Friday, June 18, 2010

fruits (and flowers) of the season

Not everyone would take this as the sign of a good day. Then again, not everyone has a fabulous new kitchen to play in. And play I did. It's been weeks since I've had time for a kitchen I hunkered down and messed up every surface.

First up: elderflower champagne:

After reading Leda's post I was afraid I'd miss my opportunity for elderflower champagne this year. Last weekend in NH the flowers were out in abundance and each time we passed a shrub I worried I wouldn't have a chance to brew. Fortunately, there were still plenty of flowers here in PA and first thing this morning I picked enough for a gallon batch. It should be ready in time for the 4th. Recipe anyone?

Next: Juneberry (aka Amelanchier) wine:

This was a great year for Amelanchier berries...the first time I've ever harvested enough to consider making wine. It'll be a year before we can taste-test the batch, but the blueberry wine recipe I used as a jumping off point is a proven winner. Thanks to Marie for sharing her boffo harvest grounds.

Last game of the day: Juneberry sumac jelly.

Amelanchier fruit is better suited to jelly than jam because of its numerous seeds, and I think the sweetness of the berry calls out for tart accompaniment, hence the sumac, foraged last fall in NH. I may be biased, but I think it's delish.

Sigh. Such a nice day.