrooms from the at least three different reference books .  Identify by description only; spore print, shape of cap, color, gills and stem.  Once you've identified the mushroom by that criteria, then only look at the picture to identify them.

It was amazing that after we attended that lecture, how many different mushrooms we noticed.  It really is just a matter of being observant.  But edibles aren't the only thing that we gleaned.
Little dogwood pods and chestnuts, make the prettiest Autumn decorations.  I thought they went quite nicely with a dried leaf I found outside my door.

I've decided that each post. I'd leave you with a recipe that uses simple ingredients that can be found in even the most meager pantries.  This week  it's molasses crinkles.  My son requested them for the little seasonal package I send his family.  And they are the perfect thing for Autumn.  There's something so old-fashioned and homey about things made from molasses.  Maybe it's because it harkens back to the early days of our country.  Did you know that you can make your own brown sugar  by combining 1 cup of white sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses?
Molasses Crinkles

3/4 C. shortening
1 egg
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. molasses
2 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
granulated sugar for rolling the dough in (about 2 tablespoons)

Beat together shortening, sugar egg and molasses.
Blend in all dry ingredients.
Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Dip tops in sugar.  Place sugar side up on ungreased cookie sheets
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

58 comments:

  1. Dear Jane ~ What a nice outing you and Ran had. Your rose hip syrup sound nice and your molasses cookies yummy. My DH would like these I know. I'm going to make some in memory of him and his love of the ones his paternal grandmother made.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Hope they meet up to his standards, Rainey!

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  2. Hi Jane,
    I have a herb book and I think it tells of the many uses for rosehips, one being for female problems...I agree, that God does provide all we need, we have only to open our eyes and look.
    Thank you for the recipes, I shall try them out soon. I awoke late last night with the urge to make a list for a good basic pantry for this winter season...I am planning to start baking my own whole wheat and barley bread again and a unique oatmeal bread that I used to make quite often...if only I could find my old recipe! Oh well, perhaps I will create something brand new and even better this time ;)
    Our state is so full of beauty...I love Michigan!
    ~God bless~ Lisa

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    1. I always say that when you are awakened with an urge like that, it's God's way of teling you something, Lisa. Although I grumble about all the canning, I feel God is giving us this bounty to prepare us for hard times perhaps. Don't you hate it when you can't find a recipe? I had one for a coconut fruitcake that everyone requests at Christmas (yes, fruitcake!) and I tore the house apart looking for it. Ended up finding the recipe card stuck to the back of a cookbook.

      I love Michigan too. Every time I travel, I say this looks like Michigan. There's so many different facets to our state.

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  3. What a delightful outing Jane :) I get a great deal of rose hips from my rose bushes and I make rose hip bread...quite delicious actually. I have never made the syrup, something to think about for this winter. Thank you so much for the recipe Jane :D m.

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  4. I remember that recipe, Maria. Very pretty too. I'd love to try it. The syrup was quite an experiment. All the instructions were very vague about how to go about making it. So I wanted to write this post while it was fresh in my mind.

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  5. Thanks Jane! I never knew that about rose hips, and appreciate the recipe too. And molasses cookies, I just discovered those a couple years ago...they are so good! I'll have to give your recipe a try. Great for fall!

    When I was little, my best friend and I made "pink lemonade" from red sumac bushes growing wild. ...then we were a bit worried it was the poison sumac, but it wasn't! Gave us something to worry about, but we survived and did not get sick! ha.

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    1. Hi Andrea! That was a good idea for a birdbath and I appreciate the paint recipe. Now that we have a little more time, you're sprucing up a bit in the house. I think I want to paint the dining room chairs.

      When I was growing up there was a bush with little red berries, that everyone called poison berries. I don't know if the were or not but I remember the neighbor boy, eating them on a dare. How we worried that he would die in the night! It's amazing we survived our childhoods isn't it?

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    2. Yes it is amazing we survived! I was just thinking today of how much freedom we had back then. I remember roaming the woods above my house when I was just 5! It was good growing up and seeing so much nature. Plus, living in a small town, and knowing everybody, was wonderful. I think I might make molasses cookies tomorrow. I found my recipe which is similar to yours except mine uses white sugar. It will be a sacrifice for me to make those instead of your ginger creams! :)

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    3. I think maybe we had so much freedom was because our parents knew that we were with a large group of children and all the other folks were looking out for us too. There were dozens of children in the neighborhood growing up. Everyone had big families. The molasses crinkles are quicker and maybe a bit less tempting!

