Early summer is one of my favorite seasons, especially those couple of weeks from mid May to early June. The weather is often better than later in June or even July, there are no pesky insects out yet that want to eat your cupcake on the porch or drown in your lemonade. Summer still feels new, you're still surprised the trees are all nice and green all of a sudden and the garden, oh the garden. There are blossoms everywhere. My favorite geraniums (the real geranium, not the pelargonium) and white catnip blossom.
But the best part? Early summer harvests! Strawberries. Asparagus. And elderflowers.
I love elderflowers. Every year when we're back from vacation, we run to pick some elderflowers. Well, baskets of them, actually. They grow everywhere along the fields, but you have to catch an at least somewhat sunny day to make sure the flowers are all the way open and there is this fine, yellowish dust on them. That's the best part.
We then gently shake them off to remove insects and soak them with sugar, water and lemons for a few days to make elderflower cordial. My mom has her own recipe, and this year I'm trying out this one in direct comparison (there's an English version, too, if you scroll down). She makes a simple syrup first and lets the flowers and lemons soak in the cooled syrup before straining it and briefly heating it, while my mom's recipes add the sugar as is - either during the infusing part or later when heating. Anyway.
The elderflower syrup is perfect for flavoring drinks or, in this case, a lemon cake (recipe from here).
Yum! Now I hope the season lasts long enough to make a few more batches and also elderflower jelly and oh, lots of strawberry jam of course. What's your favorite early summer treat?
Have a great weekend,
PS: Will be linking up with the simple things sunday later. Have a safe trip back, Rebecca!