Friday 20 May 2016

Blousy Blooms and Something Sweet

Cooking food straight from the ground is something that significantly marks out the Summer months for me. It starts here in this, my favourite month of May. Flowers too are one of my favourite and prettiest pointers to the seasons and no other bloom bellows Summer than the blousy and beautiful Peony.
So, when The Eloise arrived from Bloom & Wild Flower Delivery yesterday I knew straight away that I wanted to share it with you as part of my #stylingtheseasons post for this month. Along with a little something sweet for you to try.

Just like all other Bloom & Wild bunches I've received, The Eloise has not dissapointed. Pulling the protective netting away from the carefully wrapped buds, was like watching a flower bloom in slow motion. The buds have since started to open up and as the petals have loosened have revealed a citris yellow inside which matches the foliage so beautifully. The Peony season is such a short one, so I'll be enjoying these beauties until that moment when a sudden nudge sees all the petals fall in one go. 
Seasonal living and revisiting traditions as the months pass is something, that as a family, we cherish. Some of my highlights from last year were moments when we sat down to the simplest of lunches (Broad Bean, Feta and Pea salad), picked just hours before. Every year since before Wilf was born we've picked and made Elderflower cordial and enjoyed drinking it for as long as it lasts. When he was just a few weeks old I remember a light, evening dog walk, making our way across fields to pick the flowers whilst our tiny babe slept on Sam's chest. That particular year my parents kindly offered to do the making as they were around to help out a bit, "you pick, we'll make" they said, sounded good to me.

We're busy down on the allotment at the moment but the only thing ready to harvest is rhubarb, and lots of it! Determined not to get overwhelmed by gluts of fruit this year, and in attempt to turn as much of the pink stuff into something as quickly as possible, this week I turned my attention to cordial.

I must confess that this recipe is not my own, perhaps I'll have a go at some plot recipes later this season, but for this I plucked the simplest I could find from a quick google search. Consider this more of a recipe review then if you will.
You can find the recipe via the RHS site here, but for ease, I've noted it for you below.

3kg chopped rhubarb
150ml water
Caster sugar

Slowly cook the rhubarb with the water, in a large pan, until it is soft and mushy. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes or so. 

Strain the fruit through a muslin bag (jelly bag) into a pan, avoiding squeezing the bag as this will cloud the juice. I left mine to strain over night and was surprised at how much came through even though it was only dripping slowly when I went to bed. 

For every litre of juice you have, add 750g sugar and 75ml lemon juice. Heat until just below boiling point to dissolve the sugar, then bottle into sterilised bottles.

This can be diluted to enjoy with cold water, the kids have been LOVING it although it's super sweet so they're on rations! However, I'm most excited about trying it in something a little stronger and a lot more bubbly. This bottle (a gift) and another much larger one will be packed into a basket today and is coming with me to The SISTERHOOD Camp (see @sisterhoodcamp on Instagram for more). Where it will be poured into tall glasses, shared and enjoyed with new friends around a campfire. I can't wait!
Do you have any seasonal recipes or favourite flowers for May? Do share them below, I'd love to hear from you and let me know if you give this recipe a go too!

Wishing you a lovely weekend. x

Thank you to Bloom & Wild Flower Delivery who kindly gifted The Eloise. You can find their full range of #letterboxflowers here.   


  1. This is all so luscious! The flowers, colours and styling. Sums up May perfectly and I hope everyone loved the rhubarb cordial and that you had a wonderful time xx

    1. Thanks so much Katy, I always appreciate your kind and encouraging comments. I look forward to sharing in June (something tells me it'll be all about Elderflowers!) X