Tag Archives: syrup

A Wild Harvest or Cream Flower Soda

A few months ago I caught an article about the West’s DIY Food Crafters.  Among them was a soda maker named Emily Ho who made sodas out of wild and fresh ingredients. As a likeminded soda hater but carbonation lover I had an instant hero. Life only got better when it turned out we were in the same Master Food Preserver Class (Graduates Tonight!), and just as I suspected she is awesome.  Like all great friends, she has introduced me to a new vice: Elderflower Syrup.  I have been hooked since she brought it in to share one night. I am fairly certain I was responsible for drinking half the bottle, which amounts to 5-6 glasses of a floral fizzy dream.

Unfortunately I don’t have Elderflowers in my neighborhood.  But I had something that very much looked like Elderflowers growing rampant in my neighborhood.  I asked gardening and foraging peers and no one could quiet decide.  But the honey bees seemed to love it, the scent was divine and I am a brave sort. How else will you discover things? I also had a good lead that even with toxic stems, leaves or roots, blossoms are rarely toxic hence the bee love.  In the end all I know is this little bud combined with sparkling water is the best cream soda I have ever had.  And it keeps delighting all those I bring it too.

If you decide to be similarly bold,  I encourage you to ‘gather ye flower buds while ye may’ I have already begun to see these tiny white flowers begin to wilt. Take this opportunity to have a wild harvest by following some simple guidelines:

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Double Dipped French Toast with Homemade Syrup or Our Hero In the Hospital

I make a damn fine french toast.  In fact, it’s the first thing I did well so I hold it close to my heart.  The first time I made it David and I, talked about opening a bed and breakfast the whole time we ate.  It’s wonderful when food makes you feel that daring and confident.  The idea of a restaurant still bounces around but we have other endeavors to accomplish first.

The best french toast comes from day old bread, so it holds up sitting in batter a bit.  Some people are married to a particular kind of bread and yesterday I used a popular choice – French Loaf.  But usually french toast gets made in my house with remnants of all the breads we’ve bought at the Farmer’s Market mixed together.  The variety on the plate makes it really really yummy, and I encourage you to mix it up.

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