Monday 23 May 2011

What's going on in the kitchen?

I know lots of you make lovely stuff to eat in the kitchen but although I have a nice kitchen I only go in there when I have to - it means washing up, cleaning, cooking and those are rude words to me!

But I have to make an exception every year when it is time to make something I like so much I willingly stay in the kitchen and make it several times over all in a short space of time!  Intrigued?

These are my ingredients:

It makes use of a plant I like very much but it is not really that good looking.  I have plenty of these in a paddock by the house.

The plant is elder and I am making elderflower cordial!  Did you guess right?  And it couldn't be easier to make or I wouldn't be making it!


25-30 elder flower heads, picked early on a sunny morning.  Choose those with the sweetest perfume and watch out for the pollen on your nose!
2 lemons finely sliced
2/3 oranges finely sliced
2.5 pints (1.5 litres) of water
3lbs 8oz (1.5 kg) of sugar
2 oz (50g) of citric acid


Make a syrup by boiling sugar and water, stirring and making sure that the sugar dissolves.  Take syrup off the heat and stir in the citric acid.  Leave to cool.  In the meantime....

Clean up the flower heads - we don't want to add any little beasties to our cordial  - I just shake them a bit over the sink, that usually dislodges anything.

 Place the flower heads in a non-metallic receptacle.  I use a crock pot. 

 Slice the lemons and oranges nice and finely and add to the flower heads

Once cool, pour in the sugar syrup and citric acid mixture.

Cover and store in a cool place for 48 hours or there abouts, stirring from time to time.

After the 48 hours strain your mixture through muslin or a fine meshed sieve and decant into clean sterilised bottles - I use empty wine bottles as I can sterilise them in the dishwasher!   It says in my recipe, to freeze it until required, but I never have and we are all still alive, though once opened I do keep the bottle in the fridge.  Remember to dilute, it is a cordial!

If you have a source of elder flowerheads near you but not near a road - we don't want lead added to our cordial - go picking and make this easy, quick, and refreshing summer drink.  You can add tap water or for a bit of fizz sparkling water or even lemonade.  Well worth the minimal effort.


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! I am bit of a chicken when it comes to was only this year that I tried Indian...hee hee. What does it taste like? Does it taste like the smell of the elder flowers? I am not sure we even have elder flowers around here. But where my mom is from almost anything growing or walking found it's way onto the dinner table. LOL!


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