This weekend I went picking elderflowers with the intention of making elderflower cordial. It was pouring with rain and the countryside was such a bright intense green and so was the smell (if you know what I mean!). I found plenty of flowers and returned home to make it. It's turned out pretty well so I'll add the recipe:
2 lemons - rind grated & then sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 - 1.5kg sugar depending upon taste
20 elderflower heads
1.5 litres of boiling water
Put the sugar in a large bowl, pour on the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Add lemon rind, slices, juice and the elderflower heads.
Leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Sieve through muslin and pour into clean wine bottles with a screw lid.
(I seem to have plenty of these!)
Refrigerate & use diluted with sparkling water or freeze in plastic bottles for later use.
I couldn't resist drawing the flowers and making labels for the bottles. I'm in my element when doing this kind of thing - it's amazing how much food you can find for free. I pick wild mushrooms, giant puffballs & inkcaps which are great cooked with garlic and are easy to identify, wild strawberries, raspberries from the woods and blackberries from the cemetery. A couple of weeks ago I made nettle soup for the first time - just using the young shoots of the stinging nettle - it always makes me feel incredibly healthy eating such fresh food and there's something good about knowing where it's come from.
So that's the gathering bit - not too sure about the hunting though.