The idea of homesteading is really appealing to
me some people.
I personally am a fan of running water, daily showers and a cup of coffee I can enjoy in less than 5 minutes of prep. But the thought of foraging, living off the land and incorporating your surroundings into your life at home is something I can get behind. I’m pumped to have a garden that we’ve been able to eat out of all summer long, and I’m really excited to try out new recipes that let me play with flavors I don’t have access to during other parts of the year. Like fireweed blossoms.
Fireweed is abundant everywhere in Alaska. It surrounds our backyard and whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the woods, you’ll see it spread across the landscape. Fireweed ice cream is my absolute favorite and whatever restaurant is serving it, I’m sure to get double scoops.
So to feel like I was a real pioneer woman, I read a few articles on uses for fireweed blossoms and decided on a batch of jelly. You can’t go wrong with jelly.
We started with collecting our blossoms. I needed 8 cups of petals for my recipe. Hayden started out being a helper but was soon fired after she dumped out my first bucket of petals in the bushes. All 8 cups of clean, collected, ready to cook, petals. There might have been some choice words used in her direction.
8 cups of petals were rinsed, dried off and put into a pot with water and lemon juice. Brought to a boil and simmered for 10 mins. After cooling slightly, the liquid got strained, making sure all parts of the flower were left out of the juice. Back in the pot to warm back up before adding the pectin. Sugar added and return to a hard boil for 1 minute. Pour into hot jars and seal. Easy as that my friends.
The recipe made for a small batch and I ended up with 7 small jars of delicious, sweet, purple jelly.
We did a taste test and it didn’t last long. It’s a very subtle flavor, sweet and not overpowering. The best description that comes to mind is a flowery grape flavor. Which I mean is probably what it says on store bought jars of it. It has a really pretty purple hue and makes for fancy toast.
It was a quick and easy project that had delicious results.
Now who wants a jar?!?!