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Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you like my new look.
Just before I moved over to self-hosted, I started a new project, exploring different ingredients and recipes I felt compelled to try for the first time. This time, I want to share my experiences at making homemade elderflower cordial.
I now live down in Dorset, the county where I grew up, and my cooking is being ever more inspired by the countryside near to my home. One afternoon recently, my mum and I took a drive out to Long Crichel Bakery, our local artisan baker down here in Dorset. Of course, our weekly shop for bread was an essential trip. But knowing the country lanes leading up to the bakery are often fruitful territory for foraging elderflower heads, I had an ulterior motive.
Driving slowly down the lanes, I stopped the car frequently to run out and inspect any sightings of the frilly white elderflower heads. These quiet roads are excellent places to pick elderflower heads, as hardly any traffic passes by. The delicately scented flowers are often very clean and unpolluted. The greatest challenges faced when picking are being able to reach the flower heads – they can sometimes only be found quite high up, or across the other side of a concealed ditch running parallel to the road. That, and not getting caught out by a tractor trying unsuccessfully to pass my car, meaning no choice, but to jump back in the car and drive on!
Although the photographs do not suggest the weather was particularly good on this day, it was actually really rather hot. As soon as we returned home with our haul, I placed the elderflower heads in a bowl filled with fresh water, as I would with cut flowers. They wilted in an hour or so in the kitchen, so I would advise using them as soon as you can after picking.
As this was the first time I have made an elderflower syrup, I stuck (mostly) to a recipe. I used Vanessa Kimbell’s recipe which you can find here, but omitted the rose petals. I was very happy with the result, which I diluted with sparkling mineral water, ice and lemon.