Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hot Tip

Oh Firtips, how you make my spring so much better. Like lawn daisies, they can used in salads, or as a spice in soups and scrambles. 

But most importantly they can be made into a delicious old scandahuvian-style syrup for pancakes, glazings and salad dressings. Pick about five cups of green, just bursting forth tips, cover with water and simmer for about three hours. When you have about two, or three cups worth of liquid add at least a 1 1/2 cups of sugar (you can ad up to 2.5 cups) and simmer, while stirring periodically for another hour or so, until you have a thick brown liquid. Strain out the tips and let it cool and then bottle. You can also you honey, but don't waste unpasteurized on this since you'll be heating it up.

I imagine these guys would also be great infused into vinegar for dressings and such.

Please be mindful when you gather them and move from branch to branch. They are the new growths of the tree and she needs them too. Don't over harvest one area. I like to nibble on them as I walk the woods. A little snack from the the forest.

disclaimer: If you're planning to poison yourself by eating the wrong stuff, I'll be so sad, but I won't be held accountable. Okay? Good. You're a grown-up. Whee!


  1. pretty! see you soon ma dear! xo m

  2. too the woods I go!

    ALSO- I really like your disclaimer.

  3. Ahh, the syrup recipe sounds great! I like to brew the fir tips as a tea, sometimes with rosehips or hawthorn berries :)

  4. Hey, Milla, this is a tangent but I just stumbled across this lovely piece of writing and I thought of you with your nettle-loving ways...

    x Helen

  5. I'm gonna try it! I'm in Massachusetts at the moment and I saw lots of these today on my walk :)

  6. Hi Milla! I've been a pretty long-time reader but I'm shy, so this is my first comment. But I wanted to say how much I love your sharing recipes and herbal info--I moved to the SF Bay last summer and have been taking an amazing class at the California School of Herbal Studies. It makes me so happy that you share similar plant knowledge. We are going to be finishing up our salve today (plantain, comfrey, calendula)--I'm excited! ps. I have been nibbling on fir tips these last few weeks while on hikes. I want to try this syrup!

  7. Even better! We just did our syrup RAW, without cooking! Meaning: place a layer of fir tips in a glass jar, then a layer of sugar (we used organic brown cane sugar), then a layer of tips, then sugar....until the jar is full (we had a huge 3 liter jar). Then you simply place the whole jar in the sun and turn it around about once a day, so that the sun reaches all the corners of the jar. Very quickly you will perceive a miracle: suryp starts forming at the bottom of the jar. Then you just sieve the suryp out into small jars for storing! It isn't super thick stuff, but very tasty and this way all the vitamin C etc is saved as well! Very good as cough medicine!

    1. I'm gonna share this awesome raw tip (pun pun pun!) in my next post! Thank you m'dear!

  8. How cool! I learned something new today, thanks to you!

    And I especially loved your disclaimer. Ha!