I said I'd been busy this week, making, cooking and nurturing. It has been a lot of fun though and I think the best bit was taking my foraging basket and going with Moomin to raid the hedgerows.
We gathered nearly a basketful of elderflowers and along with some lemons from the shop we decided to make some elderflower cordial.
Arnie suggested I take the recipe from this book! Moomin needed some pringles to keep her going (to the right of the picture).
The recipe is:
24-32 elderflower heads
2oz citric acid
4lbs plain white sugar
Remove all of the flowers from the green stalks. Put the flowers, sliced lemons,citric acid and sugar into a big plastic bucket. Add a litre of boiling water and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Keep the bucket covered and stir daily for 3-4 days, leaving the plastic spoon inside the bucket (not sure why, but I did it anyway).
Strain the liquid and then pour into clean bottles. I sterilise all my bottles and utensils as I think it's a good way to ensure the cordial keeps well.
It is thoroughly delicious served with tonic water and makes a nice squash with tap water. Not sure how long it will keep for, but I would think a couple of months in a cool place.
I also made some lemonade, which is a lot quicker to make. Squeeze the juice of four lemons onto 2lb of granulated sugar. Boil 2pints of water and pour onto the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and add 2 teaspoons of tartric acid. When cool pour the liquid into bottles and serve diluted with water.
With some more of the elderflowers I melted some shea butter and coco butter in a bowl over boiling water. Added the flower heads and a large splash of comfrey infused oil (which I made last year). After about 15mins I removed the bowl from the heat and when cool enough to handle I drained the oil from the flowers. I added a few drops of benzoin which has a lovely scent and acts as a preservative then poured the mixture into sterilised make up pots. This is a beautiful, healing handcream and is great for chapped hands and cracked heels.
I also made a fruit cake - it was scrummy :)