Food for Free

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I have always liked the idea of food for free: so this summer whilst on holiday in Cornwall, I couldn’t resist foraging for hips from the heavily- laden rose bushes in the woods around the property where we were staying. Rose hips are the cherry-sized red fruit of the rose bush, stuffed with vitamin C, and left behind when the bloom dies away. Nearly all rose bushes produce hips, but the wild variety, without pesticides and left to ripen in the summer sun, undoubtedly have the best flavour. I like to pick the fruit when it is fully-red but not over-ripe. Although as I only had a small time window in Cornwall, the hips I used for this batch of jelly were not the darkest red I have ever used, but the jelly tasted just as good and set really well. Be warned: the pips in the hips are covered in small hairs which can cause irritation, so for this reason I prefer to make jelly rather than jam, where the pips are strained out of the final preserve. Find the full recipe here – you can download it too.

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Susan Penny has become one of Britain's best-loved craft writers. She has already written more than 50 books and introduced tens of thousands of readers to new craft skills and memorable projects. Many of her books, like 'Knitted Cakes', have become international best sellers. Her background is an arts graduate who has turned her love of making things into a career. After launching and editing some of the biggest and best craft magazines in the UK, Susan is now one of the most respected designers, writers and editors in the contemporary British craft scene. Susan is just as happy working with needle and thread as a crochet hook.

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