Elderflower Cordial

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’d been eyeing up the gorgeous elderflowers in the hedgerows on my walk to work and had plans to use some of it. This weekend, I finally got around to it, and a good thing too, as I don’t think the blossoms are going to be around for that much longer in this part of the country.

elderflowers

On Friday evening, I stopped at the chemist to buy some citric acid for my recipe but was told they’d just sold out. So I got up early on Saturday morning to try my luck at the chemist around the corner from our house.

“You’re making elderflower cordial?” The chemist said with a wry smile as soon as I asked if he sold citric acid. He told me it had been flying off the shelves recently. (So it seems I’m not the only forager in the neighbourhood – useful to know!) I bought the last two boxes and Ade and I headed to the  canal, armed with a pair of secateurs.

As soon as I got home with my bag of fragrant blossom, I started making elderflower cordial using this recipe.

Infusing

I let it steep for over 24 hours then strained and bottled it this afternoon. We just tried some poured over ice with still water and it’s delicious! A true taste of English summer. We have family coming up to stay with us this week and I’m looking forward to serving it with sparkling wine as an aperitif, elderflower fizz!

ElderflowerCordial

I also had a visit from our lovely neighbour, Donna, while I was infusing my elderflowers yesterday. She gave me a bag full of ripe and juicy cherries which she’d just picked from her allotment – a welcome present indeed seeing as the young cherry tree in our back garden will probably give us half a dozen cherries if we’re lucky.

While I ponder what to do with the cherries, we’re still harvesting plenty of green veggies from the allotment which I’m throwing into pasta and stir-fries. They also taste great in my Risotto Primavera.

Busy times in the kitchen just now!

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Summer Days Are Here Again

StrawberryIt’s been a wee while since we talked, it’s not that we don’t care, quite the opposite.  But with all this fresh fruit and veg growing fast and furious there is much to do on the plot.. and much to eat.  So far, I’ve subjected my fat little tum to lettuce, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, peas and various herbs.  turnip

And this week it looks as though we’ll be making a start on the kale, cucumber and quite possibly the gooseberries and rhubarb.

So whilst I get lost in an orgy of organic goods, why not take a gander at where we are on the plot right now.  Here’s a little film showing the progress we’ve made with our little kingdom over the past six months.

Spud

And it only gets better, as we’ve just found out we’ve been given the go ahead to take on a second plot right next door to us.. The empire is growing!

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Feeling Fruity

The first soft fruits from our garden have been harvested! Over the past few days, we’ve been enjoying our first proper crop of cherries from the tree we planted three years ago; our first raspberries from the canes Ade planted this year; and our usual delicious yield of strawberries. Scrumptious!

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softfruit