We can't believe this is actually happening!? There's been so many things in the way to get this post up, it has almost seemed futile at times to go ahead with it and keep the umph up to carry it on.
Surprisingly we're sat munching on grapes, drinking Yogi Choco Tea and not elderflower (Sambucus nigra), but we will get onto the reason why, very shortly...
Well then... we were sat drinking normal/black tea at a friends recently. We were talking about tinctures, lotions and potions, elderflower cordial and all the things (she) a studying herbalist would be in to. We were intrigued by all the wonderful, healthy and natural things we could make from all the hundreds of plants out there.
But then...we (IOT peeps) noticed a glass jar with some kind of yellowish golden colour dried somethingorother in it. And discovered it was elderflower tea! So with it being elderflower season at the moment, well, the end of the elderflower season pretty much, we thought it was time to jump on the boat and get our hands stuck into making it ourselves!
You may have heard of lots of people around this time of year making elderflower cordial, wine, champagne/fizz. So we thought it would be great to do something a little different and promote the benefits of the tea too!
The only thing is, elderflower is pretty much fine to pick anytime for using for the cordials/wine/fizz but to dry out for tea you need to have a nice, (preferably) hot and dry day which hasn't even had the slightest drizzle of rain. So, you can see now, this has not been an easy task within the past few weeks and thus leaving us pretty much at the end of the elderflower season to pick the last (still ok) dregs of it.
So off we went...
- Don't pick elderflower too near a road as it may contain nasty pollution from traffic.
- Don't be tempted to pick from any branches that may have fallen/be lower to the ground than usual... (dog pee is not the flavour we're going for here).
- It needs to be a dry day. A day that hasn't seen a rain cloud however big or small since the dawn chorus (to be safe and certain!)
- Pick the whole head in bunches and look out for any bugs (greenfly, aphids, etc) and pick the wee buggers off.
- It is only the flowers we are going for as they hold the sweet, fragant honey scent.
- Last but not least.... get ready for lots of tying up and fingers at the ready for fiddly picking!
So once you have picked your elderflower (if you do manage to find some about here and there) it's time to hang these little precious bundles up.
Try to hang it in a place that doesn't have too much of a draft, isn't in direct sunlight and especially somewhere that isn't damp!
It starts to turn a beautiful golden honey/hay colour.