20 Oct 2015
Environmental art, fuel and food foraging, preserving and preparing for the winter - that's what autumn is all about - being prepared. How to make crab apple and rosehip jelly is a handy skill to have, especially as the recipe can be adapted into foraged or hedgerow jelly.
Mr Ecoarts has been hard at work getting 'The Galloway' reassembled and set into its permanent position at Frugaldom. Now, it takes pride of place, rearing from it's recycled tractor tyre plinth in the middle of the garden area, where we hope to incorporate some seating in the future, as part of our Garden of Gratitude project.
The Galloway is an almost forgotten breed of horse that once roamed the Galloway and Lowther hills. These little horses and ponies became world famous for their surefootedness, speed and endurance and through selective breeding to imported Arabian and Turkish warm-blooded horses, were eventually bred into extinction. However, their bloodline lives on - in almost every racehorse that wins on any race track almost anywhere in the world thanks to the great 'Eclipse'. Likewise with trotters, pacers and polo ponies, by way of the great Hambletonian. In fact, trace back any great horse pedigree and the chances are that you'll find a Lowther or Galloway name somewhere at the root of it, as these fabulous horses were bred to many of the royal mares that visited Britain during the 17th Century.
Keeping with the Galloway theme, we are hoping to plant a small orchard of Galloway Pippin apple trees in the near future - finding a local supplier is proving to be quite a task, so please do get in contact if you know of anyone. In the meantime, we are harvesting a selection of crab apples, including the tiny but bountiful Siberian crabapples - they are smaller than many of the rose hips
HOW TO MAKE ROSE HIP AND APPLE JELLY
I picked a couple of kilos of assorted crab apples and rose hips, which were all topped, tailed and thrown into a big pot with about a litre of water and left to simmer until all the fruit and berries were soft. You can do similar with most foraged fruit and berries for making hedgerow jellies and jams.
Having stewed down the fruit, I strained it through a sieve lined with a piece of muslin - I didn't leave it dripping overnight, I just squeezed through the juices and ended up with 700ml of liquid, which I returned to the pan and added 500g of ordinary granulated sugar, stirred until it all dissolved and then brought it to a rolling boil, keeping it boiling vigorously for 10 minutes.
I prepared 2 jam jars by scalding them in boiling water and tipped the jelly into the hot jars. This was enough for one large and one small jar of jelly from this amount and it set to a lovely consistency, ideal for serving as an accompaniment or even for spreading on toast.
The above has now been added to the stores of blackcurrant and other assorted fruit jams and jellies that have been made whenever fruit or berries are plentiful and sugar is relatively inexpensive. At 39p per kilo at the moment, I would call it downright cheap - a frugaler's dream and time to stock up in plentiful supplies wherever and whenever possible. As all good frugalers know - there is no sell by or best before date on sugar - if it's stored cool and dry, it can last a lifetime.
Hope this helps someone and if anyone is within easy reach of Frugaldom, get in contact - we have plenty of crab apples and berries growing about the place.