The weather has conspired to put us all in a truly bright Easter mood.
A celebration of lambing at Tablehurst Farm over two sunny Saturdays drew the community together and brought joy, great food and entertainment to everyone present. There was something for everyone, including a demonstration on how to build a straw bale house by Peter Brown. I confess, I got my hands dirty... I HAD to play with the clay - the most amazing feeling! Cool and velvety, almost sensual and so useful, dressing the straw bale to create a sturdy, breathable and kind layer.
It got me thinking about the things we can do to bring us back to Nature and Her wisdom, especially at this time of year. What struck me is how far removed we have become from our natural blueprint and how easy it can be to re-connect, especially with the weather getting kinder and the flowers peeking out!
So here is my easy recipe for some Easter Fizz: you can make it at home and serve it at the Easter table.
Elle's Flower Petals Fizz
You will need:
a couple of handfuls primrose flowers, 4-5 dandelion flowers, 3-4 flower clusters of lady's smock
a litre jar and around a litre of water kefir from first fermentation
3-5 tsp raw cane sugar
the juice of half a lemon and half a lemon cut into quarters
a little hot water to dissolve the sugar in
a little patience!
Make sure your flowers are free from dust, insects and have been picked away from a busy road or a path (where dogs might do their business and contaminate them). Take only what you need and be mindful of destroying plants or over-harvesting: dandelion flowers are food for bees and very important in the ecosystem.
Gently rinse the flowers in fresh filtered water and pinch the calyx of the flowers off so only the petals remain. This is especially important for dandelions because the green parts can be rather bitter. Gather the petals in a clean bowl:
Transfer the petals in a litre jar where you will have already decanted water kefir from your first fermentation:
Dissolve your sugar in advance in a little hot water and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before you add it to the fermentation jar. Here you see the sugar bowl in the picture just because I thought it looked pretty and illustrated a point - namely me remembering to add the extra sugar to the liquid!
Add the lemon quarters straight into the water kefir liquid.
Squeeze the other half of the lemon and add that to the liquid as well.
You could add a few thin slices of ginger if you like, but I think the delicate petal fragrance is enough. Cap the jar and leave it away from light and heat overnight to ferment. Watch out for gas building up in the jar - it can be potent enough to blow the lid off the jar! Depending on the temperature of the room, your flower petal kefir could be ready to drink within 24-48 hrs. Transfer it to sturdy Kilner flip-top bottles and chill.
Add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice before serving for that extra mouthwatering sharpness usually reserved for a G&T. Why not experiment and add a fresh mint or coriander sprig?
You can strain your drink or just pour straight into tall glasses and serve with ice cubes and a lime slice - pure bliss!
You can add other edible flower petals such as violet, borage or rose petals (when in season), but make sure you pinch the white part of the rose petals (where they join the stem) because it is bitter.