Jane has been a hive of activity of late, rooting through hedgerows, plucking from trees, gathering vast quantities of wonder nettles and generally turning the Beach House Kitchen into a herbal/ potion dry/ infusing nirvana. We have our very own herbal den on our hands and our new dehydrator is coming in very useful, we’re stocking up for the depths of winter with the sun on our backs.
We have been blessed with some good weather of late (although not when we climbed Snowdon the other day, see below) and all things green and multi-coloured are leaping from the ground and heading towards the sun. Its a wonderful thing to witness and our courgettes and beetroot especially are loving these conditions. Summer has hit, Im driving around with the car window open and have even been seen wearing a T-shirt outdoors on a nuber of occasions.
This recipe tastes like summer, the smell of the elder tree is something that evokes memories of me being a little nipper, running around fields and falling over alot. Our fridge is full of the stuff in all forms of receptical,old gin bottles, wine bottles, large gherkin jars, we’re brimming over with herbal champagne and very chuffed indeed.
The has taken our focus back towards nature and the more we learn about the properties of the herbs and flowers that fills the hills and valleys of the area, the more we realise what we have been missing all along. Jane has some incredible books and nature has provided so much richness and diversity that we were ignorant to until recently. The flowers are good now, but leave a few until autumn and the wonderful elderberries will arrive, apparently these little beauts can beat the flu! In old folklore the elderberries signified the end of summer and the preparations for autumn and winter.
If you have an elder flower tree locally, or see one when driving around, we strongly urge liberating a few heads for the pot. Don’t forget to thank the tree!
12 elderflower heads, 1 unwaxed lemon (juice and zest), 0.7kg sugar, 2 tbs white wine vinegar, 4 litres cold water.
Pop the sugar and water in a large pan, stir until dissolved, shake the elderflower heads (check there are no insects). We didnt wash them as we live in the air we breath and we wanted to keep them dry and intact, they are quite fragile little guys.
Add lemon juice and zest and leave covered for 24 hours.
Strain through muslin and keep in sterilised bottles. Wine or champagne bottles look very cool. Can be kept in the fridge for two weeks.
We doubled this recipe and it worked a treat.
In champagne flutes, in the sun, feet up, without a care in the world…..
We Love It!
Its as good as champagne and free! What a gift from nature!!!!
Elder flowers contain a whole host of natural flu beaters.