So the other day I decided to try and make some fireweed jelly since we have so much of it around here. I went on a little walk with the dogs and collected some fireweed blossoms, as well as watermelon berries and blueberries I came across.
I ended up with about 4 cups of blossoms for my jelly. Rather than boiling them in water and straining it, I used cheese cloth to make a “tea bag” for the blossoms in about 3 cups of water. I removed them from the boiling water when it was a nice violet color. Then I added lemon juice for the acidity, and cinnamon and honey to taste. I also just estimated for how much pectin I would need, my apologies there isn’t much of a recipe to follow!
(Update: I wanted to come back and make this again with an actual recipe. Unfortunately this was a weird summer and our fireweed never really bloomed. Hopefully next year!)
It turned out rather pretty! 4 cups of blossoms only made two 6 oz jars though, so I’ll definitely need to go collect some more. 4 oz jars would probably be better next time as well, that way I can give it out as gifts. Kyle described the flavor as “intense”, I think it’s sort of spicy. I plan on sending some to my mom to see what she thinks of it.
Hopefully next year when we are more set up (and have things like measuring spoons) I’ll try this recipe again with actual measurements. Next year I’ll also be better prepared for canning the foods we forage, and I’ll be more confidant about local flora and what is usable. I’m so excited to get to can more of the wild foods around here!