Pineappleweed is kind of a pain to harvest. It grows sparsely and low to the ground in sunny, trampled marginal soil; its favorite spots seem to be gravel driveways. It’s common enough, but still requires persistence and a lot of stooping to gather in significant quantities. I’d been planning to just skip it this year until I realized that it’s the perfect flavor complement to rowanberry and I wanted more liqueur.
So I walked two miles along the bike trail today and came out with about half a cup:
Granted, it’s still on the early side of the season; I did walk by a few patches that hadn’t flowered yet. Still. This scanty harvest was enough to drive a gal to cheat & buy some chamomile at the store. (Chamomile is pineappleweed’s European cousin; while I prefer pineappleweed’s eponymous pineapple-y flavor, it’s similar enough to chamomile that you can substitute one for the other without a problem. Both plants are also traditionally used as general calming tonics for digestive ailments & colds.)
.8oz bulk organic chamomile blossoms + today’s harvest of pineappleweed blossoms + vodka + 2/3 cup sugar:
I also stopped by lemon balm alley, where absolutely zero persistence is required to harvest huge gobs of lemon balm. As soon as I replenish my vodka supply (I’m still getting used to this whole privatized liquor sales thing, but I hear that Costco vodka is the only thing that’s cheaper than before) I’ll do a liqueur from that. And there’s a bunch drying for tea. And… I dunno what else, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
Update: Lemon balm pesto pizza with fresh tomato and zucchini. Tasted like summer. There’s enough pesto left over to slather on a piece of salmon tonight.