Post from July 2013
I gathered elderflowers this week for cordial, which was duly made, using Richard Maybe’s recipe that is featured in his book Food for Free (one of my all-time favourite books), A foodie that I know recently told me that he freezes the cordial for use during the year as he finds that it does not store well- he cited curdling as a problem. I have never found that to be an issue, neither is my freezer big enough to store 4 litres of cordial ice-cubes. I do however use citric acid and lemons every time, I wonder if that makes a difference?
Basic Elderflower Cordial Recipe Per litre of water:
Grated rind, juice and flesh of 1 lemon
25g citric acid 1kg sugar
10 elderflower heads, largest stalks snipped off
1 litre of boiling water In a large bowl (stock pot)
Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water Add the lemon, citric acid and elderflower heads Leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain into sterilised bottles (wine bottles with screw caps work well) Label bottles with details and date of manufacture Dilute to taste or use as a base for making elderflower sorbet
Medicine chest: My quest for a medicine for sinusitis this week lead me back to elderflowers, seemingly they are also good for sinus infections, so an infusion of dried elderflower with a pinch of cayenne pepper was my tisane du jour for the last few days. I think that it is working! This week, I also harvested some Californian poppy (Eschscholitzia californica), stems, leaves and flowers these smell somewhat like fishy latex, these used in infusions according to my book (Penelope Ody’s Simple Healing with Herbs) as a mild soporific- aids sleeping and helps relieve mild pain
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