Bounty of a Hail Storm

The hail storm broke new growth off all the trees in our yard, broke window screens, a car window and pock marked every surface available.  Luckily we didn’t lose any windows on the house and, even better, we get to harvest some new growth pine. 🙂 We’ve got about one grocery bag full.

Pine is high in vitamin C and an antiseptic. We can get at the pine goodies in a number of ways.  One way is by drinking the pine tea. It’s the easiest way to harness the pine’s health benefits.  Simply dry then chop the needles and pour boiling water over desired amount of leaf.  Steep 5 minutes and enjoy with some honey.

We are saving half of the larger needles for pine vinegar. Simple to make it only requires some heated apple cider vinegar, the pine needles, finely chopped, and a jar with a wax paper lid.  It does take six weeks to ripen. The pine vinegar the healthful benefits of vinegar and pine.

I aspire to take the other half of the larger pine needles and make a pine lozenges for sore throats and coughs.  It’s a little more complicated.  I’ve first got to boil the needles in minimal water.  Then strain the water; removing the needles. Measure the pine water volume and double it.  Add 4/5 that much sugar to the pot and the other 1/5 volume in honey: boil until it snaps. Pour onto wax paper lined counter and let cool.  Once that’s done snap off lozenges and store air tight in cabinet. The vitamin C, antiseptic qualities and honey will soothe the throat.  The pine scent will help clear the head and the spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

So there is a silver lining to the hail storm.  I just had to find it.


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