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Conserve of Roses, boiled

Most roses are edible. Roses are not the only flowers that can be used to add a delicious and exotic taste to all types of dishes. The flavor of roses, however, is distinct and immediately recognizable, and it looks as wonderful as it tastes.

If you are looking to make your Valentine bouquet last just a bit longer, try this recipe, from Hannah Glasse’s 1747 cookbook, The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy. Below it, you’ll find an updated adaptation.  Of course, if you prefer to try the jam without any effort, several companies do sell their own, ready made versions, as well.

Highly scented roses work best for this project.

Conserve of Roses, boiled
In order to conserve roses, take red roses, take off all the whites at the bottom, or elsewhere, take three times the weight of them in sugar, put to a pint of roses a pint of water, skim it well, shred your roses a little before you put them into water, cover them, and boil the leaves tender in the water, and when they are tender put in your sugar; keep them stirring, lest they burn when they are tender, and the syrup be consumed. Put them up, and so keep them for your use.
Continue reading Conserve of Roses, boiled

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Lavender Shortbread

Lavender has been traced back to ancient times, and while it was known by many names (including the Biblical “Spikenard”) it was the Romans, who used the flower to scent their baths, who first called it “Lavender” from the Roman (Italian) word lavare, which means, “to wash”. Used in jellies and other foods, as a perfume, aphrodisiac (Cleopatra is said to have used its scent in seducing both Caesar and Mark Anthony) and insect repellent, it is a plant that traveled with the most civilized societies, from the Egyptians, to the Romans to the French and English, eventually finding it’s way to the new world. Today most commonly associated with southern France (i.e. Herbes de Provence) and English country gardens, its sweet fragrance evokes a sunny summer day in a simpler time.

When cooking with lavender it’s important to use only organically grown herbs, or those purchased specifically for cooking, from a reputable market or health food store.

lavender shortbread
Find Kelley Epstein’s recipe for these gorgeous shortbread cookies on her blog, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Kelly Epstein writes for the food blog,  www.mountainmamacooks.com. Click the link below to find her fabulous Lemon and Lavender Shortbread recipe:

Printable Lavender Shortbread Recipe

Enjoy these delicious cookies with a cup of tea or glass of milk…or pair them with our Lavender Marmalades and Jams.

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Havest Jellies: Hartshorn, Cranberry and Orange

It was a very agreeable visit. There was everything to make it so — kindness, conversation, variety, without care or cost… we sat quietly working and talking till 10, when… we adjourned to the dressing-room to eat our tart and jelly.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
Sunday, June 26, 1808

Making Jelly (not jam, but a molded gelatin) was a complicated task during the Regency. Two types of natural gelatin used were Hartshorn (from the horn of a buck) and Isinglass- a pure gelatin prepared from the air bladder of the sturgeon and certain other fishes. These may be difficult to find now, but clear gelatin is readily available. These recipes use fruits most often available in the Autumn.

Hartshorn Jelly
Hartshorn
4 China Oranges
Water
2 lemons
½ pound sugar
6 eggs

Simmer eight ounces of hartshorn shavings with two quarts of water to one; strain it, and boil it with the rinds of four China oranges and two lemons pared thin; when cool, add the juice of both, half a pound of sugar, and the whites of six eggs beaten to a froth; let the jelly have three or four boils without stirring, and strain it through a jelly-bag.

Cranberry Jelly
Isinglass jelly
Cranberry juice
Sugar

Make a very strong isinglass jelly. When cold, mix it with a double quantity of cranberry juice pressed … and boil it up; then strain it into a shape. The sugar must be good loaf, or the jelly will not be clear.

Orange Jelly
3 Seville Oranges
3 China Oranges
Water
Isinglass Grate the rind of two Seville and two China Oranges, and two lemons; squeeze the juice of three of each, and strain, and add the juice to a quarter of a pint of water, and boil till it almost candies. Have ready a quart of isinglass-jelly made with two ounces; put to it the syrup, and boil it once up; strain off the jelly, and let it stand to settle, before it is put into the mould.
From The Olde Cookery Book

Orange Jelly Recipe (Modern)
1 tablespoonful of granulated gelatine
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of cold water
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup of boiling water

Let the gelatine stand in the cold water fifteen minutes or longer (until all the water is absorbed); add the boiling water and sugar and stir until the gelatine and sugar are dissolved; let cool a little, add the orange juice and turn into cups. Set aside to become cold and firm. Serve with cream or boiled custard. Preserved peaches or pears, cooked prunes or figs, or nut meats, also sections of orange, from which the membrane has been removed, or slices of banana, may be moulded in the jelly. A tablespoonful of gelatine is needed to each scant pint of liquid.

Cranberry Jelly Recipe
Cook one quart of cranberries and one cup of water in a covered dish five or six minutes. Then with a pestle press them through a fine sieve. Stir in two cups of sugar; and, without reheating, turn the mixture into a mould. Do not return to the fire after the sugar is added or the mixture will not jelly. The strong acid of the cranberry in connection with high heat “splits” the sugar and interferes with the jellying process.

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