A dear friend from Ukraine has gifted me a glass of pine cones jam. I’ve never before thought pine cones actually are edible! To my big surprise the cones in jam have exquisite taste, a combination of caramel and pine tar aroma. And not to mention the small pines, they are actually soft and tasty!
The recipe is not very complicated, either.
Pine cones have to be harvested in may, by the time they are still small, green and soft.
Wash the cones carefully. For 0.5 kilo of cones use 0.5 kilo of sugar, put them both in pan and boil. When jam boils reduce the temperature to cool down. Repeat three to four times, by the time color of cones changes from light green to dark caramel or crimson color and the consistency of syrup resembles honey. Put in sterile jars and close still hot. Adding some vanilla, cinnamon or honey will change the taste. A kind advice: do use the stainless pan, as cones are rich of tar and might ruin enamel pans 😉
Now you can enjoy in wonderful taste of pine needles and tar in caramel like syrup! Even more as the treat is said to be quiet healthy, good against cold, flu, asthma and more.
I’ve painted a small pine tree bonsai, have a look here
photo: Tamara Jare
When traveling I always try to find flower shops and flower stands to take a photo. It is wonderful to see how people from different countries put flowers on display, the places where you can buy flowers, what do the bouquets look like, how much do they cost? In Oslo a bunch of us, colleagues bought together a tulip bouquet for our friend that invited us home,it was so expensive. In Napoli I remember a young boy proudly delivering a huge bouquet from the flower shop somewhere in the neighborhood, he was happy just holding it. In Trieste you can find cyclamen in each flower shop and Salzburg has wonderful flower stalls at its Grunmarkt. Wandering Milan at night a gypsy boy would came by to sell you some roses, red as love. In Valencia I saw the most colorful bouquets .But wherever it is , it is always the same, flowers bring joy, sometimes looks like even the seller himself is happy offering such an abundance of colors. And I always try to capture at least a bit of this joy to bring home with me and it was just the same with this flower shop in Bologna, pictured above. Wouldn’t you be happy to have one of those bouquets, at least in the photo?