Elderflower-ade … with Black Lace

Love this recipe! Thank you Frogend dweller for sharing this wonderful post.

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fizz1 Heads of pretty pink elderflower, Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

There is a fantastic pair of elderflower ‘Black Lace’ bushes, albeit ~ 12 foot tall, growing on either side of the entrance to the Soame greenhouse in the walled garden at Wimpole. I pass them all of the time, but for the past 4 weeks they have smelt absolutely delicious. They have been loaded with flowers and have been stopping visitors in their tracks, quite literally, with their wonderful fragrance and pretty pink umbels.

Since I had just made a batch of normal elderflower fizz using a recipe from my trusty, old ‘Making the most of it’ book by Theodora Fitzgibbons from a hedgerow harvest, I got to wondering whether the exotic ‘Black Lace’ would make the same kind of fizzy drink, but taste different. So I asked permission to take a dozen heads of the flowers home to try and…

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Monasteries and Liqueurs

After the fall of Rome, European medicine was dominated by the Catholic Church, which adopted the pre-Hippocratic Greek belief that illness was a punishment from God and was treatable only by prayer and penance. But Catholic monks preserved Greco-Roman herbalism by copying the ancient texts. Among the monastic orders, the Benedictines were the most avid … Continue reading Monasteries and Liqueurs

Imhotep and the “Stinking Ones” of the Nile

In 1874, in the Valley of the Tombs near Luxor, the German Egyptologist Georg Ebers discovered the world's oldest surviving medical text, a 65-foot papyrus dating from shortly after the time of Joseph, around 1500 B.C. The Ebers Papyrus listed 876 herbal formulas from more than 500 plants, including aloe, caraway, cardamom, castor, chamomile, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, … Continue reading Imhotep and the “Stinking Ones” of the Nile