The cooler weather that has drifted through lately has found us gathering in the kitchen around our old woodstove we call Calcifer.
Calcifer is old and finicky, and the seals need replaced. He billows smoke at us when the logs start to burn, and the oven temperature can vary wildly. But on chilly mornings and evenings, gathering in the halo of radient heat beside a wood fire, with a pot of broth simmering on the stove top and some hot tea in hand, perhaps a book or some knitting in the lap, is quite cozy.
I was going to post a recipe for Jamaican sorrel, which refreshed us so much during the very hot weather before this recent cold snap, but the cool weather won out before I found my chance. With the flavor of Jamaicam sorrel in mind – sweet and tangy with the aroma of mulling spices, we made a few tests on this recipe to get it right – a pleasant endeavor beside Calcifer on cool days. And with a candy-filled holiday before us, perhaps this healthy alternative will find its way into your kitchen as well.
This is the kind of candy I approve of…. not that it is healthy to eat any sweet things in the quantities that so many children eat candy now. Flavored with something real, sweetened with honey, and made with joint-and-bone-supporting gelatin, we can enjoy the sweetness and flavor and be nourished as well.
It’s also one more thing we can make from the Roselle in the garden, which is starting to feel like quite a task to keep picked and process. This is the point in the season where one looks for new recipes because no one is enthralled with the usual ones anymore.
Roselle Sour Gummy Candies
About 30 shucked roselle calixes ( this post has more details about that part)
1 1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons gelatin (I like to get the Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatin)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. In a small sauce pan, boil the roselle with the water with the lid on (to keep the water from evaporating). Reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid.
2. Now combine all other ingredients in another pan (I’ve found that a pan with a thicker bottom is best, so the honey and gelatin don’t burn), and add the reserved 1/3 cup of Roselle tea.
3. Gently melt over a low fire, stirring out the lumps, until the mixture starts to boil and look homogenous.
4. With a spoon, pour into a chocolate mold. You can leave it to cool slowly, or put it in the fridge or freezer to speed the process up. Old chocolate molds from inside of chocolate advent calendars make beautiful gummy candies. If you have no mold, you can also pour it into a small baking pan lined with parchment and slice it into strips like fruit roll- ups, or chunks if the pan was quite small, or even thin slices for gummy worms.