Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beachside Rosehips

At the RI beach that we visit you won't find a board walk or gift shop or even salt water taffy. Instead, at summer's end, the entire path from the car park to the beach is lined with beautiful red ripe rosehips, the fruit of the rose, nature's gift. The round brilliant red or orange seedpods of rose bushes, large or small, new hybrids or old-fashioned, grown in your garden or wild along the beach, are entirely edible, and make a desirable addition to the year's herbal harvest. Gathering rosehips is one of the most satisfying joys of the fall season, provided you have heavy duty gloves and sturdy clippers.
To preserve your harvest, we suggest, drying them whole to use in fall arrangements, holiday wreaths or other festive designs. If you want to preserve them for later use in a tisane (a herbal infusion), it's best to coarsely chop the large rosehips in a food processor before air drying and storing in an air tight tin. Rosehips yield a pretty pink brew, rich in Vitamin C.
To make the tisane, add about 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed hips to a cup of boiling water; steep five minutes until the color is bright pink. Add sugar, honey, or lemon if you like, and by all means try it with cloves and cinnamon-stick stirrers.
(excerpt from Bertha Reppert's A Heritage of Herbs, 1976, Stackpole Books).


Alice said...

I never realized exactly what rosehips are. I have had a lovely brew made from them though. I learn so much here!

Steph said...

Fantastic! Thanks for the recipe.

La Tea Dah said...

Nancy, if you could drop by Gracious Hospitality today, I would appreciate it. I think you'll understand why when you get there.

Thanks SO much!