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  6. Aren't the rosehips so vibrant and beautiful? Autumn really is a feast for the senses : )
    You are being very productive...
    Great recipes, will keep and try.
    Molasses is so good in Autumn baking...a real old~ fashioned ingredient. I love it in sticky gingerbread, especially.
    I hope your cookies survived the post, if you posted them!

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    1. Oh! I love gingerbread, Alexandra! One time I made it with those candied gingers and they all sunk and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Now that was "sticky" gingerbread!

      As soon as the cookies cooled, they were packaged up and sent of to my son, save one for sampling. Didn't want the temptation in the house.

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  7. Oh, what a nice blog! Yes, rose hips are healthy. Here in the Netherlands it has been processed in many juices. I never drank it without adding other fruits. Thanks for the recipe. I love to read about cooking etc.

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    1. Hello dear friend, it's nice to hear from you again! It would be nice to be able to just buy the juice as it's a bit of a bother to extract.

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  8. hi jane,
    beautiful photos from a wonderful out day.your rosehip syrup sounds wonderful.the cookies looking delicious,thanks for the recipe!!!!
    wish you a nice week,
    love and hugs,
    regina

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    1. Happy 1st day of October, Regina! The weatherman predicts a beautiful week ahead. Hoping you have a lovely one too!

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  9. I have a molasses cookie recipe that is similar to yours--I think brown sugar is the difference. I've printed yours and will try it later this week. I love simple home-made food and there is something very cozy about molasses cookies.
    It is beautiful weather here also--the kind when I want to be outside even if I don't have a specific task to do.

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    1. If a recipe isn't quick and simple I don't bother making it anymore. I can't believe that it's October already, the weather has been so mild. I'm trying to soak up all the nice weather while it's here.

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  10. Dear Jane,

    Lovely post, my dear! Mushrooms can certainly be tricky; good thing rose hips and apples aren't! Now I'm craving molasses cookies; I'll have to make some to help build my iron before Baby comes. :)

    Love,

    Marqueta

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    1. This is the month isn't it, Marqueta? Can't wait to find out if you are having a girl or maybe little Frankie will finally have some male companionship. I think I'm becoming braver about the whole mushroom thing. Will have to be on the lookout for some field guides. They look so pretty in the forest! (Bet you already knew all about the rosehips!)

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  11. A friend of my grandmothers used to make syrup cookies that I dearly loved, I think I need to make these molasses cookies and try them out!

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  12. Beautiful new header picture, Jane!

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    1. Thanks Andrea! The hydrangeas really turned rosy this year. I wish I knew how to make the header a smaller!

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  13. Yes, the newer blogger makes the header pics large. I think you have to shrink them first on your computer (such as in Paint in Window's viewer) now. My hydrangea's are rosy too! We must've had similar weather!

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    1. Thanks for the info Andrea! Yeh, last year they were a pretty French vanilla color, which I liked better because it went with my decor. Crazy weather this year. It still hasn't gotten really chilly, the way I like it. We're still sleeping with the windows open! Well at least it saves on heating the house!

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  14. I really enjoy Molasses Crinkles. Such an old-fashioned cookie just made for cooler weather.
    Blessings,
    Laura
    Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Hello Laura! Yeh, now if only we'd get some cooler weather. I'm afraid our true Autumn will be gone before it ever arrives.

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  15. Love the new picture of your beautiful stoop! Did you grow those different colored pumpkins? You have such a lovely home, Jane, your care of it shows in all of the pretty details.

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  16. Thanks Charlene!We had quite a pumpkin patch this year, Those large pale orange ones a re called Long Island Cheese because they look like wheels of cheese and the bluish ones are Jardales. Love their color and grow them every year.

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    1. Every year I say that I am going to grow pumpkins, and every year I wait too late. It's always so hot and dry here when it's the "right" time to plant. Maybe next year!

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  17. Sounds like a nice autumn outing. I agree, I loved the old fashioned rustic flavor molasses gives to a recipe, your cookies sound delicious. Sounds like you are having a nice fall!

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  18. ¸.•°♪♬♫º° ·.
    É uma pena mas não conheço rosa mosqueta, nunca vi.
    Só li nos rótulos de perfume... acho que aqui não tem dessas roseiras.
    º°✿✿彡

    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil.
    °•.¸♬♫° ·.

