Bottled Water

frozen water

We keep bottles of distilled water in the fridge.  The bottles are beautiful, flip top ones, bought from a well known Swedish retailers (Ikea) and make that glorious ‘glop’ sound when popped.  Recently, and by recently I mean in the last 18 months or so, which I realise to someone relatively new to life may seem a long time ago, but to me feels like a mere drop in the ocean of life, the fridge began to regularly over cool any water that remained in the bottles.

I think it looks like an iced Christmas Tree which I find quite beguiling, however, I cannot help but wonder whether this is our fridge slightly over egging it’s role.  Consequently, I find myself considering much more than is healthy, the need to defrost the fridge.  Obviously, as with so many other things on my ‘to do’ list, the amount of time I spend considering a task to perform, greatly outweighs the actual time it would take to complete the task.  But still, it niggles away at my sub conscious, coming to the fore only when yet another bottle recreates a winter scene.

In my heart of hearts I know that this means our fridge is probably coming to the end of it’s useful lifespan, which I also find quite irksome as I expect everything I buy to last for ever.  Apart from kettles and washing machines which, if they last over a year I feel eternally grateful for.

I would like to be one of those people who factors in the lifespan of white goods into some sort of financial structure whereby, after so many years it is a given they will need replacing and therefore the resources are there.  Knowing I should at least attempt this tactic does not, in the slightest, change my reaction of absolute disbelief verging on panic when, either because they just stop working, blow up, or refuse to continue in the manner with which they were first purchased, I find myself having to consider replacing that item.

And so it is that, at the moment, I find myself on the white goods precipice of replacement but not quite accepting that the inevitable will occur, believing instead, that if I just let it ride, something miraculous may happen and the fridge will have a word with itself, realise the folly of it’s ways, and stop freezing everything that is put inside it.

Meanwhile, until it conks out completely, I am going to revert to type and behave like an ostrich.

*sticks head firmly back in the sand*

Elderflower

Elderflower#2

We have been busy.  Very busy.

As some of you may be aware, the elderflower season is upon is.  I absolutely love the fact that this prolific bush produces the most divine flowers for a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer which you can use in so many ways, but then, if you missed that window of opportunity, it creates another one in autumn when the flowers have turned into berries.

And the best thing about this bonkers bush?  It is almost indestructible, and everywhere.

This week we have been making both Elderflower Cordial and Elderflower Champagne.

The cordial takes absolutely no time at all – approximately 24 hours  – and is an absolute doddle to make.  Take the biggest pan you have and put in 1.5 litres of water.  Adder 2.5kg of sugar and bring to the boil.  Take off the heat and add 20 elderflower heads, the peel of two lemons and the lemons, sliced.  Finally add 85g citric acid.  Stir, pop the lid on the pan and leave.

The next day sieve the Elderflower and Lemon pieces out of the liquid.  Pour the rest of the liquid through a piece of muslin to catch any of the wee bits and pieces which may be lingering around.

Bottle.

Beautifully refreshing with sparkling or still water.  As long as you can get over the fact that, neat, it looks like a very large urine sample…

Meanwhile we have also started making Elderflower Champagne which is proving to be a little more complex at this experimental stage.  However, we have the bottles and the corks all ready for each stage in the hope that, eventually, we will hit on an absolutely corker, if you’ll forgive the pun.

As with so many other things, only time will tell whether we have made something undrinkable, or indeed, a small piece of perfection.  Either way, it’s really good fun, and not at all expensive.

The Elderflower window of opportunity lasts two weeks, or thereabouts, so there is still time to pop out and forage.  Just a little tip, pick them in the morning sun for the sweetest flavour and make sure you use them that day.

Let me know how you get on.