Life as I know It

My photo
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,



Spinneretta said...

Oh no! That's heartbreaking! I'd be distraught to loose mine!
I hope the rest you do are safer.

The recipe looks interesting, I'll have to try some of my own rosehips- we have plenty :) (Lots of Old Garden Roses).

Barb Davis said...

So sorry to hear about your loss! It is just terrible, but your little paradise sounds wonderful...just the right place to surrender to the muse. Stop by The Serenity Room for a visit. Wishing you many blessings, Barbara

Unknown said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your drawings! I know that was heartbreaking. I always looks forward to your new illustrations with each new book!

Oh, how I wish I lived near you! I would love to take the rosehip class you're teaching. I have just recently starting learning about the values of rosehips.

Good luck with the new book!

Marcie said...

Oh my goodness! What a disappointing loss. I hope you have figured out how to deal with the matter. I'm so looking forward to the book.

huge hugs of sympathy,

Anonymous said...

i know how you feel. some of my photos from way back were lost too and i haven't stored them digitally.

well, you have a nice day now. :-)

rmlrhonda said...

I was just doing some research on sunflower houses and lo and behold you also know about rosehips! I have rugosa roses at my house and this summer I started trying to preserve some of the hips. So far I made some rosehip jelly. I have a question that perhaps you could answer? My research says the best time to use rosehips is after the first frost, but mine seem to start to shrivel up a bit toward the end of august. Can you use them still, or do you use them only when shiny and smooth? Rhonda

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Rhonda,

I'm glad you're making rosehip jelly. Yum. I know that many recipes tell you to wait 'til the hips have been kissed by first frost, but if you wait that long the critters will eat them or they'll spoil.

Pick them when they're dark red, firm, and unblemished. Use your thumb to dig in and flick out the hairy seeds.

Good luck-Sharon