I’ve been eating wild rosehips since I was about ten years old. My dad used to take me and my siblings out with him when he went foraging for rosehips, nettles, puffballs, watercress, and probably some other things that I’ve forgotten over the years.
I can’t forget the rosehips, though. Tangy and sweet, with more vitamin C than oranges, they are nature’s little candy bombs.
Many people gather rosehips and dry them out to preserve them. Most often they will make tea from the rosehips. However, vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so if you consume the rosehips in this way, you’re losing out on some excellent nutrition. I like to eat them raw, preferably right where I found them. I’ve developed a technique for this that is fairly straightforward, although it’s hard on the thumbnail. If you have a pocketknife that you can bring foraging, I recommend it. This guideline is for when you forget your knife. Like I pretty much always do.
1. Take off the black end and the stem.
2. Use your thumbnail (or a pocketknife, if you’ve thought ahead) to dig a groove from end to end.
3. Squeeze the two ends together, to ‘pop’ open the rosehip and reveal the seeds.
4. Scrape the seeds out of the shell of the rosehip. Again, with your thumbnail (or knife).
5. Eat the shell of the rosehip. The seeds are furry and don’t really taste that great.
6. Scatter the seeds along your walk as you continue to hike. You never know which one will grow into another wild rose bush!
Technically, all rosehips are edible. Not all are equal in taste, though, and having tried the hybrid rosehips I can tell you that they don’t really taste very good. Not as sweet and tangy as the wild ones.
I was gifted some fiddleheads last Saturday at the market, by a friend who stopped to say hello. She gave me some quick instructions too, since I had never eaten them before.
First you soak them in saltwater. Either let them sit overnight or rinse them really well to get the brown bits off.
Then sauté in butter and garlic.
I added a few extras: some zucchini and sausage!
They were pretty tasty, although one or two were bitter. Not sure why. I’d recommend trying them, though. It wasn’t as difficult or scary as I thought it would be, and now I can say I’ve eaten them and know how to prepare them! Give it a try, now, before the season is over. Thanks Susan!
I had a great time at the garage sale today! I didn’t sell anything, but I was able to visit with friends and chat with people about Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens, which made it all worthwhile. This post is inspired by the woman who asked me about watercress.
I’ve heard of watercress, of course. When I was a kid my dad used to take me out foraging for wild mint and nettle and occasionally we would see watercress too. Mint and watercress both like to grow near streams, so on our trips to gather mint for mint jelly we would sometimes see the watercress. I had never considered its cultivation, though, so the question took me by surprise. Like all good questions, though, it got me thinking. Now I want to know how to grow it! First I looked in all my seed catalogues, and didn’t find watercress seeds listed. Next plan? Google it, of course! The photo above came from this site. According to them, it’s easy to grow from a stem, so you could buy it from the grocery store and start your own plant! If it’s anything like mint it will not need any encouragement to root from a stem buried in soil.
I’m going to try it. Watercress is on my shopping list, so if I can find it I will be posting about my little experiment as it happens.