Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A good ol' fashioned forage!

Phew! Things are getting super busy round here. Things are in the works. Big things, and so I'm working really hard all the time, only sneaking in a bit of knitting and cricket watching between phone calls, google searches and emailing.

But I did take some time out last week for a quick forage! It's elderflower season and there was no way I was going to let this pass me by. Having tried my Mum's homemade elderflower cordial a couple of years ago, and found it much nicer (and less sweet) than the commercial counterparts, I was determined to have a go. I waited patiently for the season to roll around, worried I might miss it. Then suddenly one night after work I noticed a huge elder in bloom in the pub garden, and knew time was of the essence. So I donned my gardening clothes, grabbed the kitchen scissors and a bag and headed off in search of some elders on common land that would be perfect for picking.
I was worried I wouldn't find anything, but just over an hour later I was home with 35 flower heads! I couldn't believe it was that easier. So I dutifully dismissed the insects with some sharp shaking and set about making cordial. It smelt alright, but not great, and I was concerned about the deep colour, but as it happens its so delicious that I was sent out again this week for more to make sure we have enough of a stock to last the year!
Having found even more flower heads on my second trip (I now know all the elder hotspots in the area!) I decided not only to make cordial again, but this time attempt a liquor. I've had lots of success in the past few months with my random liquor making, and so why not add another to the list. I'll let you know how it goes in three weeks!

In the meantime, if you see some elderflowers, I highly recommend grabbing them while you can, not only will you have delicious cordial to keep you refreshed throughout the summer, but you'll have a house that smells amazing! This little cat certainly seems to agree!


  1. Such a cute photo of sleeping beauty.

  2. A fab idea to make it yourself as it's so expensive in the shops. As a matter of conincidence I've also been thinking about making elderflower cordial. This morning I looked up elderflower on the net as I'm a bit worried about confusing it with something else....like cowslip!!!! Bleugh. Can't imagine that cordial would taste very good! Do the flowers have an elderflowery scent? I know i've only got this week left to pick it!

  3. Thanks for your message! You've inspired me to go find some so I'll go for a forage this week. I think I'll take a photo with me, just to be sure!!
    Fingers crossed that I pick the right flowers! At least it's a lot less dangerous that mushroom foraging so I should come out alive.. :-)

  4. I have elderflowers in my front garden but sadly have gone over now. Your cat is so beautiful!

  5. yum...I wish I could try some of your elderflower liquor. Sadly, no wild elderflower here in this concrete jungle. I will have to live vicariously through your blog! xx

  6. Hi Christina! How's it all going over in the Big Apple? I'm so jealous! I'm sure I could find a way to mail you some liquor so you can have a little taste of elderflower fizz despite the concrete!