While I'm waiting for my dress to dry so I can leave for a party, I thought I'd tell you about collecting elderflowers. I've been watching the heads of elderflower go heavier and whiter as I cycle through the park. Last night after dinner I drank a cup of spring tea, gathered my equipment, then left. As I glanced back at the clock I heard the bells tolling 9 o'clock.
There wasn't actually much in the way of equipment. I prefer to remain hazy on the ins and outs of foraging regulations, and was glad for the capacious market basket I've borrowed from a friend.
The park was mostly empty when I entered, with just a few joggers, and some young people playing pétanque.
I quickly spotted my quarry, but the elderflower bush by the path had been stripped almost bare of blossoms, sending a ripple of worry through me.
But as soon as I pressed onwards, I was hopeful again. The elders dotting the hillside were frothy with creamy blossoms.
Far from being too late, many of the sprays were still mere buds. Others were already showering their dainty pale pollen.
My bowl full and a wind whipping up, I thought it was time to return home.
Then I spotted the white pinpricks amongst the distant green, and filled my bowl a little more.
My mission accomplished, I had to stop and admire the bowl's contents.
The light was failing when I finally turned home.
When I got home, David was just taking the sugar syrup off the stove, and as it cooled, I snipped the flowers into a bowl. By ten o'clock, I was finished. What beauty one can make in an hour!