Blogs

Write new blog
naomi devlin

Elderflower Cordial

by naomi devlin published on

Carole of Simply Gluten Free hosted this month's edition of Go Ahead Honey it's Gluten Free (GAHGF) and her theme was Man Food.

Hmmm, thought I - fan of roses and delicacy that I am - I guess I'll be firing up the barbeque and slapping on some steak then?

Each time we fired up the barbie, or seared a piece of meat just long enough to give a delicious savoury crust - but not long enough so that it was less than bloody, each time I made something hearty, I thought - 'ah, this is man food' and planned to post about it.

But something stopped me, the post feminist languishing at the back of my psyche kept poking me with her elbow, her eyebrow cocked in a question mark. Did I relish this meaty fare any less than Nick and Fin? Uh...nope. 

Did either of my gorgeous boys question their masculinity when I presented them with a tiny tart, seared scallop or bowl of leaves? Of course not - why they just picked up their forks and tucked in.

Yesterday all three of us cycled a wild and mostly off road round trip through Symondsbury, to Seatown and past Thorncombe Beacon - that tore at our thighs and stung our summer legs. Even through clouds of midges, vertiginous grassy climbs and the odd tumble, we filled our lungs with the freshest of air, felt the sun on our backs and gasped at each spectacular view.

As I turned back at the top of our final climb - too steep and rutted to cycle, I saw Nick and Fin trudging up behind me, Nick pushing both bikes and Fin looking gratefully up at him. At the summit a weary Fin threw his arms around Nick's neck and kissed him, saying, 'that's what Daddies are for'. 

Once we hit the road again and the wind sighed over our damp skin, I spied an elder tree heavy with creamy blossom. Moments later I was picking up speed, my pannier full of elderflowers and a plan a-brewing.

At home, I immersed the flowers with a few curls of lemon peel in a jar full of runny honey. Nick inhaled the muscat scent and suggested an elderflower martini - fresh from the hedgerow.

This morning I opened the jar and offered it around for a sniff. It was pronounced truly delicious - the essence of June. A couple of spoonfuls in a small glass of sparkling water transformed it into elderflower pressé. 

I'm thinking that similar treatment with a generous handful of ice and a good slug of vodka would yield a cocktail that only the gruffest curmudgeon could pass up - certainly not a man like Nick who would think nothing of fixing the shelves before breakfast, wearing little more than a fuchsia tee shirt and a manly smile. This one's for you darling. x x x

Elderflower Cordial (SCD)



1 lb (450g) runny honey - something light flavoured

zest of 1 lemon - use a vegetable peeler

6 or 7 medium heads of elderflower

Take the flowers off their stems with a fork, or just pinch off the ends of the spray.

Place into a largish jar with the lemon zest and pour over the honey. Any bugs that don't get away will end their days in the sweetest way possible and get strained out at the end.

Leave for 12 hours and then stir it all up. Leave for another 8-12 hours and then strain through a sieve into a clean jar, pressing all the honey through with your fingers or a spoon.

Taste and if you want more elderflower or lemon just steep again with fresh ingredients.

Seal and keep in the fridge.
 

