Yet another gloriously sunny warm day. From my window I can see one of our elder trees, covered in creamy white blossoms the size of small plates. This is truly one of the signs that Midsummer is fast approaching!
The elder tree holds a very special and sacred
significance in these northern lands. The Elder is a ‘mother tree’, and so much of it is of practical use and benefit. This time of year certainly would not be the same without cool jugs of elderflower cordial for everyone to drink. It is so refreshing, and good for us at the same time. It is very easy to make too:
25 elderflower heads
2 lemons, grated, squeezed and cut into small pieces
1 oz. citric acid
3 pints of cold boiled water
Remove flower heads from green stems and place in a large bowl. Add sugar, lemons and citric acid.
Cover with the water and leave for two days, stirring occasionally.
Strain and bottle.
Keep refrigerated and dilute to taste. (This will also freeze so that you may have a taste of summer in deepest winter.)
Serve with ice cubes and fresh mint leaves – nectar of the gods!
NOTE: Collecting the blossoms is a heavenly occupation, perched on a ladder with one’s head surrounded by fresh green leaves and scented blossoms. Some of the elder grows and blooms low to the ground so you might not need anything to stand on to reach a sufficient quantity. Carrying a hooked stick or shepherd’s crook can be really useful so that you can pull the branches down towards you a little – but be careful – elder isn’t very supple and her branches break easily.