Thank you for all your comments on my last post.
I was quite taken aback by the amount of comments expressing amazement at my 'busyness'.
I didn't feel that I'd been particularly busy. I was trying to illustrate how with no job, and no small children around it is easy to fit things like breadmaking around the usual shopping, laundry and taking kids to the doctor's because their necks have popped. There is also plenty of time for sitting on the sofa surfing the internet, and blogging.
After breakfast this morning I took my basket round the corner to the spot where I picked elderflowers in June for elderflower cordial. Luckily I didn't pick all the flowers and so there were plenty of berries to pick today for elderberry robb.
Elderberry robb is another name for elderberry syrup. I used the recipe in Sarah Raven's book Food For Friends and Family. It was very easy, a matter of cooking the berries with a tiny amount of water, straining the juice and then cooking the juice with sugar until syrupy.
Elderberries are supposed to be excellent against colds, coughs, and sore throats. They are full of vitamin C.
The berries are mildly toxic when raw. The green parts of the elder are also toxic. As you can see some of the tiny stalks have escaped my fork. My research suggests that these won't cause a problem but I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has left these little stalks on their berries and lived to tell the tale.
I decided that rather than bottling my syrup I would freeze it in ice cube trays. I didn't think we'd use up a whole bottle before it went off.
It occurred to me that sucking on a frozen cube of syrup might be very welcome if one had a sore throat.
Ice cubes made me think of ice lollies.
I added some lemon juice and diluted it a bit with water and poured the rest of the syrup into an ice lolly mould.
I thought this was a brilliant idea -ice lollies for sore throats that would heal and soothe, however I have just pulled the cubes of syrup out of the freezer to make a hot drink for Charlie who has a cold and I discover that the syrup has not frozen at all (nothing wrong with the freezer) . The lollies look a bit more promising perhaps because of the extra water in them. I hope so. I will check them tomorrow.
Anyway Charlie has drunk his elderberry robb and says it is nice, but if he asks me what kind of berries are in it one more time I will thump him.
The lollies have frozen solid, if a little stickily. I have removed them from their moulds and stored them in a plastic box in the freezer.
I'm almost looking forward to getting a cold now.