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Mia rose petalsJoe outdoorsA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015
Mia: making up songs about rose petals
Joseph: absolutely loves watering the plants…he would play this game all day, which is great, as I have a lot of pots to water!
Mia and Joe became cousins for the first time very recently! On the 20th June little Phoebe Alys arrived in the world. She is so beautiful and has been excitedly welcomed into our family. They cannot wait until she is old enough to join in with their crazy games!
Joining in with Jodi, and many other lovely bloggers, over at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.

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Mia deckchairJoe dinosaurA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015
Mia: looks so grown up for six sometimes…here she is being bored during a peaceful afternoon. Some days she finds such creative ways of using her free time, and other days she just wants constant games and trips out. I try to remind myself of how young she really is, and give her as much of my time and attention as possible.
Joseph: his cheeks tell the full story…teething molars is no fun
Joining in with Jodi, and many other lovely bloggers, over at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.

Midsummer’s Eve

http://www.tryswedish.com/how-to-make-your-own-midsummer-magic/Midsummer’s Eve, a celebration of the longest day of the year falls this weekend. It is a special time of year, with the hedgerows, fields and gardens in full bloom; everything so green and fresh and new. Despite the grey weather today, the week has been sunny and warm, and it feels time to acknowledge summer’s arrival. I have even harvested some rhubarb, baby beetroot, and soft herbs from the allotment this week. It is so satisfying for the hard work to begin to give something back. I like to take time to step back from the day to day tending, watering and picking, and recognise the mid-point in the year… it feels so important and significant. The longest day, the shortest night, solstice.
Taking inspiration from the beautiful Scandinavian tradition of Midsommar* celebrations, I have ideas for flower crowns, strawberry cakes and lantern lit dinners outside. It is a magical time of year, and whatever the weather does, I will be celebrating…even if it is with a slice of cake, elderflower cocktail and a tea-light in the garden!

*Swedish Midsommarafton and Midsommar, Finnish Juhannus, Danish Sankt Hans Aften, Norwegian Sankhansaften.

Making Elderflower Cordial

ElderflowersAfter recently sharing rambly thoughts about elderflowers and early summer, I thought it might be nice to also share my recipe for Elderflower Cordial. I found a few pics in the archives of our previous cordial making at home here and here.
The recipe is from my mum’s handwritten recipe folder, so goodness knows where it came from! It’s a good one though, and will keep for ages (months maybe) if stored in the fridge.
25 elderflower heads
2 lemons, sliced
50g citric acid
900g granulated sugar
3 litres water, freshly boiled
Add the sugar to a large mixing bowl and add all of the water. Stir a little, until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
Leave to cool, then add the citric acid and the lemons.
Shake the elderflowers to remove any bugs and then rinse. Add the flowers to the bowl.
Cover and leave for 24 hours, stir occasionally.
Pour through a muslin lined sieve into a jug, and then decant into bottles.
The cordial can be used straight away…which is great if you are like me, and a little bit impatient/excited about all the summery drinks! It is very good added to sparkling water for a not-to-sweet and really refreshing drink. It works really well in summer cocktails, how about a pear, elderflower and gin cocktail…and is also lovely as a syrup poured on top of vanilla ice cream.