For reasons beyond my control, I am an ambitious and tenacious person. I also get side tracked with new projects and am the type of person who says “Yes, I can do that!” and then spends the rest of my time trying to catch up with all my yeses.
That being said, the other day I was reading about a child who loved to suck the nectar out of his mom’s honeysuckle flowers. That made me think about my children talking about how great our abundant honeysuckle smells right now. This made me think the thought “Hmmmm, there’s got to be a way to preserve that…” That made me think of jelly. So, that’s how we got here today.
Hope you enjoyed that little trip through my mind.
While I am all the things listed above, to a fault, I am not, in no fashion or form, a girlie girl. But let me tell you, this jelly made me want to put on Victorian lace and hold a tea-cup, while looking out the window at our garden. It is the sweetest, lady-like thing I think you could ever place in your mouth!
Here is what you do:
Note: I promise I will come back and add some lovely pictures to these instructions!
1/2 gallon total honeysuckle flowers and rose petals
1 gallon boiling water
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 boxes powdered pectin
10 cups sugar, organic whole cane in best
First, you need access to honeysuckle and roses. Or just honeysuckle, but the roses added such a light, smoothness to the very sweet honeysuckle, and a beautiful pink to the finished color.
Take a gallon pitcher out side and fill it half-full with honeysuckle blossoms and rose petals.
Take them inside and wash them gently in cold water, then place them back in the pitcher.
Now, boil right at a gallon of water.
Pour the boiling water over the flowers into the pitcher.
Cover the pitcher with a cloth and a rubber band.
Let it sit and steep for 2-3 days.
Don’t touch it, don’t lift the cloth to smell it, just don’t.
Just kidding, you can smell it if you want too.
Once your steeping days have gone by and your ready to make the jelly, boil 12 pint canning jars and keep them hot to pour the jelly in, also get 12 new canning lids and 12 rings ready.
OK, now that your tea is steeped all the sweat goodness out of the flowers, you’ll want to strain it through a cheese cloth, or clean towel, into a big pot. The one I used is 2 gallons, and it worked well. Once it’s all strained through, squeeze the last of the moisture out of the flowers.
This is all that was left of my 1/2 gallon of flowers when I was through!
Now, add 1/2 cup lemon juice to your tea.
Put your pot of tea on the stove and turn the heat on med/high. Add in 4 boxes of powdered pectin and stir well.
Keep stirring gently.
In between stirring, measure out 10 cups of sugar and set to the side.
Keep stirring gently your tea/pectin mixture until it comes to a hard boil. You know you’ve reached a hard boil when you stir and it keeps bubbling.
Once you’ve reached a hard boil, pour in your sugar and keep stirring.
Just keep stirring, just keep stirring, what do we do, we stir…we like to stir, we like to STIR!
Sorry. Too many Walt Disney movies…
While you are stirring, bring your liquid back to a hard boil and boil for 90 seconds.
Ladle into your hot jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
Wipe the mouths and place lids and rings on top, screw on lids and give one tightening twist. Don’t crank down the lid to tight, just snug.
Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath, covering the lids about 1-1.5 inch with water.
If you have hard water, add a dollop of vinegar to your water bath.
Once they are done processing, take them out of the boiling water and place them on a towel. Leave them undisturbed until they have completely cooled and set.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!
If you don’t have any pectin and you still want to preserve your flowers, you can follow this same recipe, only omit the pectin and boil the sugar/tea/lemon mixture for 3 minutes, then process them in a boiling water bath the same way, and you will have heavenly pancake/waffle syrup!
I know this simply because the first batch I made, I realized I was out, (Horror of all horror!!!) of pectin.
It was a good save and now I have exactly 24 pints of preserved heaven in the form of a flower in my pantry!