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Elderberry Flowers

elder flower bushThis is a close up of the  edible and aromatic elderberry flower.  The blooms are almost done for Spring! The heavy scent hangs in the air on a still morning.  Elderberries grow almost everywhere, from Joe Brown Park to Mud Bay dyke. In shady areas of the park the flowers have just opened and will be perfect to use in recipes. You can even nibble on some of the flowers as you collect for this Elderflower lemonade recipe.

Here goes….Only collect the freshest most beautiful flowers, you don’t want flowers that have yet to open or are past their prime. Collect them in a paper bag so they won’t sweat  and wilt. A lot of flowers are needed. Make sure to leave some flowers on each shrub you pick from for our beloved honeybees and other pollinating insect are enjoying these too!!.Prepare a simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water) bring this to a boil and pour it over lemon zest a little lemon juice, LOTS of elderflowers and …!!! a little citric acid, which adds flavor and keeps your drink from molding in your fridge, (you can find this in any brew shop ) Let this mixture sit at room temperature for 2-4 days to macerate and the result after straining it trough cheesecloth is a lovely looking yellow syrup.

Add about one tablespoon of the syrup to a pint of water to make a drink, add more syrup for a stronger drink! You can also use club soda or champagne in stead of water!  Enjoy!!!

 

NOTE: If you just want to make a simple elderflower syrup, which will ferment very fast if you don’t keep it very cold, skip the lemon and citric acid .For a quart boil 3 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water. Let it cool enough to touch, them pour it over   in a quart Mason jar full of elderflowers. Steep 24-48 hours, then strain. Use within 3 weeks!!

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