Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Thankyou Little Blossom

Such a perfect little thing! So English, so Summery, so prolific! It is weighing the hedgerows down! I watched it swoosh past the train on Sunday and just wanted to jump off and start gathering!

So on to the tale of the Elderflower!

I always miss it....always! I talk about it endlessly and then never quite get there! Well Mr B and I had a bit of a barny.....one where we didn't make up before sleep....grrrrrr! He left very early for work (5am) so it was not till I opened the door at 6pm did I see him again! There he was all green with pollen, random bits of shrubbery sticking out of his beard, a big satisfied grin on his face and a plastic bag held outright! Full of Elderflowers!
Now that, that is L.O.V.E. x

So I followed Hugh F.W.'s recipe for Elderflower Champagne!

Makes about 6 litres


  • 4 litres hot water
  • 700g sugar
  • Juice and zest of four lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • About 15 elderflower heads, in full bloom
  • A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this) I did...perhaps this is due to when it was picked as I think that does affect natural yeasts that are needed to get the fermentation going?
It is not a classy process and if like me you had it in the kitchen, it is a little unsightly......however look at what we have now!
Bottles of flowery, sprightly, Summery Bubbles! Pop one in your basket, with a punnet of fat June strawberries, a loaf of lemon cake and your tartan blanket! Picnic Bliss!


M&S have lovely vintage style, nostalgic 'Pop' bottles! Save these up and they are just perfectly pretty labelled up with your Vintage in!
Cheers, MrB x

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

First.... French Onion Soup...

I did, indeed, promise you Molly's "Bouchon Au Thon".... i have it ready to talk about. But i wanted to mention the French Onion Soup i made for dinner. The French Onion Soup was great as a Summer Supper. The weather was so hot here today. I had made the soup in the afternoon, prior to going out for a few hours. This proved a good idea as it only needed heating through and finishing off on our return. It was also 'hearty' to have soup but being 'French Onion' - it was light and quite refreshing.
I used Sophie Dahls recipe. Which was 'okay', but.... it needed all sorts adding to it that wasn't suggested by my friend (my friend being Sophie - ya know.....) I'd never made this soup before but i remember it clearly from my pre-vegetarian days from hoilday restaurants. It is something i have wanted to make for ages.

I won't repeat the recipe, i'm sure you have her book / can google it, whatever you want.
The important things i wanted to share was that it was very quick and easy and satisfying. My daughter loved it too which is always a bonus.
I added Marmite to it (yes, Marmite, for those who are dubious to the intentions of Marmite during cooking) and SoySauce too. It didn't have the great depth of deep deep flavour that i wanted - so if anyone has other suggestions to add, i am listening....

The other GREAT thing i did was, that i toasted quartered slices of the Foccacia bread that was left over from yesterdays menu. I floated a large piece on top of each soup bowl, and i scattered the cheese on top of that. It was a great finish to, an otherwise average looking, bowl of soup.
Also, i had no Gruyere cheese left as i scoffed it all yesterday, so i substituted that for a bit of strong Cheddar. It worked well - so something to bear in mind if needs must? I was hungry, so forgot to photograph the soup.... but this last photo was amusing. SmallFish feeding the dog half of her Breadstick.... using her mouth.
Aaaaahhh, it's all fun and games here. We eat well but hygiene might slip down the list of priorities on occasion.