Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Elder, Elder Everywhere

Elderflowers are easy to identify and are said to herald in the Summer. Well, you could have fooled me - it was the coldest, wettest, windiest and foggiest half term holiday since records began!
Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, It's an Elder Bush!
However, we remained undaunted and were soon out gathering a bagfull of the best Elderflower heads. We left plenty to develop into berries, not that this is really significant - Elderflowers are just about everywhere at the moment.
Our first expedition was to make Elderflower Cordial, my daughter’s favourite drink. We were in Devon at the time on a short break but the first bushes were spotted after only a short walk.
Mmmmm, Fragrant!
It only took us a moment to collect enough and then rush back to begin preparation and within a short time we were all guzzling away at this sweet, delicate summertime drink.
The next foray was back on Southampton Common; it was raining this day, so the children chose to wear sensible shoes in the form of roller-skates!
And They're Off
There are Elderflower bushes all over the common and they are currently in flower; the kids started spotting them as soon as they arrived. Consequently, it took no time at all to gather enough (you only need a few flower heads), so there was plenty of time to zoom about on wheels in the wet.
Clare Joined Us On Two Wheels
With this batch we are making Elderflower Champagne, a delicious and simple to make summer evening drink. Just be sure to store it in suitable (pressure safe) bottles, otherwise you might get some unwelcome explosions.
All Over The Common
Recipes for both drinks can be found here…
Currently Fermenting Away Nicely
Where we were staying, we couldn’t find any Citric Acid for our cordial (used as a preservative - obtained from chemist), nor did we measure out the other ingredient’s very accurately but it tasted lovely anyway.

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