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  19. ❥°º•.¸

    Bom domingo!
    Boa semana!
    Beijinhos.
    ¸.•°♪♬♫º°

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  20. Hi Jane! I just wanted to tell you that rose hips are just starting to appear on our rose bushes! (not mine really, my church's as my bushes are little and too trimmed..I don't get much sun in the summer). If you wouldn't have posted this...I would've never knows what rose hips were and how nutritional they are! Pretty amazing, those rose bushes!

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    1. Hi Andrea! I've been enjoying your blog. Had to laugh at the Christmas tree. My mom made everyone one when she took up ceramics. She still uses hers every year. I tried making those Neapolitan cookies one year, but didn't have much success. I'll have to try your recipe. You know what I think? I think you're a much better cook than what you let on!

      Oh yes, during WWII the British used them since they couldn't import any citrus. I like to teach people things like that just in case we are ever plunged into a worldwide depression or something catastrophic happens. Plus they are free!

      So good to hear from again, Andrea! Hope everything is going smoothly over your way. How's the empty nest?

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  21. Hi! Ha..that is cute about your mom making everyone those trees! There must be alot of them floating around in homes! You DO have a very educational blog!

    I'm hearing you on the worldwide depression. I'm hoping my apple and fig trees grow quick that I planted.

    Things are good here....although I better get grandchildren soon..this is a hard wait. The empty nest is getting a little boring. This week I am pushing myself to clean windows...I've done 6 so far and think I will quit for the week.
    Yours truly in quiet solitude :) Andrea

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  22. So pretty! Your new header picture!!

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    1. Oh thanks Andrea! I wanted to get out and take a picture while the leaves were still on the sumac, they were so pretty, but procrastinated too long! We've seen a few snowflakes already.

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  23. I truly enjoy molasses cookies. So old-fashioned and spicy.
    Blessings,
    Laura

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  24. Love your new header! Everything is fine over my way, just a lot going on and not much time to get on the internet except to check email or facebook from time to time. I do appreciate you stopping by and commenting when you can! You are definitely my most faithful commenter!

    Oh, and I am definitely going to be trying the buffalo cauliflower!

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  25. Hi Jane, how nice to find your post today! I loved hearing about the wild apples. When I lived in Switzerland there were wild apple trees everywhere, even growing along side the Rhine River. Sometimes when the river was high the water would rush through the branches and little green apples would go bobbing down stream. It was a most unusual and beautiful thing to see! It sure has been cold down our way this week, unusual for this time of year. Most of the leaves blew away in the big storm the other night and the cotton has been harvested. It has been a beautiful autumn. We are still in construction mode here at our house. But we are getting close to the finish. Everything looks very fresh, but the hard part is putting it all back together. We have both been fighting bad chest colds, for what seems like weeks now. One of us gets better then the other gets a relaspe ect... :) Nothing too miserable just enough to zap our energy. I hope you and Ran have a lovely and restful day ahead! With Love, Delisa :)

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  26. Hi, Jane, long time no "see"! I haven't blogged or even checked in anywhere in ages, it's been a really stressful season this year. We had a leak at church that flooded half the sanctuary and about 1/4 of the rest of the building, so I've been dealing with water mitigation, demo, cleaning, etc. Our son was mugged, so we spent one evening in the police station and at the ER to be sure he didn't have a concussion (thankfully, no), and then helping him take care of replacing his phone, wallet, etc.; an uncle had a stroke right before Christmas, and I was down for the count for most of December with a horrible chest cold/bronchial congestion. It's been one thing after another for the last 6-8 weeks. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just hope it isn't a train, lol!

    Love the new header picture--makes me miss the couple of years I lived where it snowed. Hoping you and yours are all doing wonderfully, and looking forward to the New Year.

    Love, Charlene

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  27. Hello again, just wanted to stop in and tell you how much I enjoyed hearing from you again. Thankfully the New Year, or really just the days since Christmas have been much better than the weeks leading up to it! I packed up the tree and decorations yesterday, and took the opportunity to purge a few holiday items that were past their prime and not sentimental, and am starting on the rest of the house, as well. I'm determined to simplify and rid myself of clutter mentally, physically, and spiritually. Although I worked on it last year, I keep finding myself in need of it again--guess my maintenance efforts aren't keeping up, lol!

