When Water Just Won'T Do
0 comment Monday, August 18, 2014 |
I will admit I am not a huge water-drinker. Partly this is due to ayurvedic leanings - there are body types which actually shouldn't drink the obligatory 8+ glasses of water a day, and I am one of them. I find most tap water to be barely palatable, but sadly spring and well water seems to be mostly polluted these days, so there's no joy in that anymore.
So, getting enough fluid during the summer is a bit of a challenge for me. I don't like buying flavoured bottled water as that just seems pointless, and while I like to splurge on my Perrier or Pellegrio once in a while, I just stick to the tapwater and either drink my teas, or just go without.
With all the sun we've been having, however, Nature is providing enough flavouring for different drinks at the moment, and so today - after a huge fresh fruit smoothie and massive breakfast from eggs I purchased out in the country yesterday - I've gone out to gather elderflowers to make my first batch of cordial. Even though sprog is more than happy drinking water, sometimes he needs encouragement, and he really seems to like elderflower cordial - though in the shops it's very expensive. Granted, when the stuff is growing all over the place, I have to wonder why you buy it - but then, with all the brambles everywhere, people still buy blackberries. Go figure. I've made this batch with a teaspoon of citric acid as I want it to keep for a while, and will pour the stuff into sterilised bottles in order to keep it through the summer. The second batch I make, some will be frozen, and we can have it during the fall "dog days."
That hasn't been today's only creation however - I'm a huge fan of all things roses; and I really enjoy foods infused with rose oils, waters, or what have you. Recently, the rosebush in the back garden has been putting forth some HUGE roses, and the fragrance is amazing, very deep and intense. I'm not sure what variety it is, but it's certainly benefitting from sitting next to my compost pile! The blooms are massive this year, and while I usually enjoy flowers right where they are, I haven't been able to resist harvesting these flowers and putting them into a hibiscus cordial I've been drinking lately. The petals lighten in a big way when put into the hot water, and I'm leaving this covered, allowing it to cool, and tomorrow it will get strained into my plastic warm-weather-drink bottle I keep in the fridge.
These aren't difficult to make, essentially just take any elderflower recipe which you fancy most - google search is your friend! - and then substitute lavender, rose, and so on. Just be careful, as some flowers which smell lovely aren't any good to eat or drink (lilac, or butterfly plant, is poisonous, and you shouldn't ever eat elderflowers raw for the same reason). I make at least one floral wine during the year, but as I'm still trying to get several of my long-forgotten roses back into production, I'm holding off till next year when I can encourage even more blooms to get with the programme.
Now is the time of year I love the most: Nature gives forth after loads of hard work, and we reap the benefits. I know I should revel in all seasons, but honestly, when the berries start to come forth is when I feel the height and best part of the year has arrived. I therefore harvest the things in earnest, and get my hands on any and all fresh fruit and veg I can manage. The strawberries have now all been frozen, and this week sproggo and I will happily munch our way through the fresh fruit I purchased from the market. Hopefully in a few weeks' time my own strawberries will be producing, and just when we're sick and tired of those (which is hard to imagine right now), the raspberries will be in, and once again, it will be time to pick more fruit and freeze as much as I can.
Today I'm catching up on tasks and chores which need doing - this is the final six-week school period before I've got a solid five weeks of wumping ahead of me. I've loads of soap to do, laundry to sort out, clothes to mend, and somewhere in there I have to remember to do all the other necessities of doctor appointments, business connections, and - somehow, some way - caring for my own health and well-being so I can push the "unable to walk without a wheelchair in three years" projection to at least five. Yes, I'm afraid that seems to be where it's heading, and fast. But, in a crude but incredibly apt phrase, arthritis chose the wrong bitch. I'll be damned if it's going to be three years without a fight.
So, lots of fruit smoothies and vitamins and as much fresh, local produce as I can manage, lots of sun, and gardening, and managing my day and my energy levels. And having nice things to drink while I go along with that won't be amiss.

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