Summer delights …

04/06/2012 § Leave a comment

A couple of evenings ago, as I sat on our patio, with Flora quacking softly at my feet, the heady scent of elderflower filled the air.  Our garden has a couple of large elderflower bushes – we like to keep things a bit wild – it grows like a weed!  There and then I decided I had to capture that scent and I dived indoors for Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. I haven’t used this book very much since I bought it a couple of years ago – it has such a delicious cover, I didn’t ever need to open it!

I can never exactly follow a recipe, but I made Elderflower Cordial, without oranges or limes, and added a couple of bay leaves – it’s amazing!

It made 2 full bottles, but I keep drinking it – diluted with lemonade and a sprig of mint.  While the bushes are still blooming, I thought I’d better make some more – this time I’d run out of lemons, so oranges and limes have been thinly sliced up instead …

Inspired by success, I decided to try Sarah’s Strawberry ice-cream recipe.  I put my trusty ice-cream bowl in the freezer a couple of days ago and this afternoon I’ve whizzed up some strawberries, elderflower cordial and double cream then poured it into the frozen bowl for 20 minutes of churning …

and then into 2 small tubs and into the freezer …

We’re having friends round this evening so I hope to rustle up a quick and pretty pud.

Yesterday we ventured out in Dolly for a day in the New Forest.  A few friends have asked why I called her Dolly – well, she’s my dolls-house on wheels!  I used to love – absolutely love – my dolls house when I was little and the minute I stepped up into Dolly she reminded me of how much fun it is to play house.  We exercised the collies, parked up and made tea, enjoyed the view, witnessed some amazing natural horsemanship, counted foxgloves and saw elephants feet …

and Belle loves chasing her ball …

She’s so damn fast that it’s really difficult to catch her on camera!  She look so pleased with herself on her way back to drop the ball at her master’s feet.

There’s bunting and the hammock strung between the apple trees.  Fingers crossed that it stays dry so we can eat outside this evening.  I’m so enjoying having this week as half-term holiday – a whole week to relax before the last few weeks of term.


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