Note: I’ll be doodling a featured image for this and any other recipes on here so far, and hopefully will get to it this week. I’ll design them in such a way they could be printed onto a recipe card. Foodstuffs are hard to photograph in an appealing light and my previous header images just aren’t cutting it, ew.
A wild late summer thru early autumn treat is a cooling Staghorn Sumac tea.
You can dry the berries to make it any time of year, however, fresh is best. Ideally, when they peak in early autumn (timing may be different in other regions – I’m in Central Ontario, Canada) grab the red clusters of seeds before rains wash out some of their potency.
*Put the fresh hairy heads in a large container, cover with water, and mash and stir it for 10 minutes. Skip boiling. Boiling releases extra tannins making it unpalatable. But I’ve found some recipes that add boiled, hot water over the berries and let it cool.
*Strain through layers of cheesecloth to remove the fine hairs.
*Sweeten to taste, if you like. Perhaps with some local maple syrup? To really up the Canadi-anty try using maple sap in place of plain water in the recipe, if you don’t find maple sap too sweet.
In The Edible Wild there’s a sumac-ade recipe that’s a little different. They dissolve 4 cups of sugar in 2 gallons of water and then pour it over 5 lbs of crushed sumac berries and 2 quartered lemons. They let this cool and strain afterward.