Well, I finally did it. I attempted a batch of Fireweed Jelly. I had a terrible allergy or hormonal migraine--either way, I could have tossed my cookies at any moment. The feeling was worse than any morning sickness I've ever experienced. The potent smell of seeping the blossoms was just about enough to put me over the edge, as was a day full of toddler screams (no awareness of inside/outside voice yet!) My wonderful husband did the picking of the blossoms on his lunch break! So sweet! It was about 90 today (hot for here) and the deer flies are insane. I adore that man.
Here is the stuff you are after:
Anyway, back to the jelly. Fireweed is a purplish blossomed plant that grows in Minnesota and Alaska and a few other areas in places that have been disturbed--excavation, fire, old homesteads, clearcuts, etc. Where I am, it blooms mid-July.
You can also make a Fireweed honey, but I haven't tried that yet! Our honey was slow this year coming along after inches upon inches of rain, so the bees weren't getting anything from the Basswood....I digress again, back to the jelly...
Okay, so what you want to do is pick about 8 Cups of blossoms---flower parts only, no stems.
Wash blossoms, put in large kettle.
Add 4 1/2 Cups water.
Add 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Boil for 10 minutes.
Use strained juice, heat to lukewarm.
Add 2 Packages of Sure Jell
Bring to boil.
Add 5 Cups sugar, bring to full rolling boil (one minute).
Pour into hot, water-bathed jars.
Water bathe lids as well.
Enjoy the PING! TICK! PING! of your jars sealing. Label. Store. Indulge!