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

2lb ripe rose-hips

6 pints water

1lb sugar
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.
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.


  1. Dear Colette, I am posting a recipe on our Pomona’s Pectin, for making low-sugar jam and jelly, website for Rose Hip Jam and found your picture of Rugosa Rose hips. It is a beautiful picture and I’d love to use it as part of our recipe, but only if I have your permission. I am happy to credit you any way you would like. Your blog is also quite beautiful, and one day, when I get to Ireland from California, I’d like to come and visit you. I look forward to hearing from you. If you’re interested our website is:
    Mary Lou

  2. Your site was the first I clicked on in Google images this morning while trying to identify the rosehips I foraged yesterday alongside the Dighty Burn which travels several miles and finally swooshes past my house and joins the River Tay at Monifieth. Great homepage, I shall sit down shortly with breakfast and a cuppa and look at your site. I picked my rosehips to make Rosehip Vodka, consider myself a child of the earth (am 46), and I still have a tv but only for playing computer games, most of the time it just sits in a wee corner quietly and behaves itself.

    • Welcome to Bealtaine Cottage, Eileen!
      The Rosehip Vodka sounds amazing…this is another idea for turning bland alcohol into something rare and delightful…a midwinter tipple of goodness too!

  3. i saved my rose hips and am ecstatic to see this post. forgive the lack of proper form. it is raining here for the forth day. great for mother earth. the dogs i care for and mine, having been taken for a run, are laying this way and that across my lap and on both sides. my heart is not ready to disturb them to begin shores again.

Your comments are welcome!