I decided, enough of this doomsday relationship with Fireweed.
If anything, I should thank it for its reminder and make use of these summer days while we have them!
So onward and forward to Artic Valley I went....on a mission: to make Fireweed Jelly.
We picked until our heart's content and then we picked some more. One overheated truck, several close encounters with bees buzzing by our heads and a tired baby later: we had our bag full of fireweed!
We picked all of the flowers off the stems, avoiding little green bugs all over the place, and then we boiled the flowers until the color was lost into the water.
Add some sugar, pectin and lemon juice and we were on our way....
We got some jars ready, filled em up and not only did we get jelly all over the porch but....
VOILA! Fireweed Jelly!
Of course, not all the jars jelled quite as they should, but we found some remedies for that.
I guess the point of the story is, it's fun living off the land. Sometimes, we get fish and sometimes we get berries. Sometimes nature gives us a flower that seems to be a constant reminder of the cold dark days to come...but I say let's embrace the vibrant colors of that flower while we have it and make use of them! Besides....fireweed jelly sure does taste good on a pancake.
For Fireweed Jelly Recipe I used: http://alaskaoutdoorjournal.com/Departments/Recipes/Jams/fireweedjelly.html
For some other ideas on what to do with Fireweed Jelly:
And when YOUR jelly doesn't set?