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.

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5 thoughts on “Wild in your Herb Plot: Foraging Fridays

  1. getting to that point where you’re feeling over it finally is pretty nice, i feel. phew! it’s hard work to get there. as i boil my kids chicken hot dogs.

    i’ve never made jelly. nope. maybe this is the summer to learn.

  2. Pomona’s Universal Pectine is awesome. It works with honey or even juice, and its made from citrus peel (which you can taste a little bit, in the jam, a little lemony, but never been a problem for me). xx America

  3. This looks good….we had an unfortunate series of events happen to our blackberry jelly – that is – Steve didn’t boil it long enough so we have syrups rather than jelly. We use it as a cordial, a couple of tablespoons per cup of water makes a very delicious drink. (maybe we can also try it with vodka?) Also, it can be used as a topping on dessert or a flavour to vanilla ice-cream. So, those are my tips for other ways to use not quite jelly. When making plum jam this year, we used a “jam setting mix” – which is pectin but in a powder form and our jam set very successfully. Usually our jam is very sloppy, not that we care too much. x

  4. OMG!!! i just had the most amazingly difficult time leaving a comment, and my really good comment got deleted. boo. i want to re-write it to you. i have seen your link in our community for ages and cannot believe i have not been here before!!! i want to stay here for hours, but now i have to put my bunlet to bed. i will write more soon. i want to share some thoughts on acne, antibiotics, and more. xo

    here is my blog…

    http://lostboysandlovers.blogspot.com/

  5. Okay, I have like a million lemon verbina plants in the garden and have never known what to do with it all since they don’t really keep dried. Jellyland here I come! Thanks m’dear. And for the record. I LOVED YOUR HOUSE. It is hands down the dreamiest dream home I’ve visited. I would in fact give my pinky finger in exchange for living in it if it were here on the island. I understand that there are miracles and wonders you would be doing with a different space, more reflective of yourself, and I look forward to seeing that when you get your new dream home (which WILL happen), but I just needed to put that out there. Love and let’s email about phone calls.

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