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Alfresco dining, elderflower and rhubarb

May 23, 2012

It is traditional (along with rain) that for Rella’s birthday I make some form of elderflower drink. Some years the flowers are out early enough for me to make elderflower champagne – but that takes about 3 weeks. Last year I only managed to pick a few elderflowers on the morning of her birthday –  so no champagne. This year there are a few elderflowers, but not many. We might be able to make cordial. I picked a few blossoms this morning as Sarah and I made our way back from dropping Arlo, Lilah and Benjo at school. There may be enough for cordial, but it’s touch and go.

The first step is to chop most of the stalks off and put the Elderflowers on a board or something so as to let the insects crawl away – floating insects never add much sartorially (and Arlo is a vegetarian and won’t drink anything with floating insects in). The second step is to steep the elderflowers in water for 24 hours. That’s where we’re up to at the moment. More tomorrow.

It’s still summer. We ate dinner outside(cous cous and salads) in the garden for the first time this year  and had rhubarb crumble for pudding using the last of Annie’s rhubarb. I never usually measure out crumble topping preferring to guess – ok so I can’t be bothered – and so it’s different every time. But today I thought I’d measure it – working on the principles that my children might use this online cookbook every now and then.

The crumble was 3 oz butter 2oz sugar and 6oz flour rubbed together – like shortbread, it’s a ratio rather than a recipe. I usually add porridge oats  (reducing the amount of flour) but not today. Put the crumble over the top of some sugared, chopped rhubarb and bake for about 50 minutes about 180c. As the beloved said “it’s one of those pudding that really benefits from the addition of a dollop of cream”. He doesn’t say that often.

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