Friday, November 2, 2012

Rose Hip Tea

Over the years, I've come to appreciate so much more about the rose than just the beauty of its flowers.  In these days of late fall the rose hips add some nice color to the last few roses that are still in bloom.  One of the best hip producers I have is Gertrude Jekyll whose rose hips you see pictured here.
Last year I gathered many rose hips and tried planting their seeds.  Unfortunately I was not able to get any to grow.  This year I decided to give it another try and I have been collecting seeds again.  One night as I was cutting the hips open to collect the seeds, I tasted the sweetness of the hips on my fingers and knife.  Having known people who used to collect hips to make rose hip tea, Angie and I decided to give it a try.
A quick search of the Internet and we found a simple recipe to try.  Chop up 2 teaspoons of rose hips for each cup of tea you want, bring as many cups of water to a boil, pour the water over the hips and let steep for 15 minutes.  Finally pour the tea through a strainer and serve.  We also added a small amount of sugar during the steeping process.  Rose hips are said to have far more Vitamin C than Oranges or other citrus and are full of anti-oxidants.
Not knowing how fine to chop the hips we cut them to a medium size.  Not minced or too fine but enough that it still brought out the flavor.  I think it was about right but we were pretty much going blind.  This size was easily strained.
 The color of the tea was light and a bit cloudy.  Angie's father was visiting and the three of us approached this new experience with varying degrees of comfort.  I was most eager, Angie has been pulled into trying so many new things with me that by now she was ready, and Clyde was just going along.  So you want to know what it tastes like, right?  Well, you should give it a try.  My father in law thought it tasted like apples.  I thought there was also a flavor like pumpkin.  Angie was surprised that it was more flavorful than she expected.  Everyone finished their tea and in another half hour we were all ready to go to bed.  It was just late I don't think the tea had anything to do with that.
 If you decided to make some rose hip tea, only use hips from roses that have not had chemicals applied to them.  You just don't know what the chemicals will do to you.  One last thing, to any of my readers who have wondered where I have been, thanks for coming back.  The summer was so hot this year that I didn't have a lot of great pictures to offer and not enough energy to work hard figuring out something to write about.