bodging elderflower cordial

August 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm 6 comments

21-6-13 - elderflower cordial_bag to bucket 4BThe first recipe I ever blogged about was how to make Elderflower cordial. It was the beginning of my love affair with foraging and I vowed to make it an annual tradition. In reality it’s taken me 4 years to repeat the recipe and I have the very late flowering season in June to thank for that.  On a roasting hot day my friend M and I ended up plastered in yellow pollen picking the heavily scented flowers from an elderflower tree outside a derelict pub while her husband H kept E cool with ice pops.21-6-13 - Euan and Hormoz 2 4B
You’d think I’d know how important it is to follow a recipe when making Elderflower cordial for only the second time?   I started out quite well adding an appropriate amount of water for the bags and bags of flower heads we’d gathered.  I was pleased as punch with the two 10 litre wine buckets of flowery stew sitting in the kitchen.  But then it dawned on me … cripes, how many extra bottles, lemons and bags of sugar?  Oh dear, my ‘I love preserving’ bubble burst just a little.21-6-13 - elderflower cordial_lemons 4B
The elderflowers were brilliantly potent but my codial definitely lacked the tang of an appropriate number of lemons.  The cordial was rescued by the addition of two entire bottles of lemon juice and a small supply of citric acid from a friend (which I’d not been able to find anywhere in Gloucester for love nor money).  I freeze my cordial in small plastic bottles to keep it for longer and reduce the chance of it going off if not sealed well enough.  All in all it was a timely reminder of why I don’t make preserves much anymore – even just debugging the flower heads took a couple of hours and these days I often end up bodging a save when I realise my culinary brain isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. 21-6-13 - elderflower cordial_puzzled 4B
When he woke up E found the rejected flower heads fascinating and played with them for a good hour or more. So a more successful foraging endeavour than I first thought! 21-6-13 - elderflower cordial_E grinning 4B

Entry filed under: home life, in the kitchen.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms)  |  August 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve never been brave enough to make cordial, even though I do love it. I can’t believe how big E is getting. He’s not a baby any more. A proper little boy now. Gorgeous!!

  • 2. toodlepips  |  August 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    E looks like a proper hayward in the last pic – a bit like Uncle Garry maybe?

  • 3. shaheen  |  August 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I missed out this year with foraging elderflowers, already turning to berries here – though not ripe. I was delighted with the result when I made them, we had elderflower champagne. I had to leave all those bottles I purchased for the task behind in Glasgow 😦

    E is growing so quickly, nice to see the up-to-date pics. I am sorry that I have not been commenting much, but I Know you understand why.

  • 4. nic@nipitinthebud  |  August 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Jac – time goes so fast measured by the life of a little one. Cordial is easy peasy and well worth the effort if you find yourself with a glut of almost any kind of fruit

    Roo – I’ll have to rummage through the baby pics but he definitely looks like me as a little one being so blond

    Shaheen – that must have been a wrench leaving your preserving stuff behind. At least when your time to make things comes round again you’ll have your wonderful recipe archive to refer back to. Thanks for popping by – no apologies needed for not commenting, it’s a rare occurrence for me too these days sadly

  • 5. ruthdigs  |  August 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    If you’ve no homebrew shop for citric acid in Gloucester try pharmacies. If not t’internet is your friend. Looks like you have a lovely big batch of cordial there. I missed it this year. 😦

    • 6. nic@nipitinthebud  |  September 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Hi Ruth, thanks for the tips – I tried 4 pharmacies and the only one that had any was Boots – 0.5kg for £7 which seemed a bit excessive for even my quadruple batching! Sorry to hear you missed it this – elderberry cordial instead?


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