I made fireweed jelly. I've never made it before but it seems this was the year to do it.
For one, I have tried making many new things this summer, like dandelion syrup and I'm enjoying that. Two, everyone I know has made fireweed jelly this summer or so I've been hearing.
Fireweed is a beautiful stalk like flower that grows in summer here in Alaska.
Near the end of summer it reaches the end of the stalk and them turns to fluff, much like the dandelions I've come to love so much.
I've struggled with finding the time to pick the fireweed this summer. I wasn't sure I'd even manage to gather any due to all the soccer obligations I had the last couple of weeks. When Cassi got called for an impromptu soccer practice the other night I decided to use the hour to pick some nearby fireweed and give it a try.
The bees like it and so did this guy.
I used this recipe from here.
* 2 1/2 cups fireweed juice
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon butter
* 1 (1 3/4 ounce) package dry pectin
* 3 cups sugar
For fireweed juice: Harvest about 8 packed cups of fireweed flowers. Rinse thoroughly and put in 2 quart pot. Add just enough water to make water level just below top of packed flowers. (Juice should be a deep purple color when finished. If too much water is used in boiling process, juice will be a brownish color. More water can always be added after flowers are boiled to increase amount of juice.) Boil flowers in water until color is boiled out and petals are a grayish color. Ladle juice into jar through cheesecloth to strain.
Warm fireweed juice, lemon juice and butter on stovetop.
Add Sure-Jell, bring to boil and boil hard for one minute.
Add sugar and bring to full boil for one minute. Skim top of jelly.
Pour into pitcher(makes it easier to fill jars)and skim again.
Fill sterilized jars leaving 1/8 inch space at top. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Wow! It is lovely to look at and even better to eat. And simple too.