Friday, July 22, 2011

I can make Fireweed Jelly! I am Alaskan!

Ok, so it has been quite some time but I am fully enjoying my summer in the Arctic! I decided to try my hand at making jelly! Fireweed jelly that is...and I must say it was a success. I will explain what a fireweed flower is...well, it's a flower! and it grows in Alaska and it's hot pink and sooo pretty and I love it! It makes Alaska sooo much more beautiful in the summertime! Colten and I went out and picked the tops of the flowers and put them into a grocery bag. My friend had said to collect about 8 cups so we picked and picked and truth be told...i didn't measure it at all; eek; I just guessed. We made sure to pick the tallest flowers in case the dogs got to the flowers and peed on them! Or so I told Colten!
We then took the bag inside and I rinsed off the flowers and let them set...just because i wanted the bugs to crawl out before i started the process. So I put Colten to bed and then cleaned up and bit and then decided to come back to my flowers. I boiled water in the pot and then added my flowers to the boiling water. They boiled for about 10 minutes or so and then they turned this horrible brown mushy color and so I strained the blossoms and returned the pot back to the stove. I let it boil again and then added 2 packages of was the Sure Jell stuff that comes in the little yellow box. I had to add two because the recipe called for it! ha...
After that, I added 5 cups of sugar! Goodness me, I didn't know I had 5 cups of sugar in my cupboard, I thought i used a ton of sugar in some sweet tea, but I never knew what 5 cups looked like! Anyways, 5 cups and I had to add it in small increments, I did 1/2 cups at a time and stirred it constantly...if you don't stir it then it gets lumpy and not dissolved. Once it is all put in and dissolved, then I took the liquid and added it to the jars. I did not do any of the fancy pants stuff with sterilizing and what not to the jars. It wasn't in my recipe. I put on the lids and just waited to hear the "pop" of the jar lids! I got a bit worried waiting for my lids...I wasn't sure if I did it right or not, so I just kept waiting...but eventually, they all popped! We had fireweed jelly and toast for breakfast the next morning and it was soooo stinking yummy! so, that's how it's done!