Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants (Ten Speed Press, 2017), by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis is a guide to 47 projects that can be done using unexpected plants. These projects include beauty products, fragrances, cocktails, and more. The following excerpt is from Chapter 1, "Early."
One of the easiest ways to preserve fresh elderflowers is by adding them to honey. The combination is an effective remedy for sore throats, early-season colds, and allergies. Add elderflower honey to tea or simply enjoy it by the healing spoonful. We mix it with fresh lemon juice and carbonated water for a refreshing lemonade.
Infusing elderflower into honey couldn't be easier, and this recipe is wonderfully flexible depending on the quantity of your harvest. You can use smaller or larger amounts of flowers and however much honey you have on hand. Choose the size of the jar to determine how much of the flowers and honey you'll need. You need only enough flowers to fill the jar loosely, followed by the honey, and then you'll be set to partake in the delicious results. Don't toss out extra flowers! Dry them and use them for tea.
What You Need
• 1/4 cup (or more) freshly picked elderflower heads
• 8-ounces fresh local honey, or more as needed
Note: Makes 8-ounces
1) Rinse the flowers with water.
2) Remove and destem the blooms from the branches and set aside. You should have a pile of lovely small, white flowers, free of bark, stems, and immature fruit.
3) Loosely pack the flowers into an 8-ounce jar with a lid and pour the honey over them.
4) Use a chopstick or knife to stir the honey and elderflowers gently to release any trapped air and submerge the flowers in the honey. If needed, top off and fill to the brim with more honey.
5) Secure the lid and set aside to infuse for 1 week.
6) Strain the elderflowers out of the honey using a small sieve, pouring the infused honey into a second clean jar and sealing with a lid.
7) Store in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry, for up to 6 months.
Reprinted with permission from Harvest, by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis, copyright © 2017, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by David Fenton.