Friday 13 May 2016

Life has given me lemons

I sorted my fridge today as I usually do on Fridays.  I seem to have a lot of lemons.  Well, you know what they say - if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

I've always loved homemade lemonade but years ago it was quite a faff to make it - grate the zest, squeeze the lemons - you know the drill.  Since I've had a food processor it's easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Just chop three lemons very roughly including the skin and pith (each one into 4-6 pieces) and bung them into the processor.  Whizz to a pulp.  Add about six tablespoons sugar and whizz again.  

Strain the pulp and sugar mixture through a sieve.  Don't push it through, just leave it to do its own thing for half an hour.  Then pour about a pint of cold water through the stuff left in the sieve and let that drain into the strained juice.  You now have lemonade which you can put in a jug and chill in the fridge.

This is not a cheap recipe unless you can find cheap lemons on RFQS but it is a treat fit to be served to anyone.  (Or just kept for yourself!)  Enjoy.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Rhubarb cordial

I am a very lucky lady!  When I moved to my present house I had to leave my rhubarb crown behind, which as far as I was concerned was a tragedy.  I missed those first succulent pink sticks of tangy pleasure.  I have to admit that towards the end of the season I got fed up with the sight of rhubarb - it's one of those plants which doesn't know when to stop - but the first few sticks!  Bliss!

I happened to mention my rhubarb separation anxiety one day and that was the start of a tidal wave.  As I say, rhubarb doesn't know when to stop so anyone who has  a good crown and hears about someone else who has no such crown tends to be more than happy to pass on a few goodies,  My problem is that I have quite a few friends who have prolific rhubarb crowns.  I don't like to say no but one really can have too much of a good thing.  There are only so many crumbles, pies and fools that can go down one woman's throat.

However, I have now discovered rhubarb cordial.  Sadly I have drunk the lot so I can't photograph it and show you the beautiful pink colour so you will have to make some for yourself.

Just cook in a saucepan as much surplus rhubarb as you can get together.  Cook unhtil it is mush then strain it through a sieve or colander.  DO NOT PUSH IT THROUGH!  This is important as pushing it through will result in a cloudy cordial.  Just leave it overnight in the strainer.  Then measure the liquid and add 500 grams sugar  and 50 ml lemon juice for every litre of juice.  Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar then bottle it in sterilised bottles.  Keep chilled.  Drink diluted to taste.  Dilution with Prosecco has also been recommended.  I couldn't possibly comment.