I live in Farnham, Surrey, a wonderful combination of small town with instant access to countryside in all directions around us. This is my first year exploring more of the outdoors with the family and friends. My best friend Olivia offered to take me on a tour for some elderflowers and show me how to make home made cordial, how could I say no? Elderflower grows everywhere and it’s just come into season so it’s the perfect time to get out there and go find yourself some. You can spot the wonderful creamy white bubbles from the road as it peeks out of the hedgerows like dreamy clouds floating in the air.
So we grabbed some scissors, baskets, the kids and Molly moo my favourite cockerpoo (Olivia’s dog) and headed into the fields to explore. The first mission was to make our way through the tall grasses and get up into the corner of the fields to where the elderflower was waiting and just ready to harvest. There is something rather magical about picking from a meadow – but always remember to be careful and leave some for others – part of the respecting your countryside and foraging code.
Molly was patiently waiting as we reached up with scissors in hand to pick our crop and dropped them purposefully into our baskets. The perfume is amazing as you breathe in wafts of elderflower blossoms – it’s such a distinctive smell.
The children really enjoyed scouting for more elderflower and running ahead to shout back “we’ve found some more” followed by lots of giggles. In the space of half an hour we’d got two full baskets full to bursting with elderflowers, a happy dog and three children all excitedly chatting about their finds. So we headed back through the fields to Olivia’s to decamp and make a start on the cordial. I was at this point feeling rather smug about being a city girl embracing nature – right up to the point I had a massive hayfever sneezing session!
Anyways, there are many variations of recipes so I’ll share the one we used, but you can adapt this by adding different citrus fruit and adjusting the volume of elderflower. The main point before you do anything is you must carefully check every stem of the elderflower as there are plenty of little insects who will need turfing out before they go into the pan. Ideally get yourself the largest stock pot you have and take the few ingredients you need and put them on the work surface ready to go. The recipe requires the use of citric acid – for obvious reasons this is not something you should allow the children to handle. You can buy this from your local chemist and store in a safe place away from the little people.
[stextbox id=”tmk-box”]TRY IT OUT follow the recipe right here [/stextbox]
Remember, adventure is out there!