by Pia from Solbacka, Finland
Spruce tips (bright-green, young, and freshly picked)
Honey (another source of sugar can be used if preferred)
Pick enough young, bright-green spruce tips to fill a desired jar. Note: do not pick the top of a young spruce tree! It can stunt its future growth. Instead, look on the branches and pick in a scattered way, so as not to overgraze and damage the tree. Spruce tips are high in vitamin C and the bright-green, new-growth is tangy and tasty!
Clean the freshly picked spruce tips and place them into a glass jar. Pour honey over the spruce tips until completely covered, the spruce tips should not be exposed to air. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and set in a sunny place.; sun exposure will draw out the essential oils into the honey.
Check regularly to ensure the tips stay covered by honey and do not become exposed during any settling of the mixture. If the tips become uncovered, shake the jar a bit until they slip below the surface of the honey again or simply add more honey to the jar.
Check after about two weeks to see how it smells (make sure it has not gone off) and how it looks (the colour will depend on your honey/sugar source). Once ready, strain out the spruce tips, place the syrup in a sterilized jar, and enjoy!