Monday, 29 August 2011

Syrup & Shed

Elderberry Syrup

I made a batch this weekend, after harvesting the berries from trees on scraps of council land round near we live. Very satisfying - no effort went into growing these at all!

The recipe is really easy too - You need elderberries, sugar, cloves, water

Remove the berries from the sprigs (you can use a fork to speed things up but I always end up pinging the berries round the room by accident), wash them (freeze them at this point if you don't have time to make the syrup straight away), put in a pan and just cover with water. Simmer for about 30 mins until the berries are soft. Strain out the pips and skin and measure how much liquid you have ( Save on washing-up by straining straight into a big jug, or even better, a pan with measures up the side). Put the liquid back in a pan and then add the sugar and cloves - you need 1 lb sugar for every 1 pint liquid and 10 cloves for every 1 pint of liquid. Slowly melt the sugar, then leave the liquid to cool ( I leave it overnight but cover with a tea towel). Remove the cloves.

Lastly, pour into sterilised screw-top bottles (I then keep these in the fridge, just in case), or you can also freeze it. It's great with hot or cold water and is meant to be good for preventing/getting rid of colds. Good for hot toddies too, with a little bit of whisky.


The shed

Here's our lovely shed. Small but beautiful. It's now a bit darker in colour as the other weekend I treated it with Ronseal eco woodpreserver. Haven't made much progress with sorting out shelving etc yet but there was a skip out the front of our house recently, from which I scavenged some shelf brackets. A project for the autumn I think.

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