Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roselle or hibiscus flowers

  We're very excitable when it comes to new farm ventures.  Of late, Eric's been intently researching cold-hardy citrus in the hopes of having some taste of local citrus someday.  Today, though, we're excited to share with you the harvest from a new to us plant that has done great here.  A friend gave us a few Roselle seeds this spring and this fall we have plants loaded with their 'fruits'.  A member of the hibiscus family, this okra relative grows to a huge beautiful bush, about 4 feet in diameter.  Along the dark red stems grow short lived hibiscus like flowers.  When the petals fall off, a thick calyx is left behind.  These flower parts are then harvested for a number of uses.  Mostly commonly, they are used for a red 'Koolaid' colored tea.  Roselle is actually one of the main ingredients of Red Zinger tea.  They can be used fresh or dried for tea.  While we enjoy the tea, roselle also makes a great mock cranberry sauce.  Just boil the chopped red pods with a little water, honey and maybe ginger.

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