I made a batch of Elderflower Cordial last year and we still have a tub of it in the freezer so I didn't think I'd bother making another batch this Summer, seeing as we're trying to empty the freezer before we go to Brunei. But then I noticed that there were several elder trees growing in the vicinity of the school... I decided to indoctrinate my class into the delights of foraging!!
To reassure, we did have a long chat about the possible dangers of eating things 'from the wild' - berries, etc - and how we should always check with an adult before picking and eating anything from the hedgerows, but talk over, we set out to pick the requisite 40 heads of elderflowers needed for the cordial.
Armed with scissors the task was soon accomplished...
And back in school we soon had ourselves a batch of cordial infusing, and a delightfully fragrant classroom!
We did shake the elderflower heads to remove as many bugs as possible, but you're not meant to rinse the flowers as you then wash all the pollen away. As you can see, there were still plenty of teeny bugs floating around in the bowl. You can only imagine the excitement this caused!!
The cordial has now been strained (no more bugs!) and sampled enthusiastically by the whole class. I'd guess there was a 75% approval rating, which I didn't think was bad, considering how fussy 6-8 year-olds can be. We still have nearly 2 litres of undiluted cordial left though... I'm pondering making up jugs of it and selling it at the school gate after school one day this week.
40 heads of elderflowers
2 lemons, sliced
3 1/4 lb granulated sugar
3oz citric acid (from a chemist)
3 pints boiling water
Mix all the ingredients in a clean container, cover and leave for up to 5 days. Strain, dilute with water and drink.