Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wild Edibles

I did a bit of research yesterday and discovered that you can make jelly, using Queen Anne's Lace.  I enjoy reading about these types of things and since I had a patch of it growing in the middle of my herb garden, I decided to give it a try while weeding.
I did scrutinize it very carefully because it's cousin, poison hemlock, is not something I wanted to feed people.  But it had all the correct markings - the umbrella like flower, a small red flower/dot in the middle, a hairy stem, and it had the distinctive carrot smell.  When you crush the leaves of poison hemlock it lets off a very bad odor which this did not.  So I was good to go.
I plucked off the heads of flowers, soaked them in boiling water, then strained and began the jelly making process.  As it simmered, it let off a delightful odor.  It reminds me a bit of lemon and rose water.  When it was finished, I sampled it and it has a very delicate, lemony taste.  I'm so happy my experiment worked.

I also have a huge patch of lemon balm, and I had made jelly with it before so I made a batch of that, as well.

I also filled a mason jar full of lemon balm and poured apple cider vinegar over the top to make a lemon hair rinse. 

Today's project is to pick some bee balm - both leaves and flowers.  I'll be drying some for future use in salves and soap as it has many medicinal purposes. It is also edible so I'm going to use some leaves to make cranberry-bee balm jelly today.

A friend said to me last night, "Aren't you supposed to be on vacation?"  I love this kind of adventure and it is relaxing.  I don't have to do it.  I'm not racing against the clock.  I'm experimenting and it's fun!

So yes!  I am on vacation. :-)