Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rosehips at the Sea Shore

On one of the first windy fall like days of September we took a trip to the ocean up the coast at Hammonasset Beach and State Park. I went there a lot as a kid, but haven't gone much in recent years. It was beautiful and felt like we were on Cape Cod, very different than the urban beaches right in and around New Haven just a few miles south. Since it was too cold for swimming, I imagined spending the day collecting shells and drift wood and just wandering along the sand. As we arrived I had a sudden flash of memory of seeing rose hips along the beach there many years ago. I wasn't sure if it they really were rose hips and edible, or if I'd just made it up. As we walked up the sandy path, I started to see red and orange fruits along the low prickly bushes and my heart started racing as it seems to do when I am near lots of pickable fruit.

I was carrying a pink plastic sand bucket and started filling it immediately. The bushes were thorny and stretched over the edge of the beach in a close knit mass. Most of the fruits were a little hard to reach, and I fell onto the prickers more than once.  Seeing me immersed in picking, my kind husband took one of the kids and went to ask the ranger at the nature center near the parking lot if in fact they were rose hips and not  some poisonous berry.  Returning with a thumbs up just as I had finished filling the bucket, I smiled and started handing the softer of the fruits to my daughter who likes all things sour. I had a vague idea of rose hips from some herbal tea labels, and knew that they were very high in vitamin C, so since we are approaching cold season, I figured it was a good find, and we'd figure out something delicious to do with them.
My camera battery died just as we were approaching the beach, so the only pictures I have are from home, but they are a beautiful sight growing all along the beach, so you might want to head out and see them for yourself. I read up on some recipes for rose hips, and most say to pick them after the first frost, or a little later in the fall when the berries are more red than orange, and soft like a ripe tomato.

I'm thinking of turning mine into a syrup or jam, since I don't want to take the time to remove all the tiny seeds and hairs inside. If you decide to  go adventuring and make some great rose hip recipe,                                                                                           please comment below and let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Tagan, I too was very intrigued by cooking with rosehips this summer when I noticed them while on the cape...did you find a way to make jam without cleaning out the inards?