Monday, 6 June 2016

An Elderflower Adventure

We had just returned from a trekking/camping holiday during half term (more on that expedition later) and the kids had been spotting Elderflowers.
They decided it was time to make some sweet, delicious, thirst quenching Elderflower Cordial. However, I was just thinking about making Elderflower Champagne.
Elderflowers are virtually everywhere in the parks and streets at the moment, so we thought it might be fun to go by boat, just for the hell of it.
At St. Deny's Sailing and Rowing Club on the river Itchen, we saw that a blackbird had nested in the lower eves of the clubhouse and was feeding two tiny fledglings.
We soon had life-jackets fitted and launched Tern, our favourite family sized rowing boat and even though both children can row, I was given the job of pulling on the oars.
We saw our first Elder straight away, just yards from the pontoon and we were soon filling our bag with fresh citrusy Elderflower heads.
Further upstream we found other bushes hanging over the river, or in amongst the reeds and I even set the kids ashore to harvest from one particularly busy tree they spotted. As I predicted, with two pickers and one rower we had soon gathered more than enough.
On the way home we bought 5 lemons and one Kilo of sugar, which was enough ingredients to make 3 litres of Elderflower Cordial and 6 litres of Elderflower Champagne.

All the rest was done by the kids in the kitchen and it didn't half look a mess when they had finished but, to be fair, they did tidy up when I explained that I would ferment the lot if they didn't get cleaning.

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