Snow has gone

The snow has melted in the last few days, due to the beautiful sunny afternoons. Spring feels much closer now and lots of flowers and leaves are sprouting. This morning I saw daisys, violet leaves, curly dock basal leaves,nettles and lots of others that I haven't learned the names of yet. I'm learning them in two languages so it takes a while....


ROSEHIP TIPPLE continued.....

A month has passed so I have strained the rosehips out of the alcohol (with a coffee filter), bottled and stored the tipple. I couldn't resist a little taste and expected the drink to be quite tart, but it was actually quite mellow.  Hopefully it will be lovely in a couple of months.



Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c



I had a few rosehips left which I intended to keep for rosehip tea, but I forgot to cut them in half and they became too hard so I let them dry for a couple of weeks, until they became really hard and used them as beads.
Rosehips should be cut in half and the hairy seeds removed before using for consumption eg tea, jam, syrup or jelly. The hairs can irritate the intestinal tract . I remember when I was a young lass we used the hairy insides of rosehips as a wicked itching powder. 

I made a simple necklace using embroidery thread and made a double knot between each rosehip and used two hips at the back so the necklace can be worn long or short.

I read on the net that traditionally rosehips were worn to attract love so I gave them to my teenage daughter on Valentines Day. I thought she would laugh at them, but she actually wore them!   I'm still wondering if the spell worked or not......I'd be the last person she would tell.

In the UK Valentines Day is celebrated by couples, lovers,  potential suitors, admirers, friends, mothers, family members  etc., whereas in Italy it is less celebrated by everyone but perhaps  more so by couples....
When I was a schoolgirl I remember sometimes receiving several cards and worrying about not receiving any. My gran sent me a card every year signed "guess who?". I never did guess and only realised it was her after she died. Bless her.

In Italy Valentines Day is strictly for couples. Card sending for any special occasion  is uncommon and there is very little choice, as compared to the UK.


Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c




Rosehip oil is supposed to be good for dry skin and wrinkles (all those fatty acids), so this is my version of blend .

I have been applying it every night for three weeks now and I'm very pleased with my concoction. My wrinkles have not magically vanished, however my skin does feel softer and well moisturised. I have combination, sensitive, mature skin and rich face creams sometimes make me break out, since using this blend,  I've only had a one  small spot on my chin.

Recipe (organic ingredients if possible)

100ml jojoba oil
100ml wheatgerm oil
1 cup rosehips ( I used wild Rosa canina-washed, top and tailed and dried in the dark for a couple of days)
 30ml extra virgin olive oil 


Put the ingredients in double boiler or pan in larger pan of boiling water (bain marie method) and boil gently for 6/8hours (topping up the water when necessary). You could also use a crock pot for 12 hours. After about 7 hours I could see small red blobs of oil floating in the other oils.

After the oil blend has cooled strain through muslim or fine gauze (twisting the corners together tightly to squeeze out as much oil as possible). Pour  the oil into small dark glass bottles (e.g., essential oil bottles) and store in a cool dark place  for future use or give to your friends. Rub on  your face gently before bed. Keep out of direct sunlight and shake before use.


Update 9 nov 2012- there are lots of rosehips here now. I'm going to make some more of this, I wouldn't be without it. It's really improved by skintone and keeps it moisturised, therefore  the wrinkles are less noticeable.  It hasn't got rid of my wrinkles, but they definitely aren't any worse!
Rosehips contain 77% fatty acids -great for cell regeration. Wheatgerm and Jojoba are also great oils for the skin. (Rosehip oil is an ingredient in  LIA therapy treatment, which is popular with the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Gywneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham).

shared @

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c



Here in Italy most home-made liqueurs use grappa or 90/95% alcohol.  
When i first came to Italy I had a bad experience with grappa and have avoided it ever since.
This drink is actually based on the Danish version of Rosehip Schnapps.


Clean the rose hips and cut off tops and tails.
Leave them to dry in a dark place  for a few days - on kitchen paper.
Use a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
Fill 2/3 of the jar with  rosehips.
Cover well with  vodka - 40% alcohol content.
Leave to infuse for one month in a dark place 
Shake every few days.
After one month, strain and filter  into a clean glass bottle/s with stoppers.
Store for at least  2 months in a dark place  before serving.

Click here to see how it turned out ...rosehip-tipple continued.....

Update September 2013
This isn't a sweet liqueur (you could add some sugar if you prefer sweet).
Schnapps are usually drank in small shot glasses (ice-cold is best) in one gulp.
I actually prefer it with a little tonic water.




It had been a very mild winter here in Emilia Romagna, until the last couple of weeks that is, when it has snowed and snowed. I was actually snowed in twice for a couple of days. The snow is now melting and life
is returning to normal....central Italy is still struggling with the quantity of white stuff that came down.

I was lucky to find some rosehips at the beginning of January that were still in pretty good condition and had been recently softened by the first frosts. They came off the branches easily without having to snip them away. In the next posts I'm going to describe what I did with them......