Tuesday, 19 June 2012

It’s Elderflower time

The 21 June (the longest day) was Grandma Abson’s birthday so it's always a poignant time for me. She was born in 1886, the 2nd eldest in a family of ten in a two-up two-down terrace called Ladycroft, Bolton on Dearne, South Yorkshire.  

In her later years, we loved to celebrate her birthday, often a party in the garden as the weather was usually glorious sunshine. Here is Grandma on her 90th birthday.
 Grandma cutting her 90th birthday cake 
Grandma’s collection of recipes isn’t just limited to cakes, biscuits, teabreads and puddings. There are recipes to use the gluts of fruits and vegetables in season such as   Cherries or Plums.  As I look out of the window beyond the garden fence, the elderflower buds are just coming out – later this year because of the weather - just the thing for Grandma’s recipes for Elderflowers. This one is for Elderflower Cordial a delicious drink to dilute or which you can use with fruit salad or stewed fruit.

Elderflower Cordial

2 dozen (24) elderflower heads (remove the stalks)
2-3 lemons (use the lemon rind, juice and cut the lemons into slices)
2 oz (50g) tartaric acid or 1 oz (25g) citric acid
3 pints (1.5 litres) boiling water
2 ½ lbs (1.1kg) sugar

Place everything in a large (pyrex) bowl or saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cover with a cloth. Leave for 2 days. Stir from time to time. Make sure the sugar has dissolved then strain through a muslin cloth and bottle in sterilised bottles.
N.B. This can be diluted with cold water – sparkling or soda water or tonic and makes a refreshing summer drink  
Grandma has a recipe for Elderflower Champagne and soothing Elderberry syrup for sore throats in her book Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking, which are also very easy to make. Have you tried making Elderflower or any other fruit cordials? Tell me about it  ….

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