This week’s share includes:
- Hawthorn berries, or Haws * NEW
- Dandelion Greens *NEW
- Staghorn Sumac
- Lady’s Thumb
- Lambs Quarters
There are a few things about hawthorn berries (haws)
- They are delicious, you can eat them raw
- Do NOT eat the seeds! They contain cyanide plus a sugar which in your digestive tract combine and can be very toxic
- They contain a lot of pectin naturally, so much so that people say you do not need to add pectin when making jelly (I have not yet been successful at making jelly of any sort, mainly because I can’t bring myself to add so much sugar, so I am just passing along info)
- They are very good for the heart (when considered medicinally.) You can dry the berries (seeds and all) and for later use as a tea (just strain the seeds/hawthorns before drinking, of course.)
Dandelion greens - I can not believe we have not yet included these! But we haven’t, so here they are. They are quite bitter, but they were big and beautiful and irresistible.
You can dry the greens for later use as a tea. The bitterness of the tea is good for digestion, and as always, dandelions are very beneficial for the liver. If you want to eat them fresh, I do have a recipe for you, Taming the Lion. Basically you toss dandelion greens, walnuts and strawberries with maple syrup or agave (as the dressing.) It is delicious.
If you decide to make hawthorn jelly, as I may, instead of using regular water I am going to use staghorn sumac water, which will give the hawthorn berries a much needed tart bite. This is what I did when I cooked the elderberries from last share and it was delicious. You make the sumac water but adding sumac to water and mixing it with a wooden spoon, pressing into the sumac as you do to release the sourness into the water. Then strain this water over the haws and bring to a boil. Boil about half an hour, adding sugar or sweetener. This alone makes a delicious drink. If you add enough sugar you can make jelly.
If, instead of using water altogether (sumac or otherwise) you use vinegar as the base, you can make a shrub. Shrubs are old-timey drinks made by boiling fruit and sugar in vinegar. It is a way to preserve fruit and was drunk medicinally or for pleasure, usually by mixing with soda water/seltzer, water or alcohol. I think I am going to try that with either the haws or some crabapples. I will report back.
Lady’s thumb, quickweed and lambsquarters are greens with different pleasant (not bitter) tastes and textures. Give them a try and see what you might do with them. Salads, soups, or subbing for spinach are all good. You can blanch and freeze extra greens or dry and use them later in the year. Here is an article about the nutritional boost drying greens into your own veggie powder for later use.
Enjoy this week’s share!!!