Rose Petal

Hi, all you foragers out there, Steph asked me to share this delightful sounding receipe with you…

Rose Petal Jam
From Richard Mabey’s Food for Free

2 cups rose petals (crammed in without insects)
2 cups sudar
Half cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice

Dissolve the sugar in the water and juice
Stir in the rose petals
Put in pan over very low heat and stir continuously for about half an hour or until all the petals have melted
Cool a little
Put in small glass jar and cover

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Summer Solstice – Another walk

Having celebrated the Equinox in such a way, Trasnition Chesterfield asked Steph and I to continue in the same fashion and booked us for a summer walk on Solstice.  Being Father’s Day, we made the walk for the evening, knowing that it would be still light by the time we finished at 9pm.

Well, what an evening – again, loads of enthusiastic people, Steph treated everyone to Elderflower Champagne to get the walk off to a grat start!  We found all sorts of great wild food – the kids went mad for wild garlic – the whole valley smelled of it, so it wasn’t hard to find and its so easy to identify and tastes familar – a really super beginners forage!

I didn’t ahev much time for a reconnisance visit last week, but had a quick whip around the park on my bike and was amazed to see a huge Horseradish plant at the edge of one fo the paths – alas when we reached it on the walk – the council mowers had seen fit to desimate it – oh well – you don’t eat the leaves!

Elderflower (champagne this time)

Steph’s Elderflower Champagne recipe

12 heads of elderflowers
1.5 pounds sugar
peel and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
I gallon cold tap water

Put it all in a bucket and stir till sugar is dissolved.

Leave covered for 24 hours

Strain into plastic pop bottles.

Leave 14 days or until the gas in the bottles is pushing them out of shape.

Open very slowly and carefully.

You can release  the gas by easing open the cap and then tightening again so that you can keep it a bit longer.

Or you could try

Ian’s Recipe for Elderflower Champagne (which he says in non-alcoholic!)

2 good heads of elderflower.
1 and a half lbs (675gram) white sugar.
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar.
1 gallon water
1 lemon

Into a large sterilised bowl put enough hot water to dissolve the sugar.
Make up to 1 gallon with cold water.
Add the white wine vinegar and the juice of the lemon, add also the grated rind of the lemon but be sure that you do NOT use any of the white pith.
Float the elderflower heads on the surface ( bloom down).
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Strain the liquid into sterilised plastic pop bottles and leave in a cool place for at least 2 weeks.

Do not use more than 2 blooms – the old saying is “Just enough – muscat, Too much – tomcat”

Red Clover

Clover!

I was quite excited when I found out you could eat clover flowers – don’t really know why, but somehow it just does not seem to look or feel edible!

The best way I’ve ever eaten clover flowers is in a cous cous salad.

Cook the cous cous as per the instructions on the packet – cous cous is very easy – just add boiling water and leave for about 5 mins!  Add a knob of butter (or a little olive oil) a little salt and black pepper, leave to cool and gently stir in lots of red clover flowers-lets that you have picked from the flower heads.  So tasty!

Elderflower (cordial)

Elderflower cordial has suddenly become mainstream – its on the shelves of every supermarket and in every National Trust – style tea room!  It tastes great (but at a price!)

Very easy to make your own, you can decant into plastic bottles and store in the freezer  (leave a little room for expansion) -for all year long summer memories!

Take 20 or so elderflowers, a sliced lemon, 3½ lb sugar and 2tsp citric acid (go to anindependent chemist for this and tell them what you need it for otherwise they will think you are an addict of some kind and won’t sell it to you!) and place them in a large pan (jamming pan if you have one).

Pour over 2 ½ pints boiling water.  Stir until the sugar has all dissolved.  Skim off anything that has risen to the surface.  Cover with a cloth or lid and stir twice a day for 5 days, then strain through muslin into clean sterilised bottles.  Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze.  Dilute to taste with still or fizzy water.

Wild Rose

To make rosewater with wild roses (Dog roses), take a handful of rose petals, place them in a saucepan with 1cm water.

Heat them slowly until the petals look slightly see through.

Strain out the petals and you have rosewater, store in a bottle in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

For use as a cooling face spray or in North African recipes