An Unexpected Forage: Learning From My Little Sister

Hello again, my friends! I apologize for the late posting. We spent this weekend making and recovering from the 1,100 mile journey from my hometown to visit my Mom and sister. I can honestly say I was in no condition to blog. 🤣

My family and I are now semi-recovered from the trip, and I wanted to share an unexpected lesson I learned from my little sister. She’s 3 years my junior, and both of us are in our 30’s. Man, that realization still hurts a little. (The being in my 30s, I mean.)

At any rate I have to say, I learn a good bit from her. Stay tuned for my YouTube video on my sister’s raising dairy goats the last several years. I’ve had some hiccups uploading the video, so once I get those things figured out, it’ll be ready to view!

Sara (that’s her name) had the guts to try making jelly before I did. I was terrified of trying to make my own jelly. I was so afraid of making a terrible mistake and wasting all that fruit. An irrational fear, as it turned out. But she talked me into trying it just once, and I was hooked!

That’s just one of the nice things about having siblings. What you chicken out about, they can give you the courage to try. And vice versa.

Last month, my husband, kids and I went back to Louisiana for two weeks to visit family and friends. It was wonderful! I kinda didn’t want to leave. I guess it dawned on me how much I missed everyone and everything there.

One of the things I really missed about Louisiana (other than the people) was picking wild berries on the side of the road. (See my last blog post.) We made off with 4 gallons! They were brought back to Maryland and thrown into the freezer at home. They will soon enough be pies and sauce for dumplings.

But on the same treks down country roads hunting for blackberries, we smelled the most amazing smell. It was a heavenly scent that I forgot I loved so much.

Honeysuckle. It’s the kind of flower that you smell before you see. You can go down a country road minding your own business and then all of a sudden it hits you. Some faint perfume on the wind. Just a hint that somewhere around the bend, still out of sight, there are those “curly q” vines wrapping themselves up and down trees along the roadside. And on all those vines, multitudes of white and yellow trumpet-like blossoms blooming and reaching out toward the sunlight.

When we were kids, we spent a lot of time around honeysuckle vines, picking them and pulling out the stamen in the middle to taste that single drop of nectar.

Thanks to my sister and her ever curious and experimental attitude towards jelly and jam making, I have found a new way to enjoy honeysuckle. It’s like Springtime in an eight ounce jar. And I want to share it with you.

Now, full disclosure, my sister got this recipe from Pinterest and decided to try it. You can find it for yourself Here.

For your convenience, I have included the recipe for Honeysuckle Jelly below. The original recipe said the yield was 7 eight ounce jars of jelly. My sister made one batch and we made the second batch together. Both times, the recipe yielded only 5 jars worth.

Here’s what you will need:

Boiling water canner

5 8-ounce jars with lids and bands

4 cups honeysuckle blossoms

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 pouch liquid pectin

Now that you have your supplies, let’s make some jelly!

Directions:

Take your honeysuckle and remove the green tips at the bases of the blossoms. Next, bring your water to a rolling boil, remove from heat, and add the flowers. Allow to steep for 45 minutes. This will make an infusion that will smell amazing. Basically honeysuckle tea.

Strain the flowers. Reserve 2 cups of liquid. This liquid will not keep, so when you make it, be sure you have enough time to finish the jelly.

Combine the 2 cups of liquid in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a hard boil that can’t be stirred down.

Add the liquid pectin and boil for 2 minutes more. Reduce heat if you need to so that the mixture won’t boil over.

Ladle into hot sterilized jars and screw on lids.

Process in canner for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 24 hours. Check to make sure lids sealed.

And there it is. So easy! And delicious. To me it tastes like a mild apple jelly and we really enjoyed it! I hope you and your family do, too.

I’m so glad I took the time to learn something from my little sister once again. Love ya, Sara.

Thanks very much for stopping by the blog again. Now that vacation is over for the year I should be able to post weekly again. Till then, keep stepping in the right direction to achieve your homestead goals!

Meg

6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Forage: Learning From My Little Sister

  1. You guys are too cute!! Just the smell of honeysuckle brings back fun childhood memories of picking honeysuckle while trying to steer clear of the poison ivy intermingled in it. We laughed in the face of danger! I’m definitely puting this on my jelly-making list.
    Thanks Megan!!

    Like

  2. Awesome story! I’m always looking for a new and unique jam or jelly to make and this sounds fantastic. 😀. Love those old photos too. The older we get the more precious they are.

    Like

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