Cooking Through Fiction: Honeysuckle Hollow Jelly
One of my favorite heralds of summertime is honeysuckle. It’s like one morning, the shrubs decide it’s time to show off and welcome honeybees and butterflies, and they burst into bloom overnight.
The hills and sides of the road and backyards are covered in honeysuckle, either planted or wild. The air outside is full of the sweet scent, and I can’t help but open the windows and let it all into the house.
The smell of honeysuckle reminds of when I was a little girl, and my family and I strolled down the road to this patch of empty land that bloomed with honeysuckle every summer. We’d stand there grinning and sucking the sweetness from the flowers like hummingbirds. This year was no different—the honeysuckle went crazy, and I rolled down my car windows as I drove home every day, smiling and thinking, Welcome back.
In Honeysuckle Hollow, Tessa receives a package containing keys to a dilapidated mansion with a mysterious past. The one decision her heart is whispering her to make is seen by others a reckless, impulsive mistake. Will she follow her heart?
Yields: 7 half-pints (4 cups)
Level of Difficulty: Average
4 c honeysuckle flowers
4 c boiling water
¼ c lemon juice
4 c sugar
1 pkg liquid pectin
How to Make
Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.
Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, and then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.
Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.
In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down.
Add the pectin, and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, and then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.
Serve with hot, buttered biscuits and enjoy!
Honeysuckle Hollow can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.