Or should I say elderfailure. Twice we’ve been to pick elderflower and twice I’ve failed. I thought I would blog about the failures as well as the successes.
Third time lucky? I hope so. Next time I’ll pick earlier in morning, that’s when it’s more obviously elderflower and smells sweeter. The first pick was a lot of fun but I was slightly unsure that it wasn’t cow parsley.
I now know, if not by the smell, then by the colour, elderflower seems a bit more cream coloured, cow parsley whiter. It also started raining and as we sheltered under a bridge, totally caught out, I remembered that you shouldn’t pick in the rain because it’s the pollen that gives the flower flavour, which the rain washes away. We also didn’t have any ingredients to make it right away, and you should make it right away. So we gave up and decided to try again. Elderfailure one.
The second attempt was a lot of fun as we went on an elderflower/ bear hunt. Talitha and her cousin had more fun going “swishy swashy” through the long grass than finding elderflower. Wild garlic is much easier for toddlers to pick.
We got home and followed this recipe that my mother had taken from her friend Jo.
But we missed/ skipped one crucial ingredient. This, it seems, WAS crucial. I marvelled at the smell each morning and night as I stirred it, for three days until… Disaster! Mould! I either needed the campden tablet or I needed to bottle it sooner. Elderfailure two.
Hope you’ve had more success than me.