When out for a walk I noticed that the Elder trees in sunnier positions have blossomed and are already coming near to the end of there best but if you look in shadier parts of the woodland you will find Elder trees in full bloom for another few weeks yet.
Elder trees are more known for their berries that come after the elder flower, which appear in late spring, the berries then usually arrive during August and October.
Did you know that people used to plant Elder trees by their doors as it was thought to be a 'protective tree' to keep evil spirits away from your home. Farmers also plant Elder trees or tie bunches of the leaves to horses harnesses or hang them by the dairy barn doors as the aroma from the leaves is thought to repel flies ( I am going to try this at my kitchen window!)
At this time of year I love to make Elder Flower Fritters. They are so delicate and fun to make with the children. They are easy to make at home or around the camp fire in the garden!
You will need:
200g plain flour
125ml of milk or water
icing sugar - optional
16 Elder flower heads
1- Mix up the batter by adding flour, eggs and milk into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
2 - Heat up the sunflower oil in a pan
3 - Holding the stem of the flower, dip the flower head into the batter and make sure it is thoroughly coated.
4 - Place the flower head in the pan, do a few flower heads at a time and leave until golden brown.
5- Remove from the pan and place on a plate before giving them a light dusting of icing sugar. This step is optional as they can be eaten savoury or sweet.
Please let me know if you give this a try on your own. The Elder is very easy to id and collect just now and the fritters couldn't be easier, so enjoy!
If you have any left over Elder flowers you could make a solar infused Elder flower drink. For VE day last weekend I filled a jar with cold water and added some Elder flowers and lemon balm from my garden and left it to sit in the sun for 4 hours. We then added some ice and drank our natural infused water which was lovely and refreshing. Why not give your glass of water some extra flavour and experiment with herbs and leaves in your water. I also love mint in mine.