Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Respect the Elderflowers

I lived in Harlech, north Wales for about a year. It is one of the most beautiful places in Wales. I highly recommend it to anyone who plans to visit Wales to go there. One of my friends, Sue took me out foraging for elderflowers, so that she could make me some elderflower cordial as a parting gift. I was given two bottles. It was quite simple to make: just sugar, lemon, elderflower heads, water and patience for the flavours to meld for a few weeks, then strain and bottle up into sterilized bottles.

I am now seeing a lot of elderflower trees, every single tree seems to be out of my reach. I so want to make elderflower fritters and some of this cordial, maybe my 6 foot + husband will be able to reach some of these, let us see what happens over the next few days.

Another quick word on elderflowers, a few weeks ago I was watching a cookery show where they were reviewing some new gourmet foods, one of which was elderflower fudge, now that sounds truly delicious, but I think I have had my fair share of sweets recently.


  1. I'm hoping to get some elderflowers this year - but neither me or my husband are tall so we could be in for some difficulty it would seem. I want to use them in ice cream or sorbet - I suppose I can always cheat and use ready made cordial if I don't manage to get any.
    I've just been reading all your recent post and I don't know how you fit in so many as well as doing all the things you write about - I am in awe ;)

  2. Oh Mango - Harlech! One of my fave places in the world! (jumps up and down with excitement)
    And, on a hot, still day, the best beach on the planet.
    I've got an elder in the garden, so my thoughts are turning to cordial too. Which is lovely with those goosegogs, when they're ripe.

  3. Goodshoeday,
    Try to get some fresh if you can, they'll be worth it. I am determined to get my hands on some this Spring.

    Thanks re the posting on blog. At the stage I am buzzing and determined to keep up to date with my blog, but I am sure there will be times and a stage in my life when it will perhaps reduce to a couple of entries a week, but for now, I will keep on blogging while I can.

  4. Hey fran39,
    Someone who unerstands my love for Harlech. Yipee yay yay! Totally agree that is the best beach on the planet.
    Ooh I am jealous you have an elderflower tree in your garden, lucky lucky you. Nice complimentary flavours of gooseberry and elderflower, making my mouth water you are.

  5. Definitely on the trail of the fresh even if I have to take a ladder with me ;)

    My aim was to post daily but became unstuck fast......ah well several times week is ok so far

    And as for 'goosegogs' - thats what my Dad calls them - hardly ever heard anyone else us it tho Fran.

  6. I like reading your blog whenever you write, but our lives with loved ones comes first.

    Yes, I was wondering about fran39 reference to 'goosegogs', first I thought it was a typo, but the second time I thought it must be regional.

    Good luck with the low elderflower branches, I do hope you come by some. I look forward to reading what you concoct.

  7. Thanks for nice words re my blog - I've been immersed in essay writing the last few days but hoping to do a flurry of posts soon :)

    As for 'goosegogs' if its regional i think it must be a North West/ North Wales thing as thats were my Dad is from - Fran39 can you enlighten us??

  8. Hi Stumbled across your blog while searching allotments. Have linked you.. Hope that's ok

  9. Hey fran 39 - me and goodshoeday are waiting for you to shed some light on the origin of goosegogs.

  10. Hi dee,
    Thank you so much! I am bowled over and truly appeciate you putting a link to my site. I will have to come over and check your blog out.

  11. Aha - goosegogs! I don't know if it's regional. It's what my mum always called them. She was English but brought up in Snowdonia. I'll ask friends and see if anyone else uses the word.

  12. I have no idea if we can get elderflowers around here, but I'd love to make the cordial.

  13. I've come to this conversation a bit late in the day - but 'goosegogs' is a word that's very familiar in Cheshire and Cumbria.

    Has anyone tried making muscat jelly with green goosegogs and elderflowers? A wonderful flavour, absolutely delicious. And on the subject of jellies, I do recommend apple and rose geranium leaves - for some reason it turns a pale pink - again a real gourmet delicacy!

  14. Thank you Anon.

    I love the idea of goosegogs and elderflowers. Even more the apple and rose geranium leaves, I can just imagine the colour and scent. Thank you so much for sharing, and for coming by. I'll keep both suggestions in mind for this year, even though I don't have an allotment plot anymore.


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