Super Alaskan Fireweed Jelly

Because I was feeling all “superhomemakerey” this weekend, I decided to try out a recipe for jelly that I found while browsing through one of the blogs I keep in my RSS reader… I’ve never canned, jarred or anything of the sort before, so I was pleased that this recipe looked super easy! Please check out Maija over on Finnskimo – she has all sorts of cool Alaskan recipes and stories. The recipe below is straight from her blog and it turned out beautifully. :)

My superdad graciously offered to gather a large bag full of beautiful fireweed blossoms for me off of the riverbank near his cabin on the Little Su River.



8 C Fireweed Blossoms
1/4 C fresh squeezed Lemon or Lime juice
4 1/2 C Water
2 pk Powdered Pectin (Like Sure-Jell)
5 C Sugar

Pick Blossoms off the stem, separate leaves, and wash blossoms. Add to a pot, add citrus juice and water (we find that Lime works best), Boil for 10 full minutes, stirring occasionally. The color will slowly fade from the blossoms, that’s what you want! Strain the “juice” into pot (the juice is what you’ll use to make the jelly) and add pectin. Bring to full boil, and add sugar one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute after all sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, place into clean jelly jars. Let sit overnight on a cooling rack. You’ll hear the lids “pop” and seal throughout the night. If there are any that don’t seal, simply store in refrigerator. Enjoy!


Here are a few photos from the process – this jelly turned out AWESOME! Such a yummy flavor, and a surreal color – like a fluorescent purple, almost! My sister-in-law, Amanda and I had a great time making this. We ALSO made two loaves of my Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread so that we’d have something to try the jelly on… we ate a half a loaf and a half a jar of jelly by the time she went home!



Thought I would share this little email exchange between my grandma and I last week, because it surprised and touched me. My last post about Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread came after a whole day where I thought about my grandpa a lot, and I just really missed him. When I woke up in the morning I was really craving pancakes, so I busted out my Krusteaz mix and made myself a plate full of mini pancakes – my grandpa used to make me dollar-sized pancakes for breakfast when I was little, but he called them “Jenny-sized” pancakes. Then I ate them with Karo syrup, because that’s what he always used instead of regular maple syrup. And since I was already on a Grandpa kick… then I made beer bread. :)

From: Jenny
Date: 3/13/2010 7:34:39 PM
To: Grandma Nancy
Subject: Grandpa

Hi Grama!
I just wanted to share with you that I thought about Grandpa a lot today. This morning when I woke up I made myself mini (“Jenny”) pancakes, and I ate them with Karo syrup. :)
Then I made a loaf of beer bread from the recipe I have still hanging on my fridge (it’s been there since the day he dictated it to me at your dining room table), and I wrote about it on my blog. Thought you might like to see the entry:
Love you,

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 10:53:11 -0800
From: Grandma Nancy
Subject: Re: Grandpa
To: Jenny

Guess he must have been nudging you as it was his birthday! Maybe that’s why you thought of him so much. Your entry on the beer bread is fabulous…… You have really made so many wonderful “additions” to the original recipe and I’m sure Grandpa would be tickled pink.

Love you much…………………Grama


Huh. I really, truly had not known it was his birthday; I just felt close to Grandpa last Sunday!

Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread

Shortly before my grandfather died a few years ago, he passed along to me an awesomely delicious and easy beer bread recipe. For some reason I thought of it earlier this week and I’ve been craving it ever since… so today I caved. :) I love that this recipe is so basic, and you can tweak it to make it yours in so many different ways. I hope you enjoy!

Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread (3-1-3-1)

Prep Time: 5 min ; Cook Time: 60 min

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 “heapin'” tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 beer (any kind)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add beer & mix well (I use my hand). Grease a bread pan (butter or Pam works fine), then put mixture into pan. Smooth the top of the batter out with a wet rubber spatula (run the spatula under water for a second, the batter will be very sticky). Bake 50 min at 350 degrees (watch it though, all ovens are not alike!)… then butter the top of the loaf and bake for 5-10 more min. Voila!

For variations, I use different types of beer and add extra ingredients to complement… some loaves I’ve made in the past include:

  • -Pumpkin Beer w/pecans
  • -Apricot Beer w/ dried cherries
  • -Guinness or Chocolate Stout with chocolate chips
  • and today’s creation… Alaskan White Beer with shredded orange peel and Craisins (I also used wheat flour)