Sunday, July 5, 2009

Elderflower Saft

Dear Georgia,
Every Christmas we celebrate with two special drinks: Black currant, and Elderflower saft. In the past we have had to buy them from Scandinavian stores or Ikea (when we are in the area). Last summer we found a black currant farm near us and we made our own black currant saft. This year I found some elder trees just as they were blooming and we tried our hand at elderflower saft. What a treat! The only problem was that I didn't bottle all of it fast enough and we started to make some questionable substance. If I can resist the urge to drink it all when you are here next week we will have homemade saft for Advent and Christmas this year. I can't wait!

Here is how we did it.
We picked about 100 heads of elder blossoms in full flower. We took the larger stems off and put the flowers in a heat proof container. In our case we used a crock. To that we added the zest of 6 lemons. Then we peeled off the white pith of the 6 lemons and cut the lemon wedges into chunks and added that to the crock.
Next we boiled 2 gallons of water with 8 POUNDS of sugar. No wonder the stuff tastes so good. We poured the boiling syrup over the flowers and lemons and the most amazingly revolting fragrance bloomed up. We were prepared for this and so we weren't daunted. We covered the crock and tried to wait for the mixture to steep. 3 DAYS!!!! We didn't last. We snitched. We dipped. We licked. We didn't bob or bathe. Then we strained and poured and diluted. And drank and drank and mmmmm drank some more.
There seems to be no way to make enough of this stuff. I will have to plant more elder bushes.
We diluted the syrup 5 to 1 with both still water and soda water and it is good both ways.

summertime birthday parties

We made a few of these for birthday parties a couple of weeks ago. The bag is made out of the leg of a pair of jeans. (The ribbons are to cover the seams that we had to take out to make the pants long enough.) The roll is a roll of crayons. The pattern is found here: skiptomylou. We have loved them and have made many more. The square red thing is a miniature legal pad that we made a cover for.
Lots of fun and very red white and blue.
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