Rose-hips, Rain and Recipe for Rose-hip Syrup

The sun rises in a cooler sky, as the mist crawls slowly along the valley floor, in from Lough Meelaugh, past Kilronan castle to eventually meet the mists that cover the giant stretch of water that is Lough Allen.

Autumn is a time of mists, just as Samhain merges into Winter, so do the mists swirl and merge away off into the low clouds.

Lough Allen is an English translation from the Gaelic, meaning ‘Beautiful Lake’, and that it is!

The little town of Drumshanbo lies just above the Lough in the County of Leitrim.

It is little wonder it is referred to as “Lovely Leitrim.”

On a calm day the Lough takes on a look of pure glass, as in Maeve Binchy’s book, “The Glass Lake.”

I am happy to see such a beautiful sunrise and then sit here writing in the still of the morning…it’s now exactly 9am.

This morning has to be slowly enjoyed because there’s a mighty storm of heavy rain approaching Ireland.

Rain has been heavy all year and the earth is quite sodden…the wettest I have ever experienced.

As I write this, clouds have shadowed out the morning sun and already spots of rain are dotting the windows.

Even as the rain falls, the harvest continues…

Did you know that Rose-hips contain 20 times more vitamin C than the same weight of oranges?

Here is an old recipe for making Rosehip Syrup, a Vitamin C product given to babies and young children during World War Two…

Rose-hip Syrup
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2lb ripe rose-hips

6 pints water

1lb sugar
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Wash and remove stalks.

Mince or finely chop.

Add to pan with 4 pints boiling water, bring back to boil then remove from heat.

Stand for 15 minutes then strain through a jelly bag.(I use a cotton pillow-case!)

Return the pulp to pan with 2 pints boiling water, bring to boil, remove and stand for 10 minutes, then strain through jelly bag.

Now mix both juices and boil until reduced to 2 pints.

Add sugar, stir until dissolved, boil for 5 minutes.

Pour into small bottles, seal and sterilize using pan method.
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Other Uses for Rose-hips…

Rose hips can be gathered and dried for tea.

Drying methods are simple as the fruit is small and easily dried…but keep it slow and steady…I use the oven on my wood stove and leave the door slightly ajar to keep the dry air circulating but not baking.