Homemade Bath Bombs

I love being able to make exciting things, bath bombs are my new favourite, they are so simple but feel like they should be complicated.

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Rosehip, made with rosehip tea, dried rosehip and a tiny bit of natural red food colouring

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Mint, made purely with dried, foraged wild mint.

100g citric acid
50g cornflour
150g bicarbonate soda
2tsp oil (coconut, olive, almond, any you like really)
Enough tea or water to bind it all together
Essential oil if you want

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the oil, stir. Add essential oil or anything else you want in your bath bombs at this stage. Finally, slowly add the liquid, it will fizz because of the bicarb, keep stirring and just believe it will be ok! Put it in a mould, I use silicone cake cases in general. Don’t fill them too full, they do continue to fizz and grow. Keep an eye on them and press them back down into the cases until they are hard.

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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Homemade strawberry wine Part 2

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Firstly, isn’t this colour absolutely brilliant! Truly hoping the finished product ends up a similar kind of colour.

After leaving the squashed strawberries and sugar in a bowl for a couple of days, the time came for stage 2! This involved straining the mixture through a jelly bag to get all the juice out. Initially you add a litre of water so that it strains more easily. Then strain all of it, keep the pulp, add another litre to this and mix, then strain again. Next, add wine yeast and nutrients, I bought packets that did up to 25 litres, so added a fifth of that. You also need to add a teaspoon of citric acid. Mix all of this, easiest way is by shaking your demijohn. Then add enough water to make it up to about a gallon, about an inch from the top seems to have worked for me! Add the bung and bubble trap. Then leave it to do it’s thing! Ours is bubbling like crazy, but as of yet hasn’t escaped out of the top like so many of our wines do! In 6 weeks I will need to put this into a clean demijohn and then leave it until all fermentation has stopped.

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.

Bottled fruit!

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This is purely an excited post which I will post properly when I get chance! But oh my goodness I managed to bottle fruit! I know that sounds dimple but this was my first attempt at heat processing. Seriously happy it worked!
Left to right I have pears, plums and pineapple! I almost don’t want to leave it in the cupboard, but we have plenty of fresh stuff at the moment so I should be sensible!