I make no bones about it, John Wright and I often enjoy a friendly tussle about to which of us the hedgerow ingredients belong.
Are they, as hedgerow expert, John's or are they mine to pick, preserve and pot up.
All a bit silly really because they belong to neither of us, but to whoever takes the time to gather and enjoy these treasures of our native hedgerows.
It’s June and it’s ELDERFLOWER time!
I’m going to bag a few boughs of the frothy creamy-white fragrant heads to tuck away dried and use in the months to come.
Drying the whole flowerheads is a brilliant way to capture their crisp clean fragrance.
Gather on a sunny morning (best time for their heady scent) and just before they are in full blossom.
Spread out on trays and dry them in the airing cupboard, over the Aga or in the sunshine – they’ll dry in a matter of hours.
When dry, rub the flowers from their stems and store in an airtight jar in a dark place.
Use them to flavour sugar, add to gooseberry curd (yummy in a freshly baked Victoria sandwich) and to make tisanes.
Keep some to sprinkle over stored apples in the Autumn,it’ll add a deliciously sweet bouquet.
The Guild of Jam Makers are creating a database of those with crops to spare which they can make available to those wishing to make preserves.
The resulting produce would then be shared with the original crop owner.
If you're fruitless and frustrated then contact www.jamguild.com! Brilliant idea and project!
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