Elderflower lemonade & Elderflower champagne

I am a person who loves everything related to elder, I have noticed that the taste of elder seems to be a flavor that people either love or hate. This year I decided to try my hand at making both elderflower lemonade and elderflower champagne. There was only one problem. I had no idea how the elder looked like, I'm from northern Sweden elder is not growing in such great amount  as in southern Sweden, where I live now.

I googled around for some pictures of elder but since there is poisonous elder species, I wanted to be absolutely sure before I went out and picked some. My boyfriend was pretty sure it had grown elder at his old daycare and so we went there and took home a leaf to compare it with pictures online. Once we decided that the leaf was common elder, we discovered that elder were everywhere! I had thought that you had to look some to find the elder, but it turned out that we have a large elder tree just outside the door, and another 3-4 trees within a radius of 20 meters.

Elderflower lemonade

40 pcs elderflower
4 lemons
3 l of water
75 g citric acid
2 kg powdered sugar

1. Rinse the flowers well in cold water. Wash the lemons and cut them into slices. Boil water, lemon slices, citric acid and sugar
2. Pour the hot mixture over the elder flowers
3. Cover the container and let chill for about 4 days
4. Strain the juice and pour it into clean bottles. Keep the juice in the refrigerator or freezer.

Elderflower Champagne

15 pc elderflower
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2.25 l of water
half a lemon

To do this:

1. Clear the elderflowers from insects that may exist among them, but do not rinse them. Mix sugar, vinegar and water in a large mixing bowl.
2. Wash the lemon and peel of the outermost of the lemon zest, squeeze out the juice and add lemon zest and lemon juice in the bowl along with Elder flowers
3. Stir and let stand covered in a Day
4. Strain the juice and pour it into clean bottles with screw caps. Do not fill the bottles up to the brim
5. Let stand at cool room temperature 3 to 4 days. Check one of the bottles to see if the beverage have become carbonated. If they have become carbonated, then put the bottles in the fridge, otherwise let them be left at room temperature for another few days. Then check again.
6. Served chilled. The champagne should be drunk up within 3 weeks from date of manufacture.


Goulash soup with minced meat

Although it is not autumn yet, it is time to eat goulash soup again. Because it is a weekday evening the preparation time can not be that long. The best option then is to use minced meat as it is quick to get ready. In terms of time, it can be done in 35-40 minutes depending on how quickly the vegetables can be chopped.
Goulash soup ready to eat.
Ingredients for this goulash soup with minced meat as the base are:
  • 500 g minced meat
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 5 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green chili
  • a stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 500 g of crushed tomatoes
  • 6 dl water
  • garlic
  • Salt and pepper
The base.
Coarsely chopped ingredients.
Before I put in the minced meat, potatoes, peppers, carrots and onions in the pot I smashed the cumin and roasted it for a while while the oil in the bottom of the pot became hot.
I chose to fry minced meat, potatoes, peppers, carrots and onions at once. With this approach I had to stir it for some time, I think that the ingredients can be fried separately.
Right before the crushed tomatoes goes into the pot.
When everything is fried add chili, garlic, salt and pepper before adding the crushed tomatoes and water.
After stirring, then simmer / cook on low heat for 15 minutes. I would say at least 15 but if all the vegetables were in from the beginning it can not cook as much more than that before they start to lose texture and shape.

Finished goulash with garnish.


Rye bread

This is a bread that I found in hembakat a Swedish baking magazine last winter, a recipe which I have gone back to repeatedly. I tend to do that when I find something I really like, I bake it again and again over a period, forget about it and then get back to it again.

It was a long time since I baked anything with sourdough, this is unfortunately not a sourdough either, but now I have bought home ingredients so I can start both a sourdough and wild yeast. I have never tried baking bread with wild yeast before so it'll be really interesting. Sourdough bread is in my opinion a little better and tastier than bread made from plain yeast that you buy at the grocery store and a sourdough breads durability is definitely better. This rye bread tastes the best, unfortunately, directly from the oven, even if they are good even after a few days if you heat them a few seconds in the microwave.

Rye bread

About 20 pc

50g of butter
2 1/4 cups water
50g yeast
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 teaspoon salt
about 6 3/4 cups of sifted rye flour

To do this:
Melt the butter, add water and heat it all at about 37 degrees. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it with some of the liquid. Mix in the rest of the liquid with salt and syrup. Add most of the rye flour and work the dough smooth and elastic. The dough will release from the bowl when it is sufficiently thorough. Sprinkle with flour and let rise for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees celcius and place parchment paper on some plates. Divide the dough into about 20 equal-sized pieces, drop them into round balls and roll them into circles on a lightly floured board. Prick the rounded portions and place on the plates. Let rise again for about 20 minutes. Bake loaves in the center of the oven for 3-5 minutes, until golden and cool on wire rack.


Pasta with lemon asparagus

Asparagus is something I only recently learned to eat. I've always been pretty picky when it comes to food. When I was little, I was forced to stay at the table to finish my lasagna for example, a dish that I have no problem with eating now. But I have both gotten older and my taste buds have changed and because of that i have started to try more food. I think a large part is because I dare to try more too. When you are young, you have your habitual patterns and it can be very scary with food that is not something that your mother has always been cooking...

My interest in food has also grown bigger since i've gotten my own kitchen. I lived in a student dorm when I studied and I didn't want to spend any more time then i had to in that kitchen. So I muddled around with the same seven dishes for about three years...

Pasta with lemon asparagus

Ingredients for 4 servings:

4 servings of pasta

1 cups of cream
125 g cream cheese flavored with garlic and herbs

Lemon Asparagus:
2 bundles of green asparagus
25 g butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated zest of ½ lemon
Salt and white pepper to taste

Serve with:
Crispy Bacon
possibly a little finely grated lemon peel

To do this:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and put the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in oven until they look crispy. Boil pasta water with plenty of salt in.

Heat the cream over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the cheese and let melt. Season with salt and pepper.

Rinse and clean the asparagus, split into two parts. Mix butter with lemon juice and peel, salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan and fry the asparagus until it is soft, put the buds in last.

Mix the pasta with the sauce, sprinkle with coarsely crushed bacon and possibly a little grated lemon peel and serve with the asparagus.


Bread Crumbs

Sometimes there is a small crust of bread left, which no one has time or wants to eat before it gets a little old and boring. Now I have taken advantage of them and made my own bread crumbs.
Crumbs and raw material.
To get a decent amount, I have saved the old pieces of bread for a while by having frozen them. The sheet below shows the fruits of my effort.
I broke the old pieces of bread into fairly small pieces, some I cut with a knife so that they would not be so large. Larger pieces means longer time in the oven.
Of course, the final result will depend on the type of bread used. I have opted out of all bread with fruit in.
Old dismantled bread crusts.
When the bread pieces are prepared it is time to dry them in the oven. I was in a bit of a hurry so I dried them at 150 degrees for 45 minutes. Next time I think I will have a lower temperature, around 100 degrees, and do it in 2 hours.
When the bread dries the moisture is driven out of the bread that otherwise could create mold. However, it is important not to burn the bread pieces as the breadcrumbs will take a taste of it.
The same bread crusts dried in the oven.
The difference before and after the oven is that the bread pieces are warm and crispier. Let them cool and run them in a blender.
Depending on your blender you will find that all the crumbs are not equal in size. I used a strainer to separate the finished breadcrumbs. Everything that is not small enough go back in the blender until they are the correct size.
Different sized crumbs.
Save the finished result as normal, dry and dark.
The finished result.