Foraging and finding – Fir tip honey

young fir tips

Long time no see, he? Yes, this has been a quiet place for a long time, although this doesn’t mean that I haven’t cooked, knitted or sewed. But priorities had shifted during the last months. After our movement we were busy making our house a home. And then came April… oh, this extraordinary warm summer-like April, and most of I could think of was our garden. We did a lot of unweeding, sowing and planting. We furnished our terrace, build a herb garden,… and listened to birds and bumblebees, admired the blossom of our magnolia tree, collected snail shells, watched the movement of sun and shadow, enjoyed a glass of wine in the evenings, grilled our first sausages. I can truly say that it feels like a new – better – life. Even work is half as annoying when done at the garden table.

Life has been quite analog these days, and I didn’t miss a thing. Every now and then I was foraging for something to blog about, I felt a bit guilty,… but somehow nothing felt that convincing. So I let it go…

I wasn’t sure if this was only a break or the end and the beginning of something different. So many things have changed during the last months.

homemade fir tip syrup

But it came back – the want to share things here at this place. It came back with our fir tree! Suddenly my current focus and the outlines of this blog came together. I sat on my little ‘hippie lounge’ under the fir tree, looked up and saw its light green tips… and I remembered a recipe that I had bookmarked probably years ago: Fir tip “honey”. It actually is no real honey, but a syrup made of the fresh green tips of conifers that grow in April/May. Commonly fir, spruce ore pine are used. Make sure to check that the trees are not toxic like f.ex. the yew tree!

How does it taste? I would describe it as woody and sweet. He says “like Christmas”. I cooked it into a molasses-like texture which makes a great spread on your morning toast. But I can imagine it to add a nice aroma to f.ex. salad dressings, homemade ice-cream or a good gin as well. Experiments will follow 😉

Not to forget: It’s healthy. This kind of syrup is a long known household remedy against cough and respiratory infections.

Tannenspitzenhonig

During the last year kind of magical things happened. We had nearly given up to find a house that fullfilled at least parts of our wishes. We found one – or did it find us? – and it’s kind of perfect. I don’t believe in destiny, but I learned that you can’t force things. Sometimes they just happen. I guess I will wait and see where this blog leads to. Probably the shift of interest towards gardening will be visible. We’ll see. I hope you still enjoy visiting this little place.

fir tip honey

Fir tip honey 

ingredients
500g light green fir (or spruce, pine) tips, ½ organic lemon, about 1 kg sugar

preparation
Wash and slice lemon. Cook fir tips and lemon slices for 20 minutes with 1 l water. Cover and let rest for 24 hours. Strain through a kitchen towel. Weight liquid and add the same amount of sugar. Cook at low heat for 1½-3 hours until the syrup has thickened. Cooking time depends on your preferred texture. You can test the texture by dripping some syrup on a cold plate. (I cooked mine for 2½ hours.) Fill hot into sterilized jars (Watch your hands!) and let fully cool out. Store in a dark and cool place.

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