One morning in Maine: Rose Hips and Reading

I’m sitting this morning, looking at this view …

Orrs Island view

I KNOW. A cup of coffee beside me, computer open on my lap, I’m living my “Maine” dream. It was an alternate version of my life sparked in my 6 year old imagination the first time I read Robert McCloskey’s One Morning in Maine. Growing up in Oregon, I longed to live in Maine, to put on boots and go clamming with my dad. One_Morning_in_Maine

My friend grew up on Orr’s Island in Maine, and I’m finally visiting her childhood home. I can’t stop taking pictures, or asking about what grows in this colder climate (other than clams).  We island hop, crossing short bridges. She points out places where she and high school friends took boats out, the apple trees, the last of the swiss chard in her mom’s garden, and rose hips she remembers eating, a tart treat.

I’ve never eaten a rose hip, and I’m always surprised how much of nature we can actually consume. Apparently I should have stuck it out with Girl Scouts, because, now? If I were lost in the woods, I’d never make it.  Looking up why you might want to eat a rose hip, the round part of the flower, just below the petals, WebMD tells me that it’s high in Vitamin C, and can be used to treat and prevent colds, flus, as well as to treat stomach issues.

Do you have roses? Then you have rose hips. Drying rose hips often removes the potency of the C inside, so some of the teas or supplements might be enhanced with other C.  And, apparently some garden hybrid roses offer nothing when it comes to aroma or flavor.  This is where the Maine dream comes in to play – beach roses and their hips are the perfect tonic for what ails you.

If you live in the Northeast, you can pick your own and jar for a yummy jam, a mixture of tart and sweet flavor.  Chelsea Green has several recipes, including one with a touch of honey. They all recommend picking the rose hips after the frost, when they’ve become soft. I recommend you eat while reading One Morning in Maine.

Have you had rose hips in one form or another?  I’m also curious, any childhood book that sparked your imagination to live in another place?

I’m off for more Maine adventures (aka LOBSTER)!

Maine collage