Saturday, 20 April 2013

R is for Rowan Jelly ...



The Rowan or Mountain Ash is found throughout Europe, while two related species are found in North America ...

Rowan Jellies

The red berries begin to ripen in August – although too tart and bitter to eat ... they do make a fine jelly – either alone or with an equal quantity of apples – and the jelly is renowned for its traditional accompaniment to venison, roast lamb. 


The stunning red berries are packed with vitamin A and C; while it is a very good store cupboard ingredient – as the jelly can be eaten at breakfast on toast or with a croissant, with cold meats at lunch, or with a game roast in the evenings.

 
Clusters of berries and jelly pot
After a good walk out foraging and collecting berries, there are few better ways to relax than sitting listening to music while taking the berries off their stalks with a foraging fork .... 

... the jelly bag being left to drip ... so those little red jewels can be transformed into jars of scarlet  goodness.


Rowan berries were also a popular ingredient in country wines, and Samuel Pepys mentions in his diary that he found ale brewed with rowan berries the best he had ever tasted.



While searching for a little more information on the Rowan ... I came across a wonderful greetings card showing the Rowan Tree ... with lovely words describing it and its uses ... Bird Catcher, Whispering Tree,  Dowsing Rods ... etc

I bought a few of her cards ... as I think they are delightful ..



That is R for Rowan jelly part of the Aspects of British Cookery series ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Pearson Report said...

Now I want toast and jelly...

What a great post, Hilary. Thanks for sharing Rowan Jelly with us.

Have a relaxing Sunday,
Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

Adura Ojo said...

I love berries and anything jelly. Now I'll look out for the rowan. Thanks for sharing, Hilary. Have a lovely weekend.

Francene Stanley said...

The jelly looks delicious. I've never tasted it but you've inspired me to seek a jar. How wonderful are nature's bounties?
Francene.
A - Z Challenge
http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/

Sean McLachlan said...

I generally avoid neon-colored foods, but I might have to give this a try.

Manzanita said...

What a delight.
I have mountain ash in my yard. I never knew they would be good jelly. I just thought they were for the birds. LOL

Jo said...

Never tried rowan jelly, I have never seen a rowan tree in my part of Canada mind you. Interesting post as usual.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Lisa said...

I LOVE this post! Thanks for the history lesson, and the link to the card creator. You wouldn't be any chance know how to make "tomato jelly" (with orange peel)?

Summer Ross said...

What a great name- I suddenly have the urge to research more about these berries and write using them in something. Thank you for posting!
~Summer

Tina said...

I wonder if those are translated in Swedish as "wineberries". They sure look the same, and grow wild or in gardens all over Sweden. Love them! That jelly looks so pretty! Have you made some yourself?
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

C. Lee McKenzie said...

How beautiful, and your "scarlet goodness" really captured the Rowan Jelly in the jars. I've never heard of these berries and we don't have an equivalent here. At least I don't think we do.

BTW Pudding was a smashing success!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jenny - it does make us want toast and jelly .. anything and jelly!

@ Adura - I do too .. but I try and steer myself away - the jelly looks lovely though ..

@ Francene - I haven't either .. but I guess as we become more husbandry conscious these more unusual jellies will come to the fore. As you say - how wonderful are nature's bounties ..

@ Sean - this is totally natural. However I, like you, hate anything that tastes, or smells fake ... so hope you find some rowan jelly and give it a go ..

@ Manzanita - well it does say bird catcher! The tree must be beautiful especially when the berries start to ripen ...

@ Jo - glad you enjoyed the post ... I guess we'll be looking for rowan jelly now!

@ Lisa - pleasure .. I love learning more; the cards are just lovely - I'm very chuffed with finding Fiona's site ...

Tomato Jelly - I can't help you with - unless you want a savoury recipe ... one I made decades ago ... I know I've emailed you - so hope you find something ...

@ Summer - the names are lovely aren't they .. and the rowan has many associated names .. well I sure hope the inspiration is busy writing out for you!

@ Tina - I can't see that .. but the rowan has so many alternative names - it is quite likely.

Doesn't the jelly look wonderful - and no I don't do jellies ... but my mother used to make it when we were young - I remember the jelly bag in use!

