Friday, 11 June 2010

The Sweet Taste of Summer

So what have I been up to while Stephen has baked roll after roll after roll? Well eating rolls for one thing, also pizza. But I've also been experimenting with foraging and with preserving. Our flat has been filled with the most amazing smells. The nectary sweetness of elderflower and the pure sauciness of the Great British Strawberry.

The elderflower we've been picking up from walks around Cockington. The last two weekends we managed to get a bottle a time. This weekend should be much more productive, every elder in Torquay seems to be in flower. Even walking to my doctors this morning I saw rows of the buggers. And the first batch was so hard to find...

Aside from smelling delicious they make an excellent cordial for no more than the price of a couple of lemons and some sugar. The past two weekends have made me a complete convert to cordial making. It's a really easy method of preserving and there is nothing like a glass of fruity, sugary water to wake you up in the morning or if you are feeling a bit wobbly. It can even be used to make ice lollies.

A couple of punnets of Strawberries were then turned into a sugary treat, this time with all the water removed. I made a delicious fruit leather. Making fruit leathers is easy and charming, you end up with something far more beautiful than a stained glass window. Not to mention an easily packable fruity hit. I think I'm going to have to try taking some of this on every hike, canoe trip and camp I do this summer. Perfect portable energy.

I'm going to carry on making cordials and leathers out of every fruit I can find or buy cheaply. It's so much fun and so satisfying to put things up for those sugar deprivation moments.

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