spring.you know the feeling, when finally everything around you gets green and greener.ahhh.it makes you deep breather all the sudden.and then slowly colours and more colours pop up around you.scents of lilac bushes, fields of yellow, birds singing around you…spring vibrates and refreshes us with all senses.and it just feels so good.much needed after a maybe long dark cold winter.
just like last year i couldn’t wait to go out and harvest rhubarb, my very favorite spring vegetable.the difference from last year though, when we used the rhubarb of an old lady in our village who grows a rhubarb jungle, was that our very own rhubarb grew big and strong this year so we could eat and use our very own as well.
i’m planning to bake lots of goodies with rhubarb, thats why i also peel them, cut them in little pieces and put them in the freezer (ready for crumbles or whatever).to make lots of rhubarb compote and rhubarb juice was also on my list again.its nice to have bottles and cans of that sour stuff ready for times where you grave for spring or summer days and the juice is also perfect for
- rhubarb coctail: rhubarb juice/syrup, mineral water, wodka, lots of crushed ice
i used this recipe for the rhubarb juice.last year i made rhubarb juice and compote as well and because i wasn’t sure of how long it will be good for, i just stored 2 bottles and three glases in the fridge.when i opened one of the bottles half a year later, it was still perfectly good.not to speak about the compote.it lasted forever.
the rhubarb compote is one of my favourites i like to eat all year long.with vanilla iceream or vanilla sauce or vanilla yoghurt or just with my morning muesli.my girls aren’t really big fans of that sour stuff. no, not even with sweet vanilla cream.but since the icecream season started and these two are all hooked, i thought i give it a try and make some
- rhubarb-yoghurt popsicles: i used a jar/glass of rhubarb compote and added greek yoghurt(the creamy and fat one, i know), a shot of my elderflower cordial/syrup as sweetener and filled it up.
the girls liked it and almost finished it.in that form they did not even mind the rhubarb pieces.popsicles and icecream always work i guess.
and then there’s elderflowers.my second favorite thing to harvest in spring.the scent and smell of my childhood when my parents would dry hundreds of blossoms/umbels under the attic.
so just this last sunday, when it was warm and sunny we went out to look at a lot of bushes we went to last year.near the moor.we were only able to harvest a few umbels.i still have to be patient and have to wait for more sun and warmer springdays.
and what do i do with elderflower blossoms/umbels? well.first of all i remember my parents going on elderflower walks with us during sunny days.when the elderflower blossoms are wet, they are not as aromatic as when they are dry.so i chose a sunny day like you see in the photo where we all got yellow tinted fingers and hands.
syrup/cordial is a ‘must’ here (a favorite of the girls) and i used this recipe without citric acid, just like last year, but want to add and mention, that i made the experience that the cordial didn’t last as long even though it contained looots of lemon and sugar.the syrup was good and fine for two to three months, but when i opened a bottle in the fall, i couldn’t use it anymore.if you wanna make sure to preserve and store lots of bottles, there’s the option to use ascorbic acid or to give it a try with apple vinegar, as one of my instagram and fellow twin mama friends (@growingwildthings) tried it.this year i went without citric acid or ascorbic acid or vinegar and only filled up 2 liters of elderflower cordial in little bottles.the fresh stuff.we need to drink this summer.(i remember my grandama making fresh strawberry jam without any jam/jelly sugar and of course we loved it, ’cause we were allowed to it lots of it in a short time, so it wouldn’t go bad). the elderflower season is not over yet and still lots of bushes and trees, who stand in the more shady area, are full with elderflower umbels that are not in bloom yet.so as i know myself, i might go for another walk with the girls to harvest and maybe then try out the version where we can preserve it.
on the weekend i made speltflower pancakes with elderflowers and used the syrup/cordial in it and as a topping (instead of maple syrup) as well. it tasted so yummy and fresh and one of my two girls thought so as well.
elderflower jelly.i always wanted to make it and have loved the taste of it for years now, when i tried it at other people’s breakfasts.i used conny’s recipe and i must say it tastes really yummy.first i was not sure if the jelly would be jelly enough, ’cause it seemed so liquid, but it worked great.
last year, my neighbour let me try a cold cold shot of her elderflower liqueur.oh my.the best stuff ever.it must have been excactly a year ago when we went to the supermarkt and equipped ourselfes with 4 liters of booze.the thing was, that we took the girls with us and now imagine the look of the cashier and the other people going shooping.yepp.anyways, i’m gonna restock our basment with some of those bottles again.its also such a great gift and all our guests were kind of blown away by its delicious taste.
so here’s the recipe (watchout.this one contains lots of citric acid.i used it to preserve, but didn’t use as much as in the recipe and added lemons instead.its in german though and oh i should mention that you get out liters of liqueur, so you might just use half the amount of the ingredients ) this year i forgot that i get out 8 liters of liqueur and now we are equipped with soooo many bottles, that i feel i could open a summer bar here in our house.
- recipe elderflower liqueur:
what are your favourite things to do with rhubarb and elderflower? i’m always on the hunt for inspiration and new things.so let me know.