@ Lee - aren't they lovely .. and the scarlet goodness does ring out .. they are very common trees in the northern hemisphere ...

Delighted the Pond Pudding was a huge success ... amazing to think you gave the "recipe" a go ..

Cheers to you all - see you soon .. Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My MIL was originally from England and made the most delicious Rowan jelly. I wonder if her being English was the deciding factor for it being so yummy? Hmm.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've heard of the berries but never had the jelly.

Amanda Trought said...

The Rowan looks very tasty, First time I heard of it, but will definitely look out for it. As too Fionas art work, thank you for sharing.

Cathrina Constantine said...

That's news to me. Each June I make strawberry jam and in the fall I make grape jelly you can't be the taste of homemade quality. (Lots of love in each jar)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Great post. I've never heard of the berries or the jelly. Thanks for expanding my food world.

Lynn said...

A most beautifully colored berry...

Ella said...

I bet there is a lot of joy in foraging for these jems and making jelly~ I too have never heard of this kind~how fun!

I want my house to smell like jam or jelly :D

Cheers to you!

Rhonda said...

I never heard of rowan berries before. I would imagine the jam is loaded with sugar if the berries are too tart to eat on their own (unless that was only early season). I will be on the lookout and give it a try if I see a jar.

Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com

TALON said...

We have a lot of Rowan trees here. In fact, we have a lovely one in our front garden, but I've never known anyone to use the berries (except for the Cedar Waxwings and the Robins who adore them!) so this was really fascinating, Hilary.

Sherry Ellis said...

I love the red color of those berries!

Munir said...

Mixing berries and apples is something they do with juice cocktails in America except the berries are Cranberries.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

My mom made jelly out of everything imaginable, but I don't remember any rowan berries. I'm thinking they might be called by a different name in the U.S.?

Val Poore said...

I don't think I've ever seen Rowanberry jam!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - well someone who's had Rowan Jelly - good news! You need to have the magic touch to make jelly and jams, and bottling (canning to you!) ... so pleased to read it was yummy ..

@ Alex - now your wife has an opportunity to make some?

@ Amanda - I'm sure in London you'll find some, but now the summer season will soon be upon us - jellies and jams will be brought out for sale.

Thanks for the note re Fiona's art work - love the way she combines art and words ..

@ Cathrina - many thanks for commenting, good to meet you. Strawberry jam and grape jelly - try some rowan when you do the grape jelly .. any home-made goodies have lots of love in them.

@ Jenn - glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting .. and good to know you'll look out for them and the jelly ..

@ Lynn - aren't they wonderful colours .. such rich clarity ..

@ Ella - a walk out in the warm sunshine, picking some of the berries .. then that relaxing time at home making the house smell of jam or jelly .. makes my senses warm to the thought!

@ Rhonda - they're northern hemisphere small trees .. the apple is added to add some sweetness - I'm sure it's a tarter jelly .. but good all the same with a rich game roast.

@ Talon - as the card says .. the tree is a bird catcher - and here you've proved it ... now you can use a few of the berries yourself?

@ Sherry - isn't the red colour just wonderful to behold ...

@ Munir - yes there are lots of mixes out there now - all kinds of juices etc ... cranberry was a favourite .. and still adds a base ..

@ Karen - I can imagine your mother would have been a good provider, using all things around her in the hedgerows ..

Wikipedia lists lots of alternative names for them - many local versions ...

@ Val - well now I know you'll look out for it ...

Enjoy your rowan jelly searching out ... and thanks so much for commenting everyone - cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

I've also never heard of Rowan jelly, but it does look tasty. Very pretty card with a colorful Rowan tree.

Julie

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't know you could make jelly out of those berries. The house I grew up in (in Oregon) had a dozen Mt. Ash trees on the property.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never tried a Rowan berry, let alone make a jelly out of it. But I'm a huge fan of jelly!

Julia Hones said...

I love berries, Hilary! What a beautiful greeting card...

Clarissa Draper said...

I love Jelly though I've never had the Rowan berry. Looks delicious.

Rosalind Adam said...

I always thought Rowan berries were poisonous. We have a Rowan tree in our garden. It's one of my favourites but I don't think I'll be making the jelly. I've never made jam in my life!

Inger said...

