Monday, November 19, 2012

Delicious Elderflower drinks and a Wensleydale Monday November 19th 2012

At this time of the year, elderflowers are out. A friend of mine gave me some  homemade syrup for Christmas last year and I always thought that  you needed a lot of elder flowers to make it. As  I haven’t got a tree in my garden I have never tried to make my own. On Saturday, on the radio, I heard a recipe for the syrup and also a recipe for a sparkling elderflower drink neither of which used many flowers. See the link to Sally Wise's website for the recipes. I also discovered that there was an elder tree in the garden of one of the other houses on the farm. So this afternoon, I went and picked a few heads and then quickly made up a batch of syrup.
 It consists of sugar and boiling water, tartaric acid and about 14 elderflowers. The elderflowers just steep  in the hot water to impart their flavour....that’s all. Now it is all bottled, one in the fridge and 2 in the freezer for a later date.
The sparkling elder is also brewing – half a dozen flower heads, water, sugar, a chopped lemon and  a little vinegar. They sit for 48 hours and then I will bottle and wait another couple of weeks until they are ready. Looking forward to them already.

At the same time I was experimenting with cheese. I couldn’t decide whether to make a Pyrenees Pepper or a Wensleydale so I decided to combine them and make a Wensleydale Pepper. The advantage that the Wensleydale has over the Pyrenees is that it will be ready in about a month or so as opposed to 3 months or more.  The disadvantage is that the recipe is somewhat more fiddly so I didn’t exactly follow it.....we’ll see in a few weeks. I have just taken it out of the press this morning – hope there are not too many peppercorns in it either.

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