It’s been a cold, wet Spring so far, but that hasn’t stopped the plants doing their thing. Last weekend was about the last (I reckon) to gather some Elderflower (Sambucus nigra). I have heard from several sources that you shouldn’t gather Elderflower in sunlight, but rather wait for an overcast day, otherwise the delicate aroma starts to turn from that sweet Elder one to something more like a cat’s bum. Finding an overcast day last weekend wasn’t hard, luckily and we went one better and gathered ours in the rain.
After a nice brunch on HochkirschstraÃŸe with Henrik and Ellen over from Denmark, we cycled to the newest park in our (new) area, Park am Gleisdreieck where I’d seen some Elders fenced off behind some easy-to-move barriers.
One good thing about this site which some others I’d seen lacked, was access to the higher blossoms of the Elder. These trees (bushes) grow tall and when they are mature, the corymbs appear on the upper part of the plant, good for the flies that pollinate it, bad for the humans. Unless, that is, there are the remains of some platforms to scramble on to reach the higher branches.
Sort of following the recipe in Alys Fowler’s The Thrifty Forager, we soaked the flowers in a covered bowl with the sugar-water solution, some lemons and citric acid for a couple of days, strained through muslin and decanted into glass bottles.
Ruby and I are extremely proud of our first Elderflower Cordial and think it tastes delicious. I’m already worried about running out.