Friday, June 6, 2008

Looks Like Snow

Last night's rainstorms have left our pool area looking like it's covered in snow! We have a dozen hawthorn trees outlining our back yard, so the "snowfall" was plentiful. (We're trying to compete with Ana's months of snow!) Of course, we feel fortunate to have this Missouri symbol in our landscaping, but the thanks are due to the original owner. The hawthorn was adopted in 1923 as the official flower of the State of Missouri. Their blossoms are as beautiful as their thorns are fierce (thorns can be 1-5 inches). The hawthorn has been held sacred since the legend that the crown of thorns worn by Jesus was woven from its branches. Dorito (the Boy Scout) was glad to learn that the Missouri Dept. of Conservation recommends these thorns for use as emergency fishing hooks. Plus the berries are edible (if you are ever lost in the woods) and make terrific jams and jellies (we shall see about that this fall). The hawthorn berry is known for its benefit to cardiovascular health and is a great source of Vit C and bioflavinoids.

Black Hawthorn Berry Jam
-2 quarts Black Hawthorn berries
-1 quart Black Currants (high in pectin)
-1-cup honey (or sugar) to taste
1. Place berries in a pot and cover with water (2 inches above the berries)
2. Add honey or sugar and simmer until mixture thickens
3. Run the mixture through a food mill to remove seeds and stems.
4. Place back in the pot, add a quart of water, and simmer again until mixture is quite thick.
To can in water bath:
1. Boil jars, lids, and ringsx
2. Fill with hot jam liquid and secure lids and rings.
3. Place jars in a canning kettle and cover with water (1 inch above tops). Boil ½ pint 10 minutes, pints = 15 minutes, quarts = 20 minutes.

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