bodging elderflower cordial

August 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm 8 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.

making Boursin black pepper hotcakes easy peasy flower magic results

8 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?

  • […] love foraging and I love making cordials but since having children little of either has happened. My last attempt to make elderflower cordial was with a 1.5 year old Euan and it took all of his nap time just to prepare everything. My resounding memory was how time […]

  • […] love foraging and I love making cordials but since having children little of either has happened. My last attempt to make elderflower cordial was with a 1.5 year old Euan and it took all of his nap time just to prepare everything. My resounding memory was how time […]


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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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Beautiful wood block print from our dear friend @elluminations of our boys on a beach in the Isle of Wight at the start of the school holidays. We returned to find my Mum's health deteriorating and she died 3 weeks later. Our world has been turned upside down but when I look at this picture I can feel the peace, hear the lap of the waves and smile at the tenderness of the moment - two #bestfriendbrothers absorbed in their own present moment. Thank you El, this means so much to me (for commission's of your own photos or El's artwork as wood blocks visit her Etsy shop)
E's had a hard time the last few weeks following an incident that triggered a really big stress response for his 6 year old bereaved mind. Today we've made a worry box to help him with his anxiety symptoms and have found the advice on the @youngmindsuk website invaluable. We all need to talk about mental health more especially as it's too easy for grown ups to dismiss a child's misbehaviour without looking for the feelings underlying it. #breakingthestigma #worldmentalhealthday2018
We've had a hard few weeks and this really sums up how asking for help is the light in the dark but not always easy to do. It's #worldmentalhealthday2018 and never has it been more important to make sure our kids know asking for help is a sign of strength and courage not weakness or failure
How to get your kids to eat your home made casserole? Cover it with their favourite #cullyandsullyuk chicken soup. Winner!
I learnt a new word today and if there was an emoji for it then it would be this! PIZZLED, when your pissed off and puzzled all at the same time. Thank you #rubywaxfrazzled for the language education and Euan for the always hilarious faces (he was 4 years old and eating lunch out with his new 2 month old baby brother so his face could be saying all sorts of things!) #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
I don't suppose many people recall the exact date they found out they were pregnant or have a photo to mark their total delight. 15/8/15 we found out our second miracle Luca was on his way. We'd become second time parents in our 40s and 22 years after we started dating. Our boys were so worth the painful years of waiting. (And our picture to mark the occasion is thanks to Mum and Dad babysitting Euan so we could go to a friend's wedding evening do.)
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Best friend brothers. Our #siblingsproject post for this month (link in bio) #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
It's so hard to grieve the loss of your Mum when just looking in the mirror each morning reminds you of what you're missing. Dad always said "thankfully you get your looks from your Mum" with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.
Regrann from @the_tightrope_walker - Emotional Impact 🎗. “CCLG parent survey reveals the emotional impact of childhood cancer.” I read an article by @cclg_uk ; it highlights many of the daily feelings that most parents & carers experience after a child is diagnosed with cancer. We have been unbelievably blessed to have had fantastic support around us since Dylan was diagnosed. The parents at school devised a meal rota & every Friday for months someone would drop over a week’s worth of home cooked food for us to put in the freezer. The amount of pressure that took away from us was immense; we would often be in hospital on rotation with Dylan overnight so it really particularly helped Ruari as Nick & I were often not home until late 💔. Whilst we are surrounded by wonderful friends & people who bend over backwards to help there is still an indescribable darkness that hangs over you once you receive the news that your child has cancer. Emotions are often unpredictable as are the minutes, hours & days. Some days you feel able to talk, other days you just don’t want to get out of bed such is the weight that you carry around constantly. This article touches on so many subtleties & there is little I don’t identify with. The sense of loneliness & isolation, the stress & crippling anxiety, the grief at the loss of a “normal” life, the lack of awareness, the things people say that cut through goes on. The article also highlights the improvement needed in focusing on the parents & carers who are going through horrendous emotional & psychological battles whilst watching their child being treated for cancer. There is such a long list of unseen side effects besides the side effects of the treatments that these children have to endure in order to hopefully be cured. Childhood cancer affects absolutely everything; life really is never the same again & whilst we all wait for our “new normal” we’re still working out how to come to terms with losing the old normal & dealing with perpetual shock. If you have a moment, please read it (link in bio). You never know who might benefit from this kind of awareness. #ccam #livingwithcancer #emotionalimpact #childhoo
3 years of first day at a school photos. How is this little guy growing up so fast - nearer 7 years old than 6! #lovethisboy💙 #nipitinthebudblog

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