A warm welcome to my new followers. It is good to see you here. Also, a big thank you for all your lovely comments on my recent posts. I would love to reply to every single one but alas, packing and preparations for James' Birthday are more important today (it is Thursday 10th July as I am writing this).
Anyway. Last week, I suddenly noticed that our redcurrants were ready to be picked. We have two bushes, great croppers. Usually there is a big fat wood pigeon that does a lot of the picking but it must have died because I have never seen quite that many redcurrants on two small bushes. I picked a grand total of 7. 1 kg of berries. It took a long time. It took another long while to decide what to do with the abundance of redcurrants. I froze 2.5 kg for the winter, produced a large bottle of cordial, made redcurrant jelly and a redcurrant tart (of sorts, I am never too sure about the correct naming of baked goods).
And because I just love to make preserves and cordials for "leaner" times, I decided to also make some other lovely things.
I was inspired by Elizabeth at Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse to make lime flower cordial. Lime flowers have the most heavenly scent and I love to drink infusions made from dried lime flowers. Funny thing is, I always buy the stuff in Switzerland, it not once occurred to me that I could actually make my own. Well, I didn't. I don't have space or time for drying large amounts of flowers just now. But I did have enough time to make a few bottles of cordial. I used the same recipe that I use for elderflower cordial, which is super simple. I collected a small carrier bag full of lime flowers. This was not as easy as it sounds because the trees are very tall and it can be a bit of a challenge to find one with low hanging branches. I then placed them in a bowl and added water to just cover the flowers. I left the flowers steeping for a day. Then I drained the liquid through a muslin and measured the flower water. For one litre of flower water I added approximately one kg of sugar. Less is ok if you prefer it less sweet. I use less for berry cordials, about 60 g of sugar for 100 ml of juice. I let the sugar dissolve at a low temperature, then brought it to the boil and added 20g of citric acid. Personally, I prefer citric acid over lemon juice, it gives the cordial a tartness that cannot be achieved by adding lemon juice only, and it is a good preservative, too, allowing for storage in a cupboard.
I also made rose petal jelly, inspired by Anne at Life in Mudspattered Boots. Anne's recipe is for jam but I removed the petals because I tried one and I didn't like the chewiness. I actually made two batches. I first used our own roses, which are scented but not strongly so. I got three small jars and little leftover jelly in a plate. I loved the outcome but wondered what the jelly might taste like if made with a really fragrant rose. Unfortunately we don't own any such rose. We walked through the Botanic Garden however, home of a rose garden.... and we picked a few roses there, white ones, pink ones and really dark pink ones, too. I should probably not admit to this theft. We did however, only pick those that were just over their peak beauty and not many at all. The children are still freezing every time the door bell goes. I have two and a half jars of the most divinely fragrant rose petal jelly and I can't wait for winter. I suppose I could eat some now but as Anne says, it is summer in a jar and best enjoyed when summer is only a distant memory.
Have a lovely day, wherever you are.