Autumn is well and truly with us round these parts. The trees are turning from green to yellow, gold and red. Changes every day.
Berries in the hedgerow are like tiny sparks. Mother Nature preparing for the main event of flaming pyrotechnics that will take place in a few weeks when all the trees are ready to light the greyed out andscape with a riot of colourful flames.
I collect all berries I can use just now. Blackberries, haws, rowan and these rosehips. Prickly customers they make me think back to childhood when rosehip syrup was order of the day throughout the winter. Like Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar, for us the spoon held rosehip syrup and the words ‘it’s so good for you’ ringing in your ears.
Time passes and for me rosehips are now pressed into service for other things. One year jam, another jelly. This year it is vinegar. Rosehip vinegar. Tangy and bright it perks up chicken and pork, goes great on wintery greens and sparks up a basic salad with it’s fruity citrus zap.
Like many of the best ideas it is simplicity itself. Why do we persist in thinking that for something to be good it must be complex and difficult, almost as if there is no merit in simplicity and ease. Does it all hark back to being told that nothing comes for nothing and you must work hard for any gain?
I like simple things.
I like ease.
I like nature to delight me with something so fine from so little effort on my part. She has done the work for me. Given me the tools, all I do is assemble the kit.
So he is how to make Rosehip Vinegar. It is quick and easy and will delight your tastebuds. Oh, and it looks pretty cool too!
You don’t need many of these blushing beauties for this recipe, which is quite a releif really as picking can mean scratches and clambering about in bushes, catching your clothes and even toppling over into the ditch – not unknown for me I’m afraid.
- 10-12 rosehips
- 200 ml white wine vinegar
- peel from 1/2 orange
- small bottle or jar
- small wooden skewer to fit inside bottle
- Wash and dry the rosehips and prick all over with a pin so that the vinegar will penetrate the fruit as much as possible.
- Scrub and dry the orange to remove any wax preservative and remove half of the peel.
- Pare off as much of the bitter white pith as possible and cut into pieces appriximately 2cm/3/4" in length
- Thread the rosehips and pieces of orange peel on to a wooded skewer as if you were making a mini kebab for the BBQ
- Push the loaded skewer into your bottle (sterilise first please) and pour in your white wine vinegar making sure it completely covers all of the fruits inside.
- Close the bottle and give it a shake. Put away in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks before use.
- The skewer looks very pretty in the bottle but if you want to keep it in there you must top up the vinegar to make sure the fruit is always submerged or you will end up with foostie fruit as we say here in Scotland, not nice at all.
PS you will note I have fruit popping up above the liquid, that is just for the photo not how I would store the vinegar.