Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Itching and Scratching: Part I

You think you know, what our post title is aiming at? You think we are exaggerating?
Well, we think you are right :-)

Rose hips are the topic. And yes, this can be a very itching thing. But since the turn of the century (of course we mean the one before the last one) we are blessed with rubber gloves and zeppelins. One of it fits your hands better.

Rose hips

What rather raises the foragers' hackles, is the work associated with processing rose hips.
Rose hips? Of course you know them! They are the fruits of the rose plant, usually red or orange, and catch the eye through autumn in nearly every garden or park, at roadsides, hedges and skirts of woods.

If you reach through the prickles, you will be awarded with one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C.
Rose shrub with hips

Rose hips have a very unique sweet-sour taste and can be used very versatile. But we start with a very common usage: herbal tea.

We are lazy sometimes. And that's why we skip the rose-hip-processors'-nightmare. We neither scratch out the seeds nor the little hairs, which cause the itching at contact with the skin.
All we do, after washing, is cutting off the ends of the little fruits.
After that we throw them into a kitchen blender and let them be cut in little pieces for a few seconds.
Rose hips

Rose hips in blender

Don't fill the blender as full as we did on our photo. Better split it in smaller portions. We processed about 500 grams, by the way. More than two people can drink in one year ;-)
Another tip: Don't use very ripe fruits. It's easier with the hard and dry ones.

Blended rose hips

Afterwards you have to dry them completely before storing. If you have low air humidity in your rooms, you can simply spread the tea onto kitchen paper and let it dry over a few days. Otherwise you can put them into the oven with very low heat (about 30°C) for an hour or of course use a dehydrator if you possess one.

For brewing the tea use 2-3 teaspoons (of our Middle-European teaspoons. If you live in a country with standardised teaspoon-sizes you surely know better how to use them ;-)) for one cup, pour over boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes. If you want to make sure that you won't get a hairy throat (it wouldn't be itching, just a little bit „sandy“) use empty teabags or coffee papers. Otherwise a tea strainer will do it too.
And don't expect the deep red colour of bought rose-hip-teas. They usually have other herbs added. But the tea is delicious. Don't miss upcoming part II, were we make rose hip marmalade.

Rose hip tea

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