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.


Kath said...

Mmmm. Sounds nice. Must look out for some. Nice to have a post from you to read :-)

Sarah said...

We passed so many ripe elderberries on the canal and I said at the time, I wish I knew what to do with them. Now I have your recipe but we probably won't see any more on this trip... I shall save it for next time though.

Simon said...

Looking forward to that, if there's any going spare... ;-)

I still have those big scrumpy jars, btw?


Anonymous said...

At risk of sounding like a spammer, have you seen Belle's blog -

She's wife of blogger Captain Ahab and is a demon canalside forager - she publishes lots of recipes too - including for elderberry preserves!

I'm busy making jam from our garden fruit - nag me for a jar (it is vegan-friendly) when we're back in London in September.

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Anonymous said...

Hi dear boaty friends, thanks for your comments.
Sue, I mentioned coming across Belle's blog before (via the Lucky Ducks), but checking back now, I see she has been very busy indeed! I enjoyed the jam you made in support of Greyhound rescue, are you also up to your elbows in fruit this year?!

Sarah, if you're reading this, just wanted to say I enjoyed your post about the little stoves. I can't post comments on your blog (it's my computer, not your settings!). I recently bought a single burner parrafin stove just like your double burner (in fact, Simon nearly bought the double-burner also for sale at the same car-boot) £8. It's a beautiful thing!

Anonymous said...

I hope you remembered to ask permission of the Elder Mother before you picked the berries :-P

No, of course you didn't, but thanks for the recipe - I'll definitely give it a try.


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grey wolf said...

Looks like a lovely location.It is i should imagine at least in part what it is all about.

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