During the early summer there is an abundance of wild edible produce from strawberries, seaweed, mushrooms, wild Garlic, Ransoms, Rock Samphire, Elder flowers and many more. With the aid of a knowledgeable local, one could have a feast fit for a king. At this time of year the wild Elder trees are in flower. Their white heads making a nice contrast against the gray limestone walls in a way that is magical and would win gold at the Chelsea flower show.
The Elder flower heads can be used to make a delicious non-alcoholic sparkling champagne and/or a cordial. When picking the flowers, do so in the evening and remember to leave some blossoms so there will be berries for the migrating birds in September.
What you need:
A gallon of hot water
1 and half pounds of white sugar.
10 Elder flower heads
2 lemons sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Dissolve sugar in water and let stand to cool.
Add flower heads, vinegar, and lemon
cover with a dish towel and let stand still in a cool place and let stand still for 24 hours
Strain using a fine sieve and be careful not to agitate mixture as you want a clear liquid
Place strained liquid in a sterilized bottle and leave for 14 days after which you should see the bubbles rising (this is the natural yeast from the flower heads)
The champagne will keep for up to a year.
You may serve the champagne in a tall glass that you have placed in the freezer beforehand for about ten minutes.
Refreshingly simple. Join us soon for our suggestions for making and serving the cordial