So, September is here!! I can’t believe it. August seems to have passed me by. I’ve been busy in the kitchen more than usual this week, blanching runner beans to freeze as we just can’t keep up with them, and preparing berries. I showed you my elderberry produce last time you visited and since then I have even more. After washing them and painstakingly taking the red berries only off of the stalks (the stalks are apparently toxic, so steer well clear of those) they need to be boiled and simmered. Thankfully, my lovely mum told me a tip about removing the berries with a fork for the second lot and I whizzed through them much faster. You just use the fork as though you are combing hair.
Boil them up…..
And simmer for a good 20 minutes.
Now get your masher and squish all the berries down. Once you’ve squished as many as possible, strain and collect the juice. I then added one clove and about 4 tbsp of honey. By the way, I used one and a half cups of berries and to every half a cup, use a cup of water.
And you get a lovely, pink liquid.
A jar for our house, and a jar for my parents. Now why oh why have I made this, as it is certainly an acquired taste!! One, which m is still yet to acquire!!!! Well, there are certain things (that’s the scientific term!) in elderberries that prevent nasty viruses from implanting in to our bodily cells and so it is a preventative measure to keep nasty bugs out of our bodies. These marvelous little berries are also stacked with vitamin c, and with m about to return to work following the summer break to his school, I want to safeguard us all! The jar for my parents is instead of the flu vaccine. Not that they’ve needed any persuasion as to refusing it. All of us are not in favour of certain mass vaccines and the flu jab seems a frighteningly pointless ingestion of unnecessary chemicals in our humble opinion. Rant over!!! My mum has always instilled into me that ‘prevention is better than a cure’ and I totally believe in this. Hence my Echinacea plant I have been tending to, but the root needs to get bigger with that yet. So next stop for hedgerow remedies will be rosehips which apparently, one rosehip contains more vitamin c than 4 oranges! These need to be gathered after the first frost though, or no later than October 31st.
I’ve also dried a batch of berries so that I can make more anti bug potion later. A very simple preserving process where you just spread them out on a low heat (100 degrees c will be fine) and keep your eye on them until they start to wrinkle up like a current!
Other things then…. Look at these lovely windmills! Bought for little b by loving grandparents and I think I am as excited about them as b is. I love them!!!! I have found a cute little crochet pattern in a star shape, so when I finish aunty s’s present I will make each windmill a colourful star to sit on.
It’s been a super day for home grown goodies….
And m has patiently tied up the onions to dry out a little. Some are on the small side, but we’ll probably end up pickling those ones.
And I have started a new tradition in the house…. My memory jar…. Funny, happy, loving, life changing memories only allowed in this gleeful jar, written on paper with the date, then on new years eve, over a nice tipple of something yummy, we will empty the jar and look back on the year.
I’ve also made b a weather clock…. So far it seems to be centred on the windy tree picture most days, not that we mind though, because we love it here on windy hill. Xxxxxxx