The Only Reason My Husband Lets Me Pick Sloes Is So I Pass Out Drunk Once I Make Sloe Gin!!

It’s true, I’m pretty sure of it!

 

Anyway, this was now a couple of weeks ago, my blogging everyday thing went out of the window pretty quickly! However, we went out, on a walk, armed with canvas bags and with the plan to pick sloes, this was my plan, possibly he just wanted to stay in on his day off, but that doesn’t happen often!

Not very long after this photo we had 2 kilos of sloes.

These have now been frozen and 500g of them have been added to 600ml of gin and 450g sugar, this is being regularly shaken and in about 2 or 3 months will be strained, bottled and left to mature!

 

Sloe gin is such a pretty colour!

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Mushrooms!

12043199_10156103475300258_7041304293377677382_nThe other day I went for a walk in a forest not far from me with the plan of finding mushrooms, not that we eat any of them, they are the one thing I am too nervous to forage, just in case I miss identify something and make everyone ill! However, I want to get over this fear and so picking and attempting to identify them is the first step I am taking, one day I will hopefully get on a few mushroom courses or befriend someone who knows a lot about wild mushrooms and steal their knowledge. Alas, this has not happened yet!

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Pretty sure, this photo and the one below is a Beefsteak Fungus. Please tell me if I’m wrong!

 

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I found something that said this is a witches egg, the immature egg stage of the stinkhorn fungus, you can see it cut in half in a lower picture. Again, tell me if you think I’m wrong!

 

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A Bolete of some kind

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Even though I don’t have the guts to pick and eat them…mushrooms in a weird way are incredibly pretty!

Also, if you do know/have an inkling as to what the mushrooms are, please comment, I am not going to go out and pick lots just because someone says they are edible, but I do want to learn and all help and knowledge is greatly appreciated.

We did, however pick sloes…lots of sloes! But that is a whole other blog post!

Elderflower champagne. Part 1

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This year I became obsessed with collecting elderflowers, I’m one of those who will never turn down free things! Also, it was an excuse to explore the local public footpaths and get my son and other half out in all weathers. I then had to find things to make with the elderflowers which are now filling my freezer! I’ve already made elderflower cordial and used this in a few things, the next creation is elderflower champagne. I am terrified of this exploding in it’s bottles though!

Ingredients
650g granulated sugar
1 lemon
6 elderflower heads
2tbsp white wine vinegar

Method
1. Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Leave this to cool.
2. Use a peeler to remove the zest of the lemon in large strips, put these and the juice from the lemon into a large bowl or bucket. Add the elderflower heads, vinegar, cooled sugar syrup and another 3.5 litres of water.
3. At this point I transferred into a demijohn as I don’t own a large enough container, apart from the bucket for our beer, but we didn’t want to cross the two over and add funny flavours! I didn’t add a bung, I just covered with a teatowel. If you have a different container, just cover with a teatoweel and leave for a couple of days. At this point it should be just starting to ferment, however it may take longer. Once it starts, leave for another 4 days.
4. Strain the mixture and bottle in recycled pop bottles. These can still explode, so need checking regularly and if they are starting to expland, simply release the gas and tighten the lid again.
5. This is drinkable after 2 weeks, however it improves if kept for a couple of months.

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Elderflower cupcakes

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These do look a bit of a mess, it was a rush job done mainly to see if they were nice or not! And they are, they’re amazing!

Ingredients
125g caster sugar
125g softened butter
125g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs
7tbsp elderflower cordial

For the icing
100g icing sugar
3tbsp elderflower cordial

Method
Preheat the oven to 180c.

1. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, flour and baking powder. The mix in the cordial.

2. Put the mixture into small cakes cases and bake until golden.

3. Sieve the icing sugar, add the cordial and mix until icing is formed. Top the cakes with icing.

Elderflower Cordial

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Ingredients
12 elderflower heads
1 lemon, washed
750g granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp citric acid

Method
1. Shake the elderflower to remove any bugs.

2. Pare the zest from the lemon in thick strips, slice the fruit thinly. Put this in a bowl with the elderflowers.

3. In a pan, dissolve the sugar in 600ml of water, heat it slowly, stirring, bring to the boil.

4. Pour the boiling syrup over the elderflower and lemon, stir, add the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and leave for 24 hours.

5. Strain through muslin then pour into sterilized bottles and seal. This will store in a cool dark place but is better in the fridge.

Elderflower Fritters

A long walk yesterday resulted in 3 huge bags of elderflowers, of which some wouldn’t fit in the freezer! I now have enough elderflower to make around 10 litres of cordial! This isn’t the plan, but it shows just how much I’ve picked. Anyway, because of this we made elderflower fritters for pudding.
Elderflower fritters sound incredibly strange and I wasn’t completely convinced when I was mixing the batter. However, I was pleasantly surprised! These are yummy.
Ingredients
12 elderflower heads
85g plain flour
Pinch baking powder
1tbsp cornflour
200ml sparkling water
Oil for deep frying
Caster sugar to serve
Method

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Firstly shake the elderflower heads to make sure any insects are removed.
Mix together the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Carefully mix in the water but don’t mix too much.
Heat the oil.
Dip the elderflower head in.

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Shake off some of the batter. Put into the very hot oil.

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Fry until the flower head spreads out and the batter starts to change colour and crisp up. Drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve hot.

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My son likened these to popcorn. They were yummy!