Monday, October 27, 2014

Never Say Never Jelly

So, thirty years ago a woman who was thrilled to see Mountain Ash trees in our yard gave us a recipe for rowan berry jelly. Long after we had moved from the rental house where those trees grew we came upon this lovely fruit and decided it was time to finally make that jelly.

We went looking for the recipe handwritten by our friend who had fond memories of rowan berry jelly from her native Norway.

We could picture the card in the recipe box, but where was it? Oh yes, we remembered, in a mini-fit of clearing-out we decided that we would NEVER make rowan berry jelly and threw it away. Isn't that how it always goes? And isn't that why we seldom can part with a thing?

Well thank goodness for the giant virtual recipe box that is the internet. Most of the recipes were from the UK where they enjoy this jelly with everything from wild game to scones and can only begin to compare it in taste to grapefruit as it is quite unique. 

In the process of making 16 jars of this beautiful jelly we were never going to make we learned:

Rowan berries can make one ill unless they have been frozen first on the tree, or in the freezer. 

An imperial pint is approximately equal to 1 1/4 US liquid pint.

Paint straining bags make great jelly straining bags. (We already knew this, but wanted you to know it too.)

It is possible to make jelly without purchased pectin if you follow the recipe faithfully and have a little faith in the power of natural pectin. 

Jelly is so very good because it is simply fruity sugar!


Georgiann said...

So pretty!

Honeybee said...

Second opinion ready to be offered from next door, NDL. When you're ready to share. P.S. From whence comes the name rowan berry? The jelly journey is incomplete without an explanation.

next door Laura said...

Well Honeybee, we're glad you asked. Shows someone is reading this sleepy little blog.

Rowan seems to have roots in old Norse and is from a Germanic verb meaning to redden. Wikipedia has more than you will ever want to know on the topic, but in case you don't look it up yourself here is one more fascinating fact for you: Planting a rowan tree by your door or gate will keep witches away.

Quick! Hitch up the red trailer and get thyself to Circle M. Halloween is nigh.

Hmmm...Do you suppose a teaspoon-a-day would keep the in-house witchiness away?

As for sharing the jelly... Christmas is coming and no one is safe from being gifted with some. Unless you can find another type of tree that promises to ward off unwanted homemade preserves. Good luck!