Wild in your Herb Plot: Foraging Fridays
I just blew myself out with my final post (see below) re: dietary changes. I’m also kinda over it, and so I wanted to leave you with fluff and stuff… tasty treats from foraging.
Making Jelly Fit for a Queen
I used Lemon Verbena (it’s like lemonade on toast!) for mine, but I suspect you could use other floral lovelies, like Lavender, Rose, or Clary Sage.
Unfortunately, the recipe I used calls for liquid pectin. Usually when I make Jam or Jelly, I like to use fruits that have their own pectin. But this seemed fun, so why the heck not? If you have another idea of how to get the jelly to gell, won’t you let me know?
Lemon Verbena Jelly (from a recipe in The Herb Companion)
MAKES FOUR 8-OUNCE JARS OF LEMON VERBENA JELLY
• 1 1/2 cups lemon verbena leaves, chopped
• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 3 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 ounces liquid pectin (such as Certo)
1. Put lemon verbena leaves and water into a pan. Bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it steep, covered, for 15 minutes.
2. Strain and measure 1 1/2 cups of the infusion into a 3 1/2-quart or larger saucepan. Add the vinegar and sugar. Mix well and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Take off the heat briefly and add the liquid pectin; bring back to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute.
3. Have your jars sterilized either in the dishwasher or by boiling them for 10 minutes in water. Lids and rings can be in hot water until needed. (It is not necessary to boil them.) Skim foam from the Lemon Verbena Jelly with a spoon if necessary, pour into jars and add lids. Process jars in boiling water for 5 minutes. When you take them out of the pot, they should seal. If you press the middle of the lid and it pops back, it has not sealed properly. If they don’t, place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use them promptly.
If I was to do it over again, I think I might boil my jelly longer than 1 minute after adding the pectin. It didn’t set up quite as firmly as I would like, but it’s still more jelly than liquid. Also, I didn’t do the water bath, since my jars were sterilzed and I poured the jelly in right off the stove. Maybe the five minute boil in the jars would help it to thicken?
At any rate, I don’t think ours will last long enough to turn into botulism. It’s too good.