‘Entente Cordiale’ by @CeginSian
Elder flower Cordial – Ingredients
• About 25 elder flower heads – cream coloured not the brown ones.
• 1 kg sugar
• 1 ½ litre of water
• Orange, lime, lemon – zest and juice
It was summer solstice and I decided to make elder flower cordial. I had never made cordial before and was surprised how easy it was. The tree has only just appeared in the garden – it must have been there for years, but it was only now, after a lot of pruning, that I discovered it was hiding there and the sun could now finally get to it.
At the beginning of June, to the sound of my husband’s constant sneezing, the beautiful cream flowers appeared. Elder flower cordial is apparently one of the best cures for hay fever. I think it’s probably along the same lines as homeopathy or immunisations, that is, when the body has a sample of the poison so to speak, it can resist the negative effects of that exact poison in the future, a miracle.
It was only after picking the flowers and placing them in the bright lime coloured bucket that I saw an opportunity for an Instagram pic.I searched for any unwanted bugs, had taken the zest off the lemon and lime and squeezed the juices, and when I was pouring the boiling water over the mixture I discovered the beauty of the bright lime coloured bucket against the natural colours, like a Dutch masterpiece in front of my eyes.
Summer Solstice 2017 was a significant day; the Queen made her speech, but had no crown on today, she wore instead a hat which resembled the European Union flag, and one of her Grandsons said that none of his cousins want to shoulder the responsibilities that their Gran had carried for decades. Her speech discussed what the Government were going to achieve, but focused mainly on things they hadn’t achieved. No grammar schools, they won’t cut free school dinners for children in England, and she was also rather opinionated about care for the elderly. How was the cordial doing?
The recipe had been made over ten hours ago, and it was now time to put it all into a sieve to separate the juice from the flowers. I didn’t have a muslin, I used the sieve I usually use for coffee, and it worked well. There was no smell, and the colour was quite plain. The final step was to add the sugar and bring to the boil for a few minutes.
I got rid of the scum that came to the surface, the same scum you get when making jam or jelly, The only bottles I had were old plastic bottles, I washed these with hot water and fairy liquid, which caused them to bend out at the bottom, which meant they couldn’t stand upright, so I placed them in a wine bottle holder which worked well.
The final product is a golden liquid, and the cordial is pleasant, different to the one you buy at the supermarket, lighter and a slightly bitter taste, but it was very good! This was the perfect drink to quench my thirst on a hot summer solstice – the hottest since June 1976.
The title entente cordiale came to me as I was sipping the drink, thinking about Brexit and the speech in London and everything the UK is throwing away. I placed the bottles in rows of three like soldiers in their box. Soldiers that can’t stand alone, Little yellow soldiers that depend on the box to keep them firm and stable. But that’ll do.
Thanks to @CeginSian for sharing this lovely recipe with us – sounds like this would be nice with Prosecco too!! If you have any recipes that you are happy to share with us, email us at email@example.com.