Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blissful Blossom!

When I first learned Amy was so ill I didn't think I'd want to carry on with this blog for a while - the idea of recording life during her final months seemed simply too painful. But now, having lived with the knowledge of her illness for the past couple of months, I feel differently. I want to keep a record of this, the very last summer the three of us will ever spend together, and make sure we enjoy every single moment.

I think it's helped that she is keeping very well (the photo above was taken only a couple of days ago). She's on much stronger medication now which is controlling her pain and has recovered from her operation. She's returned to being the Amy I love so much and it's tempting to think that she'll be fine. But although vet is very pleased (and surprised) by her, he has warned me that I mustn't expect to keep her through the winter.

So.... for the moment we are carrying on as normal ... and here in Coombe Leigh when the elderflowers are out normal means .... homemade elderflower cordial.

We have our own in the garden. I don't pick them all - leaving some to become berries for the birds in the autumn, but I do gather a good few handfuls.

For each pint of water add the juice and grated zest of a lemon, 1lb sugar, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar and a dozen heads of elderflower.

Lemons always remind me of holidays in the Mediterranean ....

Can't be bothered to grate .. always grate my fingers! So I use a peeler instead. You have to boil the water and sugar together then pour the mixture onto the elderflowers, lemon and vinegar. Stir well ...

Leave to infuse for 24 hours .. the kitchen smells wonderful!

Then bottle in sterilised bottles. Yes, they are wine bottles .. it was no hardship to empty them ready for the elderflower! The cordial has to be kept refridgerated even before it's opened, but it does keep for up to 3 months in the fridge. The taste of summer!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

As you might well imagine, I'm just tickled pink to know that Amy is better than expected and enjoying her her summer. I know you're loving every moment. She's such a beautiful and regal gal. And of course I think Ben is as handsome as can be. Would be fun to have our Newfs meet. And I'd thoroughly enjoy meeting the creator of all of these marvelous recipes and handwork. Thank you for the recipe!! Cheers! Jennifer

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