We recently went looking for grouse in Northern NM. Didn't find any, though we did run into some gallinaceous birds- the common New Mexico blurry turkey:
Even though we couldn't come up with grouse, I saw a couple of feathers and a dust bath at our first spot. The road into the next spot, always bad, was much worse after a month or so of rain. Because it was so slow, we were getting toward the evening hours and, on the way up, were passed by a couple of bowhunters headed up, no doubt to those same meadows we were planning on trolling for grouse. Two sweaty bird hunters and a hundred pounds of dog racing about are not conducive to elk coming out at dusk. Also, it was opening day of their season, so I felt a little bad about going all the way up there and hitting those meadows. Consequently, when we went by a bunch of wild roses sporting large, ripe rosehips, we took a few minutes to gather a quart or so of the hips in order to make jelly, then headed down the mountain.
We relied on two different recipes in our jelly making, using the extraction technique from the first and, as they agreed on about everything except pectin as far as the ingredient list for the jelly, the pectin-utilizing technique from the second.
After cleaning off the stem and flower ends and any other detritus, we boiled the hips in water and then let them steep.
After steeping, we mashed them up with a potato masher, then extracted the juice (and quite a bit of pulp) through layers of cheesecloth set in a sieve. We'd have gotten clear jelly by using more cheesecloth and letting the juice just drip, but decided that we wanted the pulp for body (and Vitamin C, we hope) rather than trying for a prettier, clear product. Once we'd extracted our juice and pulp, in went lemon juice and pectin, to be followed by sugar.
The jelly ended up this rusty orange color:
The flavor is good- much like oranges, but without the bitter note you get in marmalade, and with a woodsy undertone. It came out a nice, tart jelly. Rose hips are supposed to be very high in Vitamin C as well, so it's good for you to boot. Definitely worth doing again.
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