It is summertime. Here in New England, it is very green. Very green.
|A few hundred feet from my home.|
I love it. It was a long, hard, winter and I welcome the green and heat and even the humidity.
|This is an intersection near my house. Can you find the stop sign?|
Here in the rural area I live in, honeysuckle is growing wild everywhere.
It smells so good.
Do you remember picking the blossoms and gently and ever so slowly pulling out the pistil to get that tiny little drop of nectar. It was so sweet.
This is what prompted my desire to make honeysuckle jelly.
This jelly tastes a little like herbal tea to me, sweetened with honey. The color of the infusion was a little concerning. It was green. Not a little green - super green.
Not attractive for jelly. When I added the lemon, though, it turned a beautiful golden color. So pretty. Bees know what they are doing with this nectar.
4 cups of honeysuckle flowers (loosely packed)
4 cups of boiling water
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
8 cups sugar
2 packages of low sugar pectin (6 Tablespoons)
Place the blossoms in a large pot. Try to make sure you don't have any leaves (they are bitter.)
Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the blossoms. Give this a quick stir to make sure all the flowers are in the water. Let steep for 2-3 hours (or more.)
Line a fine sieve with cheesecloth or coffee filters (that is what I use.) Drain flowers through the sieve for 2-3 hours or overnight.
You should have about 1 quart of honeysuckle "tea".
Don't worry about the color.
It will be fine.
At this point I put the "tea" in the fridge until I am ready to make the jelly - usually within 2 days.
Prepare your jars, lids and boiling water bath. This recipe made 9 1/2 half pint jars.
It a large pot, combine the honeysuckle "tea", the lemon juice and the pectin.
Heat until rolling boil.
Add all of the sugar all at once.
Bring back to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Ladle hot jelly into hot jars. Wipe the jar rims. Place the lids and rings.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove from the bath to a towel draped counter and listen for the *pings*.
Bask in the glory of a job well done and listen to the accolades of all of your family and friends for creating such a unique jelly.