Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rose Hips for Tea

Another morning spent bending metal.  I fabricated another berry rake out of the remaining copper and fashioned handles and spill guards for both of them.  Now all I have to do is solder them together.  I tried once again with the soldering iron, the stove, and even a clothes iron, but none of the tools can deliver precise heat with enough intensity to solder sheets of copper together.  I delight at how little copper remains from the original sheet but loathe recycling such a useful metal.  Surely I can put it to good use at another time.  As Ric would say, I’ll put it in a neatly labelled box next to the one that reads “pieces of string that are too short to save.”

This evening’s foraging began as the shadows lengthened across Cook St.  Katrina and I walked along the periphery of Beacon Hill Park and collected Rose Hips (Rosa sp.) to dry for tea.  The hips are very large, some about 1” in diameter and a beautiful red that give them the appearance of cherry tomatoes.  Many have insect holes or soft, discoloured spots, making the picking slow despite the abundance of hips.  The smaller hips appear to be less damaged by insects.  We picked until the sun set, and I actually skipped out a little before Katrina to enjoy the golden glow over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and mysterious veil of shadow and clouds obscuring the steep Olympic foothills on the opposing shore.  The water was tranquil, and my thoughts drifted to kayaking alone in the still darkness on the silent Salish Sea.

We ran the Crab Apples (Malus fusca) through the fruit mill and put the sauce in the slow cooker to thicken for either fruit leather or apple butter.  I have been changing the acorn water three times a day and the water hasn’t been very dark on the last few decants.  I noticed an unpleasant odour in the acorns this evening, and I fear that they are starting to ferment.  I think that the thick layer of fine flour in this batch has been fully leached for some time now and bad things are starting to happen to it and it smells of burnt Styrofoam, but the larger acorn meal still has to be further leached.  What to do....  More stirring and leaving the container top open to the air might help.
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