Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Elderflower experiments

So, by the way, if you get up extra early in the morning, it turns out that you have time to go out and pick elderflowers (from the bushes you planted several years ago but never remember until it’s too late). Then you can come in and make elderflower fritters, using the flowers plus the elderflower cordial you made earlier in the week.

Mmm.

The elderflower cordial is easy: you bring four cups of water and four cups of sugar to a boil, set it off the heat, and let it cool while you collect 25 or 30 heads of flowers, strip the flowers off the stems, and delicately remove the few insects that came with the flowers. (I suggest you strip the flowers off the stems outside, since flowers do scatter everywhere.) Then you pour the sugar syrup over the flowers, add the zest and juice of two lemons and a tsp of citric acid, cover, and let steep for two or three days.

This produced a nice honey-floral syrup.

To make the fritters, I used this recipe, rather than just dipping the flowers into a batter and frying them. 100% of spaniels surveyed agreed that these fritters were tasty plain, but I drizzled mine generously with the cordial.

I think there might be time before the flowers are spent to make the more standard flower fritters, more like this, but on the other hand I could just make regular pancakes and use the rest of the cordial up that way.

The dogs really do get underfoot in the kitchen, incidentally. Adora — the red dog in this picture — has a definite sweet tooth and is usually at some risk of getting stepped on, though sometimes she moves back to where she can watch me more safely yet not miss any cookie-distribution moments.

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2 Comments Elderflower experiments

  1. Elaine T

    To the best of my knowledge elderflowers don’t grow around here, I must try this with something that does… squash blossom? nasturtiums? Roses?

    BTW, I paid attention to the Green & Black display at the grocery store today and they had the ginger in dark chocolate bar. If you remind me this winter, and they still have them, I could send you one to try.

    Right now we’re eating the chocolate my husband brought back from Sweden. He found two chocolate specialty stores within walking distance of his hotel, as well as an SF/F bookstore, with lots of books in English and better selection than we have locally. He had a blast. Too bad he came home with pneumonia, as well as nine (small) boxes of various dark chocolates, at least one brand of which is actually Belgian.

  2. Rachel

    Oh, too bad about the pneumonia! !!! I’m not sure even nine boxes of European chocolates would make up for that.

    I would think that rose petals might be a good flower to try — if you do, let me know how it works!

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