I’ve always liked climbing about in hedgerows, following their paths, these borders, these in-between places… They are my go to when I feel the itch to go forage. Right now, beautiful elderflower is in season. Foraging is something I have always done and along with being in my element, I find it deeply empowering. Using the knowledge of my grandmothers, crafting a remedy here and there, or just providing food for my table.

good things retreats elderflower

Flowing with the seasons is something that reflects not only my faith, but my daily life, it marks out a space in time for me to stop and observe. I also, pause to reflect. What was I doing last Elderflower season? What did I choose to make? FYI it was tea, I remember my hayfever symptoms last year were going off like a riot, I needed elderflower stat! I find elderflower and ginger in the morning good for staving off symptoms, so made a tea fresh straight from the flowers, no time to mess about with drying, added some fresh ginger and local honey and was good to go. There have been cordials, cakes and shortbreads over the years and and let us, dear friends, NOT remember the fateful elderflower Champagne explosion of 2014…

I’ve been super busy of late, a little disconnected, but I spied an enormous elder tree on my way back from work, I’d been so tied up in my head I’d almost forgotten… I stopped a while, admiring and grasped a few fluffy bunches of flowers, boosted by their sheer presence and headed for home.

Something simple was called for, as elderflowers wilt pretty damn quickly, I was due out of the door in half an hour and this late Spring sweet elderflower wine was gonna be just the tonic.

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Hayley’s Elderflower Wine Recipe ::
  • Half a bottle of light dry white wine, I used a Picpoul de Pinet (we drank the other half with dinner the next day)
  • 4 larger heads of elderflower
  • Large Mason Jar
  • 2 tablespoons good local honey.

Shake off any bugs (yep bugs), remove flowers from green stems as they give you an ‘orrible bellyache. Pour wine in to your jar, add honey and stir clockwise intoning all sorts of Good things! Add your flowers, seal jar and place in a cool place for 4 days, turning once daily. Enjoy slightly chilled, alone or together with friends in the late Spring evening soaking up the sweetness of stopping a while.

Now, I can’t guarantee this wine will last until our July retreat, as elderflower season will come to a close by then, but I’m sure I’ll stop myself a while prior to our departure to cook up another tipsy treat!

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