Monday, 22 August 2011

My kitchen window

I've been off my boat a fair bit recently and coming home is always such a pleasure. Even after five years, I still get a surge of happiness stepping down into the boat, seeing the colours, the wood, the inside shape of a boat. Another pleasure is standing at the kitchen window which makes doing boring things like washing up, much more fun :-)
I have my faithful Tyrannosaurus Rex, guarding the basil, while papier mache birds I once made for christmas tree decorations but which turned out to be far too beaky and fierce-looking for that, battle it out over the parsley and mint. There are also two mushrooms turned from apple wood, which Simon bought me at a green fair. I guess the chances of seeing a caterpillar sitting smoking a hookah on there one day are small, with so many predators..

I'm making elderberry cordial at the moment. It's very easy and makes a great hot drink in winter (add boiling water) or can be taken neat by the spoonful in case of sore throats and coughs. Gather ripe elderberries, strip them off the tree with a fork and it does the least damage, I think. Put in a big pan and add half their volume of water. Simmer and stir for 20 minutes, cool and squeeze out the juice through muslin or a jelly bag. For every 500ml of juice, add 250g muscovado sugar, a stick of cinnamon, some cloves and slices of lemon. Simmer for 20 minutes, strain off and pour into sterilised bottles. A lovely taste of summer in the winter months.