    Wishing you and yours a healthy and wise New Year!

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  28. Hello again, my friend, so glad to hear from you. After my last comment telling you I was feeling better, I turned around and got sick all over again. There is a horrible bronchial mess that's going around here, and almost everyone has been having at least two rounds of it. I finally dragged myself to the grocery store and stocked up on some citrus fruit, I'm determined to find away to eat better and build up my immune system so that I'm not so susceptible to all of these things.

    You hit the nail on the head when you stated that we tend to be too hard on ourselves sometimes. That's what I loved about the little book I reviewed--it was all about setting your priorities for the season of life you're in and STOP trying to live up to everyone's expectations (even our own) and yet how to pick ourselves up and get to a place of feeling better and living OUR best life.

    Glad to hear of the Bible study plans, too. One thing we've been doing is following the Torah study schedule and reading and studying the Torah portion each week. We're using the Stone Edition Chumash, which is a Hebrew/English translation with commentary. Jewish commentaries open up a whole new realm that helps me think outside the box of what I accept as normative Christian thought and interpretation of scripture. I don't always agree, but it makes me think about why I think the way I do! I'm loving the systematic, verse-by-verse approach, and by trying to keep up with the schedule, it keeps us from getting bogged down too much--we learn what we learn, and move on, tusting that the Holy Spirit will give us additional understanding when we can handle it, lol!

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  29. hello jane
    i hope you are okay.your new header looks wonderful.
    wish you a happy new year!
    love and hugs regina

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  30. Hello Jane, just dropping in to say...I miss you!
    Love the new header pic.
    xxx

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  31. °º♫♬° ·.
    Como vai? Tudo bem?

    ░B░O░A

    ░S░E░M░A░N░A !!!
    ✿⊱°•
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil.
    。♪♫♫°•.

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  32. Missing you, My friend. One of these days....

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  33. Hi Jane..I miss you being here...

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  34. I've thought of blogging often, Lori, but have decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Too bad that we were both so busy when we tried to e-mail back and forth. I enjoyed our chats.

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  35. Though it makes me sad you won't be starting again I do understand Jane. I enjoyed our chats very much too. Perhaps we can start again sometime? I hope you and Ran and the rest of your family are well. Hugs!

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    1. Perhaps one day we both won't be so busy and can do it again. Isn't it funny that at this stage of our lives we are busier than ever? I always thought that once the boys were raised, I'd have lots of time for leisure and might even become bored!

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    2. I always thought that too Jane! Perhaps we just have more interests now??
      Are you are busy making your Christmas gifts? I thought I would start in July but here it is October already!

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    3. Sorry about being so late in replying Lori. Been busy with houseguests and battening down the hatches. We already had snow! Looks like it's going to be a repeat of last winter. Brrrr! Lots of requests for mittens this year. They're kind of a snoozer to knit (all that boring ribbing). I knitted up a really cute pair of Norwegian ones for my grandson Felix. They had Scotty dogs and snowflakes. What are you knitting?

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  36. Hi Jane, no need to apologize..look at me, I am late in responding to you! It has been very busy around here. I wonder how much snow you have, I heard there has been an awful lot in Wisconsin so I imagine you got quite a bit too. Hope you are doing well and safely snug inside.
    Your mittens for Felix sound adorable, I'm sure he will love them! I am knitting a blanket/afghan for my bed or just to cozy up with. I just purchased and received some yarn to make a scarf and also a baby blanket for a gift..so lots to keep me busy now that winter has arrived. We got our first snow this past weekend, it was so pretty.

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    1. Only got about an inch of snow but boy is it ever windy and cold! We're lucky because the rest of the state has gotten quite a bit of snow, our area is the only one without any. As a matter of fact today there are travel advisories for most of the state. Can't go anywhere anyways because my husband took the car downstate to go hunting with my son. We have an old truck but I don't trust it. Yesterday I took it to the post office and when I got back in the car it wouldn't start. Yikes! I just waited a few minutes and then tried again. Started right up.

      Knitting an afghan and a baby blanket sounds very ambitious. What type of scarf are you going to make? I have about 100 projects that I want to knit. There will never be enough time to do them all. Also want to do some sewing. It's been a long time since I had the time. You know, you can send me an email. My e-mail address is at the top of the page. That way you wouldn't need to check back here.

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