I'm on berry alert when ever I walk through the field at the back of my house (which is most days, actually). There has been so much fruit this year, very glossy and plump and inviting. As I've also been coughing and sneezing my way through the entire month, I decided to try and make a hedgerow cordial to ramp up my vitamin C reserves. I came across a recipe for elderberry cordial and decided to give it a go.
I simmered the fruits for half an hour, then added some sugar, fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon juice. I boiled it all for about another half hour, feeling at this point just a bit like a witch with a cauldron.
Popped in some citric acid, so it will keep, and decanted it into bottles.
It is really rich, a deep, dark purple, and smells so spicy and fruity. Apparently, it's full of vitamin A, C and lots of anti oxidants.
I'm ignoring the fact that elder was once considered to be the Devil's own wood, and in some areas, if you burn it on the fire, it is said that Lucifer will come down the chimney (I found these fascinating facts in my new library book, Foraging, by John Lewis-Stempel which I am really enjoying).