0 replies

There are no comments available

To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
@rivercottage
  • Hey @DrinksTube our raspberries are just coming into season, can you knock us up a fruity number? #CocktailRequest link
  • RT @MarketingLiz: @rivercottage love your meat pledge. Seems ludicrous that a restaurant would consider anything else. Too few values in ou…
  • RT @heather_grace13: @guardian @rivercottage i'm vegetarian
  • In the light of @guardian's chicken investigation, now seems like a good time to take our #meatpledge RT NOW! link
  • RT @guardian: Find out why the drive for cheaper chicken is making more than 250,000 of us sick every year link
  • Last few tickets remaining for @WildernessHQ don't miss! Lovely @GillMeller will be there... link link
  • RT @johnmushroom: Two failed seasons but things look very promising @rivercottage this year. link
  • RT @draperjoe: Looking for a talented foodie sous chef to work with me @plymouthcanteen @rivercottage #getintouch #chef pls RT
  • RT @DrinksTube: Loads of you've asked for more time to create your #CocktailStar entries so we've extended the deadline by two weeks http:/…
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Waiting for your big break? This is your chance - come and be the face of River Cottage link #chef #fo…
  • RT @WinCanteen: JOBS GALORE! Fancy working with us? Check out our vacancies or visit us at our open day on Thursday. More info: http://t.co…
  • Coming later today on #foodtube - a foraging treat with @johnmushroom and @RiverCottageAus's Paul West. Don't miss! link
  • RT @RCHQEvents: We've just released tickets for New Year's Eve. We'd hate you to miss out! link link
  • RT @Rethink_: Exciting meeting with @rivercottage team to discuss ways cooking can help improve confidence. Watch this space! link
  • RT @DrinksTube: All next week we want YOU to inspire us with a #CocktailRequest. Jamie's here with everything you need to know https://t.co…
  • We have our first entry! MT @kishanpatel96: This is my rising star 2014 entry please check it out and vote, thanks!! link
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Up close and personal with our Nettle. link
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Happy Friday! Create a cooking video this weekend and you could be our next star chef. How about a BBQ vid? link
  • Hi @alt_J we read your recent interview in @guardian - if you did want to literally read aloud from our books, we'd love to send you some!
  • RT @axcanteen: Have a lazy morning, leave the cooking to us and we'll whip you up a hearty breakfast link
  • WATCH: Meet @samjlomas, our winner from last year's #RisingStar comp. Thinking of entering? link link
  • RT @SoilAssociation: 'City of Fremantle in #Australia bans plastic bags and imposes fines of up to $2,500' via @Guardian link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: We have a fab selection of fresh, locally sourced deli items - if you're enjoying a stroll around @royalwilliamyd pop …
  • Are you creating avoidable waste with your lunchtime sarnies? RT @wwwfoecouk Homemade sandwiches for lunch? link
  • @thepamthejam @pipcourtney All details can be found here: link Should be a fantastic day!
  • RT @jamieoliver: SO EXCITING! @DrinksTube's #CocktailRequest Week starts on Monday. Watch this vid & then send them some inspiration! http:…
  • Bottle up your raspberries for a little #summer goodness in winter. Learn with @thepamthejam link link
  • @_Hugh_Chapman we just gave you a shout out :o) Hope that helps!
  • Based in Cambridge? Can you help? RT @_Hugh_Chapman I'm looking for a landshare-type opportunity for organic veg growing near Cambridge ...
  • RT @WinCanteen: We are at the #Winchester Guildhall NOW until 5pm today... come on down and find out about jobs at our new canteen! http://…
  • Coming up later on #foodtube our @thepamthejam shows how to bottle raspberries with a little sloe gin #delicious #preserving @JamiesFoodTube
  • @_Hugh_Chapman Hello. I'm afraid there is no further funding for this project. Should the situation change, we will let you know. Sorry!
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Great photo blog from @LibertyLndnGirl about her visit to our farm. Check it out here: link
  • Let’ see them! RT @madamchebly: @rivercottage : I'm trying to persuade my son in law to enter but he's way too modest about his talents
  • RT @CityandGuildsPR: Do you have what it takes to be the next Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall? Apply to be @rivercottage's #RisingStar 2014 - h…
  • We're delivering 1920 bottles of our fine EPA beer to @ocado tomorrow - exciting!
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Got your tickets yet for Hugh's Late Summer Party? We'll be launching a new book + hosting the Rising Star final: http://t.…
  • RT @samjlomas: River Cottage Rising Star 2014 is open again! link @CityandGuildsAC @Springboard_UK @Seachangeagency
  • RT @veeeenr: Foodtube fun & sneak peak into the life of an apprentice at amazing @rivercottage with my little duck @freyjaceleste http://t.…
  • RT @DavinaLovegreen: @rivercottage This is brilliant. I started as a YTS..Now I have my own company. Producing all meat from own farm,makin…
  • @GBPoultry yup!
  • RT @TheFlexitarian: Intermarché fights #foodwaste “Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables” ugly made beautiful link link
  • Could you impress the judges + be the face of Rising Star? There's only one way to find out... link link
  • RT @CampBestival: Feast Collective addition! @rivercottage head chef & @JamiesFoodTube presenter @GillMeller! link http:/…
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Was it @samjlomas's great tshirt, two week dish or chargrilled pizza that won him the #RisingStar champion title? http:/…
  • Rising Star is back - could you be the face of our apprenticeship scheme, moving into it's second year? link
  • Three words: Apricot daiquiri cocktail. Learn how to make it here! https://t.co/y2yQzN4kyB @DrinksTube -you will love this! @JamiesFoodTube
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: Want to be part of the @rivercottage family? Apply for their Young Chefs' Apprenticeship Scheme. link
  • Last year's winner says: MT @samjlomas: #risingstar if you love what @RCHQEvents is about then you've got to enter the competition!
  • RT @freyjaceleste: ROLL UP ROLL UP, #risingstar2014 hopefuls, get filming link 🎥 it'll be the best decision of your life!…
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Close
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00