Seeing a whole tree of rose hips at my son’s cottage the other week, reminded me of the rose hip syrup my mother and many other mothers were making during the war. Apparently they are packed with vitamin C even more than oranges! I picked two or three pounds with the intention of having a go.
Some of the recipes on Google talked of food processors, certainly not available in the 40s but one set out a war time recipe using a mincer so decided to try it. Other recipes included jam and marmalade and even tea.
I am a not an enthusiastic cook unless it’s a simple roast dinner, throwing a coq au vin in a casserole dish or moules which we like a lot or recently pate, which also takes a lot of mincing. Alan is now a dab hand at it.
So persevered, mincing, boiling and pushing hips though muslin, more than once as the recipe stated. The time taken to boil the mixture seemed to be less than economical, then there was the sugar, which I know was rationed during the war. But the government was intent on us getting our vitamin C so I guess millions of mothers stood patiently at their stoves following all the steps
Admittedly I went for half the amount of rose hips recommended and was a bit hit and miss with the sugar. Weighing things accurately is not my best skill but I still ended up with one pot of syrup. Spurred on with success, I started to boil another couple of pounds to make the marmalade and the recipe seemed a lot simpler. Two hours on the stove so still waiting!
Well at least rose hips can be gathered from a hedgerow, even if I am not sure about the economics with the cost of gas and electricity. But when I pour some on my ice cream or, as is suggested, eat with a piece a cheese. I will raise a glass to all those who persevered with such things and who meted out tiny teaspoons of the stuff to their children and thus helped the post war generation to be well nourished.
Rosehip syrup was sill going strong in the late 60’s – I seem to remember it in a small pool in the middle of semolina for school lunch. Impressed you made some. Hope it turns out well.
It is yummy x
I made some a couple of years ago. It was delicious, especially on ice cream. Have to be honest I found it a really messy job and a bit of a chore. I take the capsules now, helpful with joint pain if you didn’t know. I’ll probably have another go in a year or two.
Not surprised was a chore but delicious so felt it was worth it, if I had known would have picked a lot more and made a few more pots