Therapy Kitchen

Elderflower lessons, pleasures and photos…


For many years I have been collecting citric acid ready to make elderflower cordial, eversoeasy as everyone says, but somehow the time to make this summer treat eluded me. This year, it was part of my work: learning from a student in a Kitchen Therapy session how she makes hers; persuading her to pop over for tea and support the next morning; and then, during our holi-day-at-home, he and I made our own version. Recipes are as varied, unique and special as people, so I like to look up a few methods and then do it my way. The pleasure from gathering a goodie from garden and hedgerow, is simply delicious, feeding us heart, body and soul, storing a little ray of sunshine away for a rainy day.

This is how we made ours:

  • 300g fresh elderflowers (stems and as much green cut off as poss)

  • grated zest of 5 unwaxed lemons

  • 2 litres of boiled water, dissolving 2kg (yes, that much!!)

  • sugar with 50g citric acid, poured onto the flowers to infuse for 24 hours

  • We also sliced a lemon into the infusion. (Lemon is a natural flavour enhancer as well as being the right colour.)

  • When you’re ready the next day, sieve your cordial through a muslin and bottle up

Our second batch is waiting to be bottled, this time I am going to use the lemon juice which I forgot last time – it still tasted amazing, but I’m looking forward to finding out the difference!


Our kitchen is looking more and more like a laboratory and I love it! Brewing up feasts and medicines all over the place. It is slowing me down and grounding me at home. I realise I’m lucky to be making food part of my work, but this was about leisure time as well, spending time with self, kitchen and family – helped with sunshine, friendly advice and lemons galore.