Lilac flower jelly. (Or rose or peony or fireweed or…).

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Well, the late lilacs are pretty much finished blooming here, and I’m just getting around to posting my recipe for lilac flower jelly, which I made…oh…nearly a month ago. Oops! Somehow things got away from me, and now the lilac blossoms are summer memories. There is a consolation, however: if you want to substitute another edible flower such as roses or peonies or fireweed for the lilacs, you can – the same amount of petals and preparation techniques apply. Have fun with it, and please let me know how your flower jellies turn out! 🙂

Lilac Flower Jelly

3 cups lilac flower petals

2 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 package liquid pectin

Follow standard canning procedure and sterilize 4 half-pint jars, lids, and rings.

Remove lilac flower petals from stems and wash thoroughly.  Lay petals between a layer of unbleached paper towels and gently dry.  Place petals in large pot and crush with a pestle or the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water to pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Strain the petals from the liquid using a fine mesh sieve.  The water won’t be a very attractive colour at this point – don’t panic!  Put the petals aside to compost later.  Place the liquid back into the pot and add lemon juice.  Stir, and notice that the colour of the liquid will appear much more appealing.

Add the sugar and stir.  Bring the contents of the pot to a boil.  Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add pectin and bring to a boil again.  Boil hard another minute, and keep stirring all the while.

Remove from heat.  Using a spoon, skim off the top of the jelly to remove any bubbles and foam.  Pour the jelly into sterilized jars and cover.

Process jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Have you ever made or eaten edible flower jellies?  Which ones are your favourites?

 

Flowery blurbs #14.

Over the past few weeks (months?), I’ve read so many fascinating plant-related articles and posts on the ‘net, I thought I’d collect a few together to share!  Hope you enjoy these Flowery Blurbs!

  • Have you ever thought about growing rhubarb not just for food, but as an ornamental?  Here’s why you should and how to do it!
  • Problems with ants? (Ugh, don’t we all!).  This is an old solution that seems to actually work.
  • Want to make your own potting soil mixesHere are some great recipes!
  • Do you still have a surplus of radishes in your garden?  Why not pickle them?
  • The elders are still blooming here in Calgary so we can still make this recipe for sweet elderflower sugar.   Or maybe elderflower cordial, instead!
  • It’s seed-saving time!  Here’s the proper way to extract, clean, and dry tomato seeds!
  • Bugged by mosquitoes?  (Aren’t they the national insect of Canada?  Okay, perhaps it just seems that way!).  😉  Maybe these plants can help ward them off.
  • Here’s a great post with tips to fend off pesky deer – there are detailed plant lists as well!

  • If you’re interested in growing basil from cuttings, here’s how!  I’m definitely going to try this out!
  • I saw this pest in action this year:  watch out for the columbine sawflyHere’s some information about this highly destructive critter.

  • If you have mint, you have eco-friendly carpet freshener.
  • Here’s a great summary of some wonderful edible flowers you might be growing in your garden!

Please share any other interesting gardening articles, tips and suggestions you’ve read about lately! 🙂 

Wild rose petal jelly.

 

PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AS THE RECIPE LINK IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Will update very soon…stay tuned!  (June 2018)

 

The recent, very vicious hailstorm we suffered here in the north part of the city a couple of evenings ago, and the heat (long overdue!) that has followed has ended the bloom period of the wild roses (Alberta’s provincial flower, Rosa acicularis), which shine in the cooler, wetter days of June.  Last weekend, before all the crazy weather hit,  I decided it was time to finally try making wild rose petal jelly.  It’s been high on the list of my canning priorities for quite awhile, but, for one reason or another during the past few summers, I’ve missed the window for gathering fresh, dark, fragrant petals.   A short early morning hike in a nearby wooded area and a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some liquid pectin, and I was ready to go!

I used this super-simple recipe from the blog Wood Ridge Homestead in the Shenandoah Valley,  and the results were supremely delicious! (I would recommend skimming the batch before putting it into the jars to make sure your jelly is as clear as possible).

Biscuits and tea and roses, anyone?  One taste of this delightful summer treat and it will make you forget that your veggies in the community garden plot are now hail-hammered mulch!  (Well, perhaps not…but I have more seed and time enough to plant more crops – and to plan a system for covering my plants in the future).  🙂

Have you ever made rose petal jelly?  What about rose hip jam?  That’s on my list for late summer canning!

Flowery blurbs, volume 10.

While I make short work of that milk chocolate bunny I accidentally bought the other day, feel free to take a gander at this week’s Flowery Blurbs:

Use plant dyes for Easter.

I found this timely holiday post at Simple Bites, and was inspired to create the multi-hued eggs pictured below (using tumeric, blueberries, and paprika).  You don’t need those dye kits from the store – just raid your spice rack and your freezer! 

Seriously old wood plates go digital.

Romeyn Beck Hough’s book The American Woods (written between 1888 and 1910) has been freshly digitized and made available for everyone’s viewing pleasure at the History of Forestry website.  It’s a fascinating look at over 350 different types of North American trees, with detailed text and cross-sections of each.  The book is all the more important because some of these species no longer exist. 

When earthworms go bad.  (And no, I’m not talking about the denizens of my new vermicomposter).

A recent article suggests that while earthworms are amazingly useful in the garden, they do not work to promote healthy forests.  The amount of leaf litter that earthworms can consume seems to be at the root of the problem…pun intended.  Read all about it here.

Get a buggy education.

Olds College continues their 2012 Hort Week Speaker Series with a fantastic talk by their resident insect guru, Dr. Ken Fry.  Check out his full lecture about creating Environmentally Friendly Yards here.

Sweet edible flowers. 

I plan to plant a whole bunch of calendula this spring, to use in my fledgling attempts at dyeing fabric using plants from my own garden…it just so happens calendula flowers are edible as well, so I will be sure to try them out in my microgreen mixes in addition to throwing them in the dyepot.  If you want to try something REALLY creative with edible flowers, check out this blog post from Sprinkle Bakes, where gorgeous viola blossoms take centre stage in lollipop candy.  I dare you not to drool over the photos.