Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making "Forest Honey"

 I made Waldhonig, "Forest Honey," this week.

 Last week we visited the alp of our friends in the mountains.  An alp is a home with an attached barn which is used by dairy farmers during the summer when they take their cows to the mountains to graze all summer in the grassy meadows.  While there we gathered the sweet, tender tips of new growth on the branches of these trees.





 Our friend Ernst, who grew up in these mountains, told us how to make Waldhonig.  When I got home I rinsed the needles and put them in a pot with some water.  I boiled and boiled them, filling the house with a slightly lemony Christmas tree smell.  Hmmmmm.  My husband loved coming home to that smell last night.  Later I strained the needles out and added jam-making sugar, (which has pectin added to it.)

It was delicious on my toast this morning.  Ernst says it is also very good for sore throats and coughs!

21 comments:

Fiona said...

Wow - now that is something we definitely have to try. It looks and sounds delicious.
Does it have to be a specific species of pine tree?
Thanks for the lovely idea Beth.

Beth said...

Fiona, It is delicious! I had never heard of it before....had you? And I couldn't find a recipe. I had to wing it. I am hoping to get the name of the pine tree from Ernst. It might be worth trying with different kinds of pine trees. But what is necessary is that you use the tender, light green new needles, which are in little soft brushy bunches. I nibbled one. It was soft and a little bit lemony. Beth

Pat said...

My friend occasionally makes it, I have to agree it's very yummy.
I like to eat the needles themselves from the trees, the young ones only of course.

Bonnie said...

Oh my! That is really interesting!! I can imagine how good it tastes!! I am always learning something new on your blog!! Thanks!

Lilyshaw said...

Sounds delicious, amazing!

Beth said...

Thanks, Bonnie, Pat, and Lilyshaw! It IS so delicious. I still don't know if it has to be a particular kind of pine tree. Lucy said it is just an everyday "tannenbaum." Beth

Mama Goose said...

Thanks for sharing that info. I had heard of waldhonig, but always just assumed it was honey collected in the wald. ha ha. I never realized it was actually altogether different. Very good to know, and it adds one more thing to what is forageable.

Beth said...

Hi, Mama Goose.....I looked Waldhonig up on line and found very few references to this jelly. It is usually bee's honey! Beth

Cammie said...

you made some! I wish I had been there for it. Sounds so tasty, and interesting!

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, try to find out more about the type of pine tree it is and would LOVE if you could give more specific directions on how to make it. I'm dying to try it. Very intrigued. Thanks so much.

Beth said...

Hi, Anonymous! Unfortunately, I don't know what to tell you about the type of pine tree. I think you could try different kinds, (just make sure it is a pine tree and not something poisonous like yew!) But it is very important, apparently, to pick only the very tender new growth. Once you have a lot, wash it and cover it with water and boil for a while. Ernst said "boil it to death." Strain. Now measure how much "juice" you have and follow the recipe for making jelly on the pectin package. Can it up! Let me know how it came out!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Beth for your help. (By the way, I only sign in as Anonymous because I'm a computer idiot and don't understand the other sign ins:)
Now I just have to find some pine trees. I think all we have on our property is cedar trees.
Hoping I get to try this.

The Alaskan Isbells said...

I'm new to your blog and so glad I found you! I love to forage and will try to make Waldhonig. I've never heard of it. My girls and I had fun making (and they sold to tourists at the pipeline) Fireweed/Red Clover honey while we lived in Alaska. It had an herbal taste and was delicious! I'll love following your blog:~)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that those are not pine trees -- they appear to be spruce.

Beth said...

Thank you Anonymous. I really didn't know. My alpine friend just calls them "tannenbaum." I'm so happy to know that they are spruce. Maybe one day I will be able to make Waldhonig here in the States when we move back here, too, now that I know we used spruce. What I do know is that is is delicious. Try it!!!!!

Chris and Krysta said...

Tannenbam is another name for "Christmas tree"

Anonymous said...

Fir Trees!!!! That is awesome! When we move back to Maine I suppose I will volunteer at the Christmas Tree farm by our family homestead!!

Beth said...

Hi, Anonymous,

Several people have told me that these are spruce trees. Beth

Anonymous said...

Hello.....We have tons of balsem fIrs in northern Michigan and the new shoots are just coming out. did you just make the forest honey and keep it in the refrigerator or did you process it? Thanks in advance! Linda

Mystic Woods Farm said...

Wonderful idea! I can't wait to try this with our native long leaf pines to see what the flavor is like. We have done "pine needle tea", but not thought of giving it the jelly treatment.

Anonymous said...

Hello there, great post, in Greece we have a similar kind of tree, this must be an Abies sp.