Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Some refreshment for a book launch!

The launch of Dragon in the Snow will be on 12th September at 8p.m. British Summer Time, and you're all welcome (on Zoom)!

If you're interested, email contact@kellascatpress.co.uk and we'll be in touch with the link nearer the time. You can also ask questions in advance. 

I don't mind what you drink on the evening - ale and wine were both popular with Vikings - but I thought I should probably stick to something non-alcoholic. Meadowsweet, also known as mead-sweet as it was used to sweeten drinks, was plentiful in Orkney, so last Friday I went and picked some near the allotment, with a view to making a cordial. It likes the damp, but I wasn't quite invisaging having to wade through a temporary stream to get to it ... bit soggy. A cordial like this would have been made in Viking times but my recipe was not very authentic on this occasion! 

WARNING! I BELIEVE MEADOWSWEET CONTAINS AN ANALGESIC SO IF YOU ARE ON ASPIRIN OR RELATED MEDICATION PLEASE CHECK BEFORE CONSUMING!

You need about twenty heads of meadowsweet, a lemon, a tablespoonful of citric acid and water - and a bit of patience.

Stick the flower heads in a saucepan, 


add the citric acid (traditionally out of date) 


and the quartered lemon. 


Boil a litre or so of water, add it to the saucepan and bring quickly back to the boil. Cover and leave for three days in a coolish place.

Strain the flowers into a large jug ...


And what does it taste like? Well ... if I were you I'd add a bit of runny honey, or maybe some lemonade: it's pretty sharp! But a nice flavour, and very refreshing.

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