Sunday, 8 June 2014

Elderflower Cordial

I our house, we all love Elderflower cordial in the summer months but, until now, I had never tried making any. When I put it down on my Fifty List, I envisioned having to trawl the local countryside for Elder trees. We pass lots on our school run but I didn't fancy picking blossoms that had grown so close to a main road - too many pollutants. Then, over breakfast, I spotted some white flowers just visible above the chicken run. Now, I thought all the Elder trees along our border had died off. Our neighbour thinks that they have a funny smell and one by one they seemed to disappear - just so you know, I'm not making any connection here, merely an observation! So, I was surprised and thrilled to spot a lone survivor. We got out the tree book, just to check, and yes, it did appear to be an Elder. Easy to reach (well, with some extended loppers), no permission necessary and no nasty traffic pollution - perfect. R did the collecting whilst I dug out a recipe (River Cottage Elderflower Cordial) and over the next 2 days (you have to let it steep overnight), cordial was made.

I have to confess that I did have my doubts at times - the smell whilst steeping was rather unpleasant and the resultant cordial looked like a concentrated urine sample! We double checked the tree book, just to be extra sure before actually tasting the stuff but, when we did, it was actually Elderflower cordial! I now have 1 bottle on the go in the fridge and 5 more in the freezer. The recipe was easy to follow, although I only used 700g of sugar, rather than the recommended 1kg and omitted the orange, just because I didn't have one. Now I'm looking forward to Elderberry jam in the Autumn.

Other things this week include:

Roses from the garden - I'm hopeless with names but this one smells beautiful.

Some happy hooking in the sunshine:

Ditto with coffee and a magazine:

Some not so happy hooking in the car, waiting for E to come out of an exam!

Seeing our pictures framed and on display at the 'Pictures in Stitch' exhibition:

... and, finally, making 'Lemonade Scones':

These were made using a recipe from the internet. The ingredients are just SR flour, lemonade and double cream. It makes a really wet dough and the scones have to prop each other up during baking. They were OK but you certainly knew that you'd had scone! Not sure I'd be doing this one again if I'm being honest, although the squirrel, chickens and local birds loved them!

Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. Mmmmmm elderflower cordial and lemonade scones ..... yUm!
    I hope the exam went well.
    love Jooles x x x

  2. I'd love to make elderflower cordial but i'm a bit afraid of picking the wrong thing and poisoning everyone! The lemonade scones sound interesting and look really good - anything covered in jam and cream has to be good, surely. x

  3. Hope your cordial turns out ok. I've just added a load of flowers to some gin and wondering what it will taste like. Should be good I hope.

  4. The stitched pictures look wonderful in the exhibition. The elderflower cordial is lovely as well, and the taste definitely outweighs the horrible steeping smell (although I'm not sure if, not being in the house at the time, I am qualified to make that judgement)! Can we make scones at some point, even if not lemonade ones? xxx