5 June 2009

Free Food Friday

We do nettle soup all through the spring and early summer lol, and I use odd gathered leaves in salads. But for my favorite major gathering of wild-foods it has to be elderflower (blackberries would win, only we never manage a quantity to do anything with given the amount of eating along the way)!
Walking to our favorite elder bush, on the park which Jenna has christened "The Dog Park" since it has no distinguishing features other than that people sometimes walk dogs there. Very few trees. No play equipment except for sticks, mud, and a small hill.The perfect hill for rolling down; photograph taken just before these two sweet little darlings threw off hats and attempted to grass-stain all other clothing. Mummy is on to that trick - I throw everything in the wash as soon as we get home and don't dress them in colour and pattern for any occasion involving dirt. ;) A couple of hours later and a big bag of flowers is steeping in water. Boil up the liquid with 500g sugar and a large dash of lemon juice for every litre of water, before bottling in whatever comes to hand. Though one year we ruined three bottles of cordial by using ex-vinegar bottles without realising that the lids were impregnanted with their former contents. Oops.We have also dried a load of flower heads for making elderflower tea; good for colds apparently. The flowers are so pretty they cry out to be used in something delicately puddingy but I have yet to find a recipe I like the look of!

8 comments:

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  2. We've been picking for cordial making recently too. I also have a batch of champagnre breing this week -mmmmmmm.

    For a dessert elderflowers go great with honey, and are also complement gooseberries well if you have access to any.

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  3. Ohhh looking good. I must get out and pick some flowers too I discovered a bush the other day near the park.

    Joxy.

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  4. It's not just us who eat all the blackberries before we get home then lol! We have been drinking lots of nettle tea recently, and really ought to start making it instead of buying it, so any leaf-drying tips you may have would be much appreciated! xx

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  5. People like you - taking all the elderflowers so other people can't have the elderberries for crumbles in the autumn.... I don't know! :)

    Broken Man's Wife

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  6. Wow, elderflower time already. Its snuck up on us i think. Not quite sure how you manage all this with your three littles. I think you must be supermum. :-) xx

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  7. Hey hon, not seen you around for a week, hope all is ok :)

    Joxy.

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  8. I'm fine thanks hun, promise, just busy as usual lol.

    Our picking rules go waay past leaving enough flowers for berries for crumbles - and past leaving berries for the birds in winter lol - I nag the girls to pick small amounts from all over the bush so as not to spoil the look of all the white blossom LOL! :P

    Oh Laura bless you for the compliment but I'm honestly not. I'm just distractable and hyperactive (hmm, wait - perceptive and energetic as the Spirited Child book would say) and if I can't do ten things at once I get grumpy. ;)

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Penny for your thoughts? :)