Sunday, December 20, 2015

I've got a bottle full of sunshine

To my great surprise I have found myself on the saddle of a mountain bike again after many years. Prior to 2010 mountain biking was a big thing in our lives and I would cycle with the kids 2 or 3 times a week. Then my back seized and that was a closed chapter in our lives.

My youngest son has been mucking around at the local jump track over the last year and was keen to get cycling again but with the devastating fire that burned through most of our mountain in March this year, all cycling tracks on the mountain were closed to allow the ecosystem to rehabilitate.

Avid mountain bikers are now carving out other little tracks around the greenbelts in Constantia, Tokai and surrounds which meant that we could give it a try again. So for the last few weeks Superman, my son and I have been out riding on a Sunday morning, about 13 - 16kms and its been great. The back so far ok :)

The foodie in me cannot help but notice the food around me in the greenbelt as I ride. Having dabbled in foraging in the past I am always interested to see what can be collected around this urban area.

There are lots of dandelions for salads or infusing into honey. Of course the bramble berries are all over the place, although coming to an end now. There are nasturtiums to eat and even a huge cactus with lots of prickly pears to pick.

The squirrels may not share, but there are loads of pinecones for pine nuts - if you are willing to do the hardwork of getting them out of the cone.

And then there is this find...Eldertrees. Lots of elder trees. I have been eyeing them out now for a few weeks waiting for the flowers to be in full bloom so that I can harvest some for cordial. John Seymour recommends harvesting on a hot day - I suppose it makes the flowers scent more pungent??

And today was the day!

So we came home with our treasure today and I followed this recipe for elderflower cordial....Soon my trees will be big enough for me to harvest our own.

Foraged treasure

In a few weeks I will check the trees again on the greenbelt to see if I can harvest some elder berries to infuse into vinegar or syrup.

One of the two bottles of sunshine!

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