My little oven has not seen so much activity in weeks. I made two bottles of a cold and flu remedy, just in time for well the cold and flu season , a bottle of iron tonic, as well as dinner all in a couple of hours.
I was introduced to the wonders of elderberry by Sarah Head and have since made elderberry cordial many times. This was the first time I branched out with my own recipe.
Elderberries, thyme and rose hips are wonderful herbs to use for colds. Elderberry and thyme have anti-viral properties, and rose hips are rich in Vitamin C. The rose hips were fat, juicy and sweet – my friend and I had a nibble while we were picking them a few weeks ago. These were frozen and I popped them into the pan whole. Once the herbs were cooked through I strained it though a jelly bag. Rose hips are full of seeds and their tiny hairs are an irritant – so always make sure if you use them whole to always strain them through a jelly bag.
I wasn’t sure how strong the thyme would be so I was a little cautious. I think next time I will add more, and let the flavour come through.
Add a small bowl of de-steamed elderberries making sure to remove any green berries to a pan with a couple of sprigs of thyme and a few frozen rose hips. Cover with about a pint and half of water or there about. Boil/simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain and squeeze through a jelly bag – use gloves – elderberry stains! Measure the remaining liquid and add honey. I had a pint of liquid so I added 6 oz of honey. Allow the honey to melt and boil/simmer again for 10 minutes – allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile sterilise your bottles and while they are still hot decant the cordial.
To create a warming cordial you can add cinnamon, and ginger. You can also add brandy which is delicious. I’ve omitted the brandy as I want to take this to work so I added a tsp of citric acid as a preservative.
Well now that burst of energy is over. I’m off to bed with a hot elderberry cordial, and a drop of bramble elixr in the hope I can ward off any potential cold!