Lockdown has taught us many things. What has it taught you?
For me it’s that life’s too short, it doesn’t matter if plans go out the window, live for the moment and learn from every opportunity.
My daughter and I went for a bike ride, she saw a blackberry bush and asked if we could pick them. The old me would’ve said, “we haven’t got time, it’s nearly bed time’’.
The new me said “yes, lets’’, I’m so glad we did! We had so much fun! We collected enough backberries for a crumble then continued our bike ride.
We then came to tree with some, what looked like blackcurrents on, my daughter being Miss inquisitive wondered what they were, so I used the ‘picture this’ app to clarify, what on earth did we do before technology!! They were elderberries.
We decided to collect some of them in our baskets too. When we returned home we googled some ideas for elderberry recipes, we could make jam, syrup, gin or cordial. (Once again thank heavens for the internet!!).
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not brilliant in the kitchen, but we decided to give the cordial a go, since it was the one thing all four of us like. Plus, what did we have to loose, we either make a great cordial, or it goes a bit wrong, either outcome will give us a learning opportunity.
We started removing all the berries off their stalks. Using a fork made this a little easier, however, it was still time consuming and I did wonder why I’d even agreed to this! Ha!
Eventually, they were all stalk free and washed. We had 550g worth!
We put the berries into a pan with some lemon rind and the litre of water. We simmered them on a low heat for half an hour.
We then strained the juice through a colander which was lined with fabric (you could use a muslin cloth or an old pillow case.).
Press the berries gently to extract the juice.
We then return the juice to the pan with the sugar and lemon juice. We heated it until all the sugar dissolved.
Once cooled I poured it into a decanter, we diluted it with lemonade (for the 11yr old) and water (for the 7yr old) to have with our lunch, it was definitely a winner all round!! Absolutely delicious, with water or lemonade!
I will certainly be making this again, by turning an easy ‘no we haven’t got time’ to a ‘well let’s see……’, we learnt so much and had so much fun together too!