Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Original Pink Lemonade

We have been foraging wild foods again. This time it is sumac. No, no not poison sumac, but Staghorn Sumac.
This a picture of it.
There are several species of sumac with similar berries. (Poison sumac has white berries that hang down between the leaves) The berries are fuzzy and very tart. If you touch the berries and then lick your finger it tastes like your finger was in lemon juice. You don't eat the berries. They are mostly seed, but you can use them to make things. Apparently, Native American used the berries to make a lemonade like drink.

I put the berries from two flower heads in the blender with water to cover, blended briefly and allowed it to sit for 30 minutes. Strained this through a cloth into a pitcher added water to make a gallon and about 1 3/4 C sugar. It looked like pink lemonade when it was done.

It tastes similar to pink lemonade also. My husband likes it and says it tastes more green. I know that sounds like a strange description, but I have to agree with it. I am not sure how else to describe it. The cook book Bootstraps and Biscuits by Anna Lee Robe-Terry lists several recipes for sumac. They all start with the sumac ade. (What I made in the blender before adding sugar and more water) I tried Sumac Jelly and Sumac Syrup. My jelly turned out a bit runny, but I really like the flavor. The syrup is great. We had it on French Toast. It is a very different kind of syrup because it has a little tang to it, but Tim and I really liked it.

We have a carry in dinner at church this Sunday and I think I am going to try a pie from that cook book. It is thickened and sweetened ade folded with whipped cream in a graham cracker crust. I will let you know if I make it and how it turns out. I am also thinking about freezing some of the ade in ice cube trays to use instead of lemon juice.

If you are new to this blog and want to know some more about what we have been foraging do a search of this blog from the top of the page for "weeds" to see some of my previous posts on the subject.


  1. You would love the new 'face book alternative'
    Homeschoolers, gardeners..hope to see you can contribute a lot ~ask a question, get an answer..I too discovered Sumac...where is the pie recipe though? I am Judith on or momof5


    This post has the pie recipe.