When you make jelly in the springtime, before the berries of summer are ripe on their branches, when the crabapples and plums, the grapes and the peaches are little more than blossoms, look to the flowers. A delicately sweet and delightful jelly can be made from most flowers. In the spring, one may use the fragrant lilac or rose, or the sunny dandelion. In the late summer and early fall the cheery goldenrod and majestic queen Anne’s lace beckon from wild meadows and along country roadsides.
I’m fortunate to have lilacs and rose bushes planted here by someone with a greener thumb than I, long ago. And baskets-full of wild goldenrod and queen anne’s lace will be here before we know it. On this day, the bloom of the lilacs faded before we could harvest them for jelly and so we opted for rose, Charlotte and I. Later Brenna joined in the fun, which leads me to conclude- when you make jelly, be sure to include some sweet, youthful daughters – borrow some if you don’t have your own. It makes the experience all the more pleasing, and passes on the skill of usefulness- making jelly from flowers. And now we just need some scones and tea.
Recipe for flower jelly below:
Fill a quart jar with flowers (minus the leaves and stems), pack down
Pour boiling water over flowers to fill the jar
Let steep for 3-7 hours
Strain and reserve two and a half cups of liquid
Combine liquid, the juice of one bright lemon, and one package of Cert-o or Sure-Jell in a pot and bring to a rolling boil
-Note: As you can see, the strained liquid from the pretty pale pink roses is a rather putrid yellow. To color your jelly pretty you may add a couple drops of red food coloring or, like we did, a few frozen red berries (we used one strawberry and two cherries because that’s what we had) to the liquid as it cooks. Remove the berries before adding the sugar.
Add three cups of sugar and boil good for one minute
Ladle into jars and top with lids. No need to boil these to seal the lids- the heat of the jelly should “pop the top” and seal the jars within a half hour.
And once you’ve finished your jelly making, go dance in the rain.
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8