Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summers Over

They say that when the fireweed flowers bloom to the top of their stalk, summer is over.  About two weeks or so ago, there was an article in the local paper about fireweed honey, including a simple recipe.  At the time there were tons of fireweed blooming all over the place, even some in my neighbors back yard.  I procrastinated and didn't go out in search for fireweed till yesterday.

I buy my dog and cat food from a feed store out the road, it is 10 miles out of city limits.  I am sure this seems like nothing to folks that live in big cities, but for me this is a little bit of a drive.  So yesterday, I load up my dog, Kane, some baggies, my camera and head out to get pet food.  The goal was to look for a patch of fireweed that would yield at least two cups of lightly packed flowers.

I drive and drive and drive and it appears that I have missed the mark.  All the fireweed patches are void of any flowers, or only have a few left on them.  After an hour or so of driving I give up and take Kane home.  My husband calls, from work, asking if I will take him some cold medicine.  I agree, and too my delight on the way there I see a small patch of fireweed.

I picked every flower I could get my hands on.  After plucking all the flower off, I had 4 lightly packed cups of flowers!  Enough for 2 batches.

Single Recipe:  (makes 2 pints)

1 1/4 cup of water
5 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp alum
1/4 cup of light Karo syrup
2 cups of lightly packed fireweed blossoms

On the stove, stir water, sugar and alum until it comes to a boil.  Watch until the liquid changes from cloudy to white.  After the syrup turns from cloudy to clear, remove from heat.  Add the washed blossoms to the hot syrup.  Stir and let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain out the flowers.  Bring to a boil again.  Pour into sterilized jars.  If not sealing jars, store in refrigerator.

This is really, really easy to make!  I have yet to taste the honey, but if I approve, some lucky people will be getting some for Christmas.

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