Elderflowers and Angle Grinding

When I woke up today I firstly wrote up the tortilla recipe from yesterday in my recipe book. I then went downstairs and had lunch; this as opposed to breakfast as I didn’t wake up until 12. I then tried to decide what the hell to do with my day. It was drizzling but not enough to deter my entrepreneurial spirit therefore I decided to finish making I knife I had started around about Easter.

My brother had built a fire in the sawn-off half gas canister my family uses as a barbecue. He had found a scrap pieces of metal from of somewhere (I think they used to belong to a mower?). He did start out using bellows to heat up the metal in the fire but found these inefficient and started using the hot air gun he usually uses to bend wood for walking sticks (we’re a crafty family). When I expressed a desire to join in he found another piece of metal and we spent a happy afternoon alternately heating the metal in the fire and hitting with a hammer on the anvil. I’ll be honest, I had forgotten about the blackened curved lump of slightly-thinner-on-one-edge metal until today.

So I started off by angel grinding the blade to decent sharpness and then had my dad help me cut off the sticky out bit (this is a narrative not a tutorial okay, I don’t feel like being descriptive and drawing diagrams, so I won’t) and make the handle-end thinner. All that remains is to put a nice wooden handle on it although I didn’t get round to it today and will post a picture when it’s all nicely finished.

After this I decided I would get a bit more domestic and, upon noticing all the elderflowers we had on the tree while walking back down to the house, I decided to make elderflower cordial. I’d never done this before and so looked for a recipe in one of my foraging books (Foraging, David Squire). It is as follows:

1.5kg of sugar

1.2L of water

20 heads of elderflowers

2 sliced lemons

75g citric acid

  1. Dissolve the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Mix everything together.
  3. Leave to stand overnight.
  4. Strain into sterilised container(s).
  5. Drink diluted like squash.

I went out and picked my elderflowers (you shouldn’t wash them as it removes the fragrance, just knock off anything foreign).


We didn’t have any lemons so I just used concentrated lemon juice. Other than that I followed the recipe pretty exactly and the result?


Rather good! I hadn’t let it stand for more than two or three hours so the full elderflower flavour wasn’t quite there but it was undeniably good. This one’s for the book!

Anyway that’s about the sum of what I’ve done today. I’m going off tomorrow to see an old family friend with my mother but I also have a tutorial I want to do that I intent to try in the afternoon. Loveyoubye.


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