Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gun & Run

Now that our visit to Hyder is accomplished, we are in gun and run mode as we travel, for the next four days or so. So sleep, eat, and drive - make up pretty much the entire day's itinerary, although today we pulled over by the Skeena River for lunch and took the time to pick another dehydrator full of rose hips for this winter's vitamin C tea drinks. It was rainy all day, heavy at times, but when we find such a nice crop by the roadside, we try to take advantage of the discovery. Luckily for us, the bushes are almost always untouched when we find them. Apparently there aren't a lot of people who pick and save them. Boiled for a short time and then steeped overnight, they make a delightfully earthy beverage which is excellent hot or cold. I love the "tea" they produce, but the whole process is nice as the drying and dehydrating produces a sweet and very pleasant aroma that wafts through the coach for the several days it takes to dry each batch. The hips, or berries, can be sun dried as well, so we move the dehydrator to the shower stall, and under the skylight, right next to our traveling herb garden while we travel for the day, and then plug them back in at the end of the day's travel. Each night the coach fills with the warm scent of the drying berries, and oh how sweet it is!

The hips come in all shapes and sizes, and even the color can vary from species to species of wild rose, but the basic color is red when they are ripe and ready for picking, although pink and orange are to be found at places as well. When we have our crop stored for the season, we will have collected hips from Chicken Alaska all the way back through New England. We actually still have a few giant hips from the Canadian Maritimes left over from last season. Think of it as an International blend or an All States blend. Delicious no matter what you call it....

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