Thursday, August 12, 2010
The wild carrot, or Queen Anne's Lace, is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy.
(I've always thought there are micro- and macro- nutrients in wild foods - foods we used to eat and have abandoned -that promote better health.)
Ancient folk lore said that to cure epileptic seizures you should eat the dark coloured middle flower of Queen Annes Lace. The flower is also used in ancient rituals and spells, for women to increase fertility and for men to increase potency and sexual desire.
It also makes a tasty jelly!
I never would have imagined that you could make jellies out of anything other than fruits until one day I was talking to a woman who puts up all kinds of preserves and she told me one could make jellies out of edible flowers. She named Queen Anne's Lace and lavender as two possibilities. Amazing! I researched it, and sure enough, it could be done.
So, today, I took a look at a common roadside and field weed that springs up everywhere and got cooking!
First, I picked the Queen Anne's Lace flower heads and soaked them in water for about 10 minutes to drive out the hidden bugs. There are some tiny spiders whose color is an exact match!
I then steeped them in boiling hot water for 30 minutes.
While this was going on I sterilized my jars. I've grown up hearing the story of an entire family who was killed by a batch of bad green beans. So you'll understand that I am very careful to sterilize everything!
The flowers are strained...
...and then strained "juice" is mixed with pectin and lemon juice and boiled. Then sugar is added and it is boiled some more.
Finally, the jelly is poured into jars and put into a hot bath for 5 minutes.
The result is a delicate jelly that tastes of flowers and lemon. Mmmm.
Queen Anne's Lace Jelly
18 large Queen Anne's lace heads
4 Cups water
1/4 Cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 Package powdered pectin
3 1/2 Cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar
Bring water to boil. Remove from heat. Add flower heads (push them down into the water). Cover and steep 30 mins. Strain.
Measure 3 Cups liquid into 4-6 quart pan. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Add sugar and stir constantly. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil one minute longer, then remove from heat.
Add color (pink) if desired. Skim. Pour into jars leaving 1/4" head space. Process in hot water bath for 5 mins.
Makes about 6 jars.
Warning: The seed is a traditional 'morning after' contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women.
For a lot more information about Queen Anne's Lace go to http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html
4 eggs : (
My very kind neighbor gave me a couple of bags of cucumbers. I was happy to accept because the ones in my garden are still tiny. There are so many, I'm going to share the wealth! Today, I wanted to make some assorted pickles, but I found I should soak my cucumbers overnight in ice water for crispy pickles. Soooo tomorrow!
Posted by Sharon at 5:47 PM