Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Free pop!

Hello fellow wayfarers.  Goodness me!  I had no idea it had been so long… It only seems like yesterday.. well maybe last month, since I last wrote on this blog thingy.  In this household life has a habit of taking one by the scruff giving a hearty good shake then another shake just for good measure.  I am sure I am not the only one.

Any way today I had an unexpected day off, another of life’s little shake ups.  So I decided to make my elderflower pop, well start it anyway.  Then I had some elderflower left over and some lemons, and as it was so hot I decided to make some elderflower and lemon cordial for circle tonight.

Then I thought to myself, as I sometimes do, that it would be really nice to share my two recipes with you so that you can have a go should you feel minded to do so.

So first of all,

Elder Flower Pop!
Cups = UK measuring cups – but I being me just use rough handfuls, it’s not an exact science.

6 cups of fresh elderflowers.  12 cups dried.  Remove all thick stems and leaves.
½ gallon of water.
½ cup of sugar or honey.
¼ cup of whey* You can get this by just draining some off of your natural yogurt.
1 lemon – peel the rind with a good peeler and then use the juice as well.

Rinse the flowers briefly, don’t let them stand, you want all that nectar and flavour in your pop.
drain the rinsing water away.

Boil your1/2 gallon of water, and then in a non- reactive pot/bucket or pan pour the boiling water over your elderflowers.

Now, we are a big family and do all things big so my actual recipe is three times the above amount so I use a clean plastic rubbish bin for this purpose. J

Let this elderflower and water steep for 48 hours.  Cover your pot with muslin or a clean tea towel, I use a clean sling from the 1st aid kit! It’s ok I have a few of these so no one will be bereft if a sling is needed.

After 48 hours is done strain the flowers through your muslin or tea towel, if necessary suspend over your pot/bucket or pan and leave it to drip for a bit.  You can squeeze too… very satisfying.

Discard the elderflower on to the compost heap and put your lemon juice and rind into the elderflower juice, add your sweetener, then add the whey*.

Cover the pot/bucket or pan with a clean cloth and leave it to do its fizz bizz for the next two weeks.

During this time you can have fun drinking and collecting beer bottles… you know, the ones with the spring caps, or if you don’t want such fun, go to Ikea and buy some!  You are going to need this kind of bottle as when the 2 weeks is up you will bottle and seal your lovely pop.  DON’T fill right to the top, just to the shoulder.  Believe me you don’t want to try it!  The larder was never quite the same after one episode and that’s all I am going to say about that! 

Leave your pop for at least a week then serve, cold…. ummmmmm

It’s particularly nice with the tiny tip of mint in it, or on ice.

Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained, and is the starter for loads of lacto-fermented fruits, vegetables, and beverages. It doesn't look great I'll admit but it is natural and safe, no nasty chemicals, AND bonus!  In making it you can get another by product, or main product, which ever whey you look at it! lol.

Whey is said to do all these things.. there is alot of research out there so check it out for yourself! 

It has loads of minerals
Rich source of amino acids
No fat, cholesterol or lactose
Anti - oxidant
Contains components that stimulate the release of two appetite-suppressing hormones
Whey protein is nutritionally complete
It is easy to digest and promotes a healthy gut flora
Beneficial for wound healing
High glutathione levels help protect against various age related diseases including: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cataracts and arteriosclerosis. 
May help enhance memory performance in elderly adults
Provides a protective, anti-microbial effect against ulcers and other gastric mucosal injuries, i.e. H.pylori.

So here is a nice natural way to get some whey!
So make some lovely yoghurt (easy peasy), or alternatively get a large tub of natural, preferably organic, plain, probiotic yoghurt.
If I buy it I get my favourite, which is Yeo Valley. It must have live cultures in it!

Put your yogurt in a thin, less absorbent tea towel, or a sling J  tie it up- you can use rubber bands for this - then suspend it over a large jug or small bucket.

When you tie up your tea towel, put a wooden spoon through the knot then this can be suspended over your jug.  Or, tie it up with a longish loop and hang the loop from a ‘s’ hook over a rail or door knob on a cupboard.  I hang mine from the remedy room shelf. Here is one  made earlier. And here is a picture but not a good one I am afraid. The sun was still bright enough to create too much shadow. Blow!  L  Just realised I have used up my breakfast yoghurt.  The sacrifices I go to just to show you how easy it is to do.

Whatever you do the bundle has to be suspended high enough for the whey to collect bellow without touching the bundle. Don’t be tempted!  This is NOT a good time to squeeze.

Let the whey drip through the cloth overnight.
When the bag stops dripping, everything is done, you have made a cream cheese in the cloth and have lovely fresh whey for your fizz.  What could be more simple?
Store the cream cheese in a covered glass container. Save your whey in a glass Kilner type jar.

Kept in the fridge whey can last for about 6 months, so I am told, but sadly, not here.  Nothing lasts long in this house! J

Now then how about a little homemade cordial?

Homemade Elderflower and Lemon Cordial.

1 gallon of water. 
6 lemons, peeled and then sliced in half.
1 ½ handfuls of dried elderflowers or three generous handfuls of fresh elderflowers.
2 UK, level measuring cups full of organic sugar.

Start to boil the water.
Throw in your elderflowers and lemon peel.
Juice your lemons over the pan.  I have a lovely wooden one but you can just squeeze or use a fork.  Don’t worry about the pips they come out at the end.
Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. 

The smell is divine and worth the effort just for that.
Turn off the heat, stir in the sugar, leave to cool right down.
Put into a large jug, or two large milk containers and pop in the fridge.

If it is too sweet use less sugar next time, add more sugar if you need to but it is quite sweet wit the elderflowers.  I don’t think you’ll need to, unless you are a hardened sweet toother.

Drink when cool, with ice is nice.

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