GUTHRIE, Okla. – “Gather ye Redbuds while ye may…”
Holly Samson Hall echoes that altered stanza every April as her back alley Redbud tree starts to bloom.
“It’s definitely a fun, springtime novelty,” Hall said.
Hall gathers them by the bowlful for as long as her tree will flower.
“It’s best to pick them before they start to turn and wilt, and fade a little bit,” she said.
Then, Hall springs the symbol of an Oklahoma spring inside to save in the form of sweet jelly.
“It’s so beautiful,” she said.
Hall saw a reference to Redbud Jelly in an old foraging book she picked up.
“It just struck me as such a novelty I had to try it,” she said.
But, Hall couldn’t find a recipe. Instead, she looked up something close and started experimenting.
Hall cleaned and boiled her gathered buds, strained the liquid, boiled it again, adding pectin, lemon juice and a lot of sugar.
“I just looked up other flower jelly recipes and kind of formulated it from there,” she said.
The color stayed.
That purple to pink flower we love to look at came through.
“It’s really a beautiful, clear fuchsia in the jar and then, when you put in on a biscuit or toast, it’s this pretty, hot pink,” Hall said.
A few years ago, Hall asked some of her friends online if they might like a jar or two. Everyone said yes.
“I went locally viral with my Redbud Jelly,” she said.
The last batch will bring Hall to an even five dozen jars for the year, and they’re all spoken for.
Hall’s tree in Guthrie is past its peak. Oklahoma Redbuds drop their flowers and green up within a few weeks.
But, the Hall family doesn’t worry. They figured out a way to capture it in a mason jar.
Look at it through the light, and you can see spring any time.
Spread it on a biscuit with butter, and you can taste it too.
Redbuds year round is a sweet way to live.
Since Hall’s fruitless search for a recipe eight years ago, several Redbud jelly recipes have started popping up.
Here are a couple of them.
‘Is This a Great State or What’ is sponsored by MECU.