Hello, Hilary, I just came upon your entry in the A to Z signup list. So here I am. I know these berries from Sweden, but I had no idea they were edible in any form. They are very pretty on the branches and I think I took some pictures of the American version here in our little town some years ago.

Bish Denham said...

Oh yum. I'd love to try some rowan berry jelly on a scone.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh! That gorgeous color! I'll bet the jelly tastes just wonderful as well. Thanks for dropping by and for your wonderful comment as well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - I knew about it, but like you have never tried it. I love the cards that came through from Fiona.

@ Diane - I guess I have to say .. check the genus, but I'm sure we can forage and use ...

@ Annalisa - I love jellies with roasts and game ..


@ Julia - couldn't agree more - all berries are particularly wonderful .. and the card too - I love it.

@ Clarissa - the clarity of the jelly is so glinting and enticing.. I'm going to hunt some down this year ..

@ Ros - I think it's probably because they are so tart, that we don't use them or want to use them .. yet! We could. Early on I made some jam and preserves, but not jelly .. it's not something I mastered.

@ Inger - you are good working your way through .. I've lost the plot!

I keep seeing the trees everywhere at the moment and when they ripen I'll spot them in the hedgerows no doubt. We loose our customs - I bet our ancestors used them a few hundred years ago ..

@ Bish - that idea .. does sound delicious .. pity it's coffee time!

@ Betty - isn't the colour gorgeous ... and the taste. It's a pleasure - I can imagine those moments of despair - everything is on top of you .. but we come through, I can attest to that.

Cheers to you all .. the rowan trees will be picked this year .. and jelly recipes will be tried! Hilary

juliet said...

What an amazing red those rowan berries are. I've never seen them, though while in England I discovered elder berries and made jelly from them. What a find that card is. Thank you for another fascinating post Hilary.

Alexandra Heep said...

Rowan berries ... don't remember those either. It's funny how you can't find things in different regions, even if they have the same climate. For example, I loved gooseberries in Germany but in my 25 yeas in the States have never seen any.

Alexandra Heep said...

Rowan berries ... don't remember those either. It's funny how you can't find things in different regions, even if they have the same climate. For example, I loved gooseberries in Germany but in my 25 yeas in the States have never seen any.

Silvia Villalobos said...

I love berries in any form -- natural, jelly. In Eastern Europe they used a certain type of berry to make distilled drinks (although that was a long time ago, and I can't remember all the details).
That country wine must have been very good.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - aren't they gorgeous colours - yes, elder berries are delicious - good for you for making jelly from them .. I bet it was delicious.

So pleased you enjoyed the card - I loved it .. isn't it fascinating ..

@ Alexandra - I agree we get used to our own expected native foods, yet find difficulty in finding them - I love gooseberries, this year I must get some!

@ Silvia - totally agree .. natural jellies are so wonderful to see and to eat ..

I can imagine you'd have some very interesting recipes from Romania ... especially using the hedgerow ingredients ...

Pepys' wine-ale I'm sure was popular in his day ..

Cheers to you and thanks for visiting .. Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

I can't believe I've never tried this! I love reading the legends about rowan trees. We've got a UK-imports store called The Bramble House, I wonder if they would have it...

Morgan Katz said...

This food is making me hungry! I have my eye on that tart...

morgankatz505.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deniz - so pleased you enjoyed the post .. I hope your UK-imports store will have the jelly ... they might tell you - you can get it in Canada anyway ... love the name though "The Bramble Store" ..

@ Morgan - good to see you here .. the tart is very tasty indeed - scrumptious in fact!

Cheers to you both .. Hilary

Sara said...

What a pretty jelly. Just the color makes me want to taste it and the berries are lovely.

I liked the card, but what on earth is a Frune Tree?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. isn't the colour enticing and warming. Frune - I've no idea .. and can't definitively find out .. perhaps something to do with Runes, and urban myth ..

Actually I see it is F rune tree .. which has a reference in anglo-saxon-norse times ...

F is the Fehu symbol in Norse - but refers to the Elder tree .. and could refer to cattle under the tree .. but why .. perhaps for the berries and seeds.

In other words I do not know! I checked out Norse Runes via this site .. http://warviking.tripod.com/runes.html

Can't help much more! Except thank you it sent me off to the Norse Runes .. cheers Hilary