Monday, June 12, 2017

Storing Summer's Bounty

Being a natural born home-keeper, I love the opportunity to potter about my home making it a haven and spending time in the kitchen creating delicious nourishing food for my family. These summer months are wonderful because I have the opportunity of preserving fruits in season and foraging the hedgerows. I love to do this so that we have a taste of summer when the winter months arrive.

So here's what's been happening in my kitchen over the past two weeks. Firstly it's Elderflower season! For about a week before I finally managed to gather some flower heads, I was 'rubber-necking' every elderflower shrub I saw as I was driving about, making mental notes on which were the best shrubs to harvest from (I'm keeping that mental note for the berries later on in the year). When harvesting elderflower heads, you want to find a shrub that's as far away from car fumes as possible, so those flower heads you see along the main highways and byways - avoid them if you can.

I found some lovely flower heads next to the country farm shop where my daughter works her part-time job. I used this recipe for this year's cordial.

Instead of bottling it as I have done over the years, I decided to try something new. 

I froze the cordial in ice-cube trays, this way you only need to pop two frozen blocks into a glass of sparkling water or even into a wine spritzer. This way we avoid the cordial going bad if it's not consumed quickly enough. 

At this time of year, it's always good to keep your eye out for trays of soft fruits in the grocery store. Last week it was trays of cherries and punnets of apricots, this week trays of strawberries, all for rock bottom prices. 

I used this recipe for my cherry jam, then used the same recipe for my strawberry and apricot brandy jam obviously just substituting strawberries and apricots for the cherries and adding a dash of brandy to the apricot jam just before canning. I managed to get 3 X 250ml  from 750g of each fruit respectively. 

I'm thinking that my homemade jam would be a wonderful addition to our Devon cream teas or on hot, buttery toast on a crisp winters morning. Delish!

So, do you take advantage of summer's bounty in any way? 

This post has been shared over at Strangers & Pilgrims Art of Homemaking Mondays link up.


  1. Our strawberry season is late this year - hopefully we will be picking in about 2 weeks - so your jam inspiration is just in time. Your jars look so pretty, enjoy your creations!

  2. I am eagerly waiting for our elderflower blooms to open, but with the heavy rain all week, it is a good thing that they are still shut! On the cherry front, the family seem to have eaten the bag I bought today on the way home in the car. Smiley faces on them all; what's not to love about cherry season?


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