Goodday my sweets. Wanna have a drink? It’s my treat! I have been unleashing the inner-farmwife in me this weekend. You didn’t know I had that in me did you? Ah well me neither. But she is there and she is trying to come out and I am loving it.
I was feeling a good and proper domestic goddess. And that is saying something, because domestic I might be but a goddess?!
Anyway I have been cooking up something nice, homemade, simple, delicious and oh so nice and sweet.
Now for some of you this might be the oldest trick in the book. But for me, it was quite the thing. You see elderberry blossom syrup isn’t exactly common in these parts. In fact aside for IKEA I wouldn’t know a store that carries it. I’d never tasted the stuff either. And yet elderberry bushes are everywhere. I was aware that the berries themselves have uses, but the flowers?! Hmm not so much.
But Jamie called for the blossom syrup in a recipe and I dig Jamie.
Plus I have a big, beautiful elderberry tree in my garden.
So I turned the nest into a homestead and jumped on the self-suffiency band wagon.
Well self sufficient might be going a bit overboard, although I don’t drink that much syrup in a year and I have two bottles now, so I guess that will suffice.
I hadn’t realized how nice this flowers smell. But since I had to stick my nose in them so I could pick the best blossoms for my syrup I got to enjoy the perfume real up and close. And they smell lovely, sweet and honey-ie. Who knew…..
The recipe was quite easy. I conjured it up myself out of several I found on line. But basically it is stuffing a big pot with the blossoms, layering in a lemon or two, adding a vanilla pod and filling it up with water.
Then just let nature do its magic while it sits in the sun for at least a day.
I must be honest. I had my doubts. But when I opened up that pot, the smell that came out of it was pure heaven. And smell really isn’t the right word, maybe I should say fragrance, perfume, or aroma. Although bouquet, scent and flavor seem rather right too.
I don’t know what describes it best, I just know It took me by surprise and I stood there for at least five minutes inhaling it. Wow! What a kick.
Anyway. To turn that into syrup I just had to add sugar and boil it for a few minutes until all the sugar had dissolved. Than it was ready for bottling and drinking.
This was fun! Going into my garden and snipping away at the blossoms and then turning them into this light golden drink that smells and tastes like a haute-couture nectar. It also felt so nice and old-fashioned, making syrup in my kitchen. As if I didn’t live in the middle of a city in a small over-crowded little country. No, it make me feel like a was the mrs of a big old homestead, somewhere in the country with a chicken coop and a big vegetable plot. And of course I wasn’t wearing jeans in my fantasy, but instead I had long, flowing skirts and in apron on and a flower in my hair.
Well that last part could be true. I sure ended up with lots of tiny blossoms in my hair from going up that tree and picking the nicest bunches.
Looks good he. Wish you could be here to enjoy a cool drink of it out on our porch. You’d have to imagine the prairie, but my rose covered garden shed is nice to look at too.
Ok, and just in case you have some nice blossoms at your disposal too, here is my rather loose recipe:
At least 25 nice, big and fragrant blossom heads
2 cups of sugar
1 vanilla pod
Remove the blossoms from the stems. You can use a fork, but I ended up just doing it by hand. The less stems you have in there the better, although you don’t have to be too much of stickler with this.
Fill up your pot with the blossoms, alternating with the sliced lemons and pieces of the vanilla pod.
Fill up the pot with water until all your blossoms are submerged, press them down a bit.
Put the pot in sunny spot for at least 24 hours.
Drain the fluid, add the sugar and bring to a boil. Let the sugar dissolve completely and boil a few minutes extra.
In the mean time thoroughly clean your bottles and caps. Heat your bottles with warm water so they won’t crack when you fill them.
Fill the bottles and close the caps immediately. Let cool. Ready!
Of course you can add more lemons or more sugar according to your taste. But keep in mind that both the lemon and the sugar are the preservatives here, so you can’t leave them out or your syrup won’t last.
Two bottles (and a bit) of sweet, fragrant elderberry blossom syrup. I guess I’d better go look up that recipe from Jamie to see how I can use it. Other than drinking it in a glass of cold water of course.
Are you familiar with elderberry syrup? And how do you drink / use it? If you have some recipes let’s share them, I’d love to use my home-made syrup in new ways.