Saturday 28 May 2011

Cordially yours

Three pictures of my elderflower cordial.

Is this what the blog is for?
Well, yes it is really.
It's for reining in this bolting life.
Making cordial was a slow process, 
over in an instant;
from the first ill-judged picking 
of the too far gone flowers in the garden,
to the expedition to find some 
at their peak of perfection in the alleyway,
(not too white, just creamy,)
to the purchasing of enough citric acid,
(not easy in this sad world, 
where I was asked what I wanted it for and 
regarded with great suspicion,)
to the buying and then dissolving 
of the sugar for the syrup,
the paring of the strips of lemon, 
the slicing of the lemon,
the submerging of the elderflower heads,
the 24 hour infusion,
the straining and restraining,
(all those tiny insects),
the sterilising and the bottling
and when I finally  lined them up  
in their specially purchased facetted bottles
I noticed how the light changed the colour of the cordial,
and thought that needed noting too.

Four bottles.
Seven hundred and forty two posts.
It's a record.


  1. Ah, yes, the asking (in Boots for heaven's sake!) for the Citric Acid. "The" look from the frosty faced assistant. My (then!) innocent look and suggestion that "last year they got it out of that drawer". My (then!) even more stupid whine of "but I really need it"......... And then the snappy retort (accompanied by slittly eyes) of: "Well, like I said, we DON'T have any"........

    This was two years ago, my other half now gets it from a "brew your own" shop - easily!

    Incidentally, the cordial freezes beautifully.

  2. Very lovely too.

    But I'm wondering now what the illicit use of citric acid might be?

  3. Yes a similar scenario at Sainsbury's pharmacy where I indicated the large quantity of sugar in the trolley and said,' Do I look like a heroin addict?'

  4. Dare I ask, what was the reply?

  5. These magical photos are well worth the effort ... beautiful!

  6. Ah herion - that's what else it can be used for. I'd wondered too.
    I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the pharmacist training sessions!

  7. We use tartaric acid - which you have to order in specially from the pharmacist (luckily we still have an independent one), but we buy a big box and it keeps forever. We don't have enough freezer space for a year's supply, so do need to use it. I love your bottles - ours are recycled, and looking a bit sad now. I am just off to pick some more - the wind is doing them no good, and I don't think we are going to be able to make the champagne this year, it is so windy.

    Pomona x

  8. Hello Lucille

    Have stumbled onto your page, just in time to admire your elderflower cordial, and indeed, the golden bottle glows in the rays of the sun.
    Why the pharmacist should be suspicious of someone buying citric acid is more mysterious. I wonder what other use you might have had in mind for it.