Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rosehip Ramblings

Too much time has passed since my last entry, but so much has happened I know you will forgive me.

We are back at our beloved little seaside cottage in Maine and I am deeply involved in my new book. I took a short hiatus because of a shocking loss. Somehow, in shipping 238 illustrations to my publisher, they were inadvertently destroyed. My paintings are so personal and take me many hours to complete. I felt as though someone had tossed out the last year of my life. So now it is literally back to the drawing board for some new thoughts on how to produce this new book without the necessity of me trying to re do thousands of hours of work.

Tomorrow I will be co-teaching a rosehip workshop for the Pemaquid Watershed Association. The class will be held at the beautiful Pemaquid Beachcomber's Rest Nature Center. The classroom has a big barn door that opens onto sugar-white sands thick with hummocks of Rosa rugosa boasting globes of brilliant red hips. It is easy to understand how these roses have earned the name "Sea Tomatoes."

Author Jean Gordon, who wrote "The Art of Cooking with Roses," said, "One handful of rosehips provides the vitamin C of 60 oranges plus liberal amounts of vitamin A, phosphorous, calcium, and iron." Think of that, a tasty treat that not only tastes great, but also delivers a wallop of vitamins and trace elements.

I love to nibble the fresh rosehips straight from the bush. If they're dead ripe, you can use your thumb to break them open and nudge out the seeds. If they're a bit on the hard side, you'll need to slice them open and use a spoon, grapefruit knife, or peach pitter to scrape out the seeds.

I developed a new recipe today for a tasting we will have tomorrow at the workshop. Give this a try and let me know how you like it. As a measurement, I am using the small baskets in which strawberries and cherry tomatoes are normally sold.

1/4 cup of raw sliced or slivered almonds
Half a basket of washed and halved strawberries (if you don't have these try a couple of spoonfuls of strawberry jam)
Half a basket of washed, halved, and de-seeded rosehips
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup (the REAL stuff, not the high fructose corn syrup look alike)

Toss the almonds into your blender and pulse it 'til they're the consistency of bread crumbs
Add your berries and rosehips and pulse 'til blended (don't overdo this)
Sprinkle the cinnamon into the mixture and pulse twice
Add your maple syrup and pulse a few times

TASTE your mixture. If it is too tart, simply add a couple more strawberries or strawberry jam and a little more maple syrup.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I tasted my rosehip mixture on small toasted rounds of french bread and sesame crackers smeared with cream cheese. The addition of almonds gives another dimension of both taste and texture.

Signing off from my island paradise and wishing blessings to you all,