Tuesday 16 June 2009



I noticed today that it's been five years since I was terminated in my last job because I'd become the scapegoat for an unpleasant and aggressive manager with his sights on the board. It's a long time to go without an income. Even now, not an experience that I'm able to look upon with any detachment, the bullying and abuse was something I was and am entirely unable to cope with. Still, that's not what this blog's about, it just came up because of something else and so I checked a calendar.

More importantly, this weekend sees a much happier anniversary, 12 years since Paul and I first got together. The elderflower champagne is fizzing and I'm hoping the sun will stay out so that we can celebrate in the warm glow of summer.

Just have to keep on moving forward.



Paul said...

Here's wishing us a happy anniversary.

Fuzzlewoof said...

A very very happy anniversary! Enjoy the elderflower champers, i might crack open one of mine tonight as well.

The wife is making elderflower and raspberry jellies at the moment, hope they turn out ok.

Paul said...

Not a comment (though happy anniversary!)Going to try some beech nayou (I know I'm a little late for the young leaves but will have a crack anyhow). Am going to use glass jars with rubber seal and metal catch. Question though - how to sterilise? I've heard of sterilising in oven but what of the rubber seal??

Catofstripes said...


Hello Paul,

Sterilising glass in the oven is a good way of doing it although for this purpose maybe not entirely necessary. A really thorough cleaning and a rinse with boiling water should be enough for the jars. The leaves aren't going to be sterile (although I hope they'll be clean) and the alcohol (get 40% if you can) should deal with everything.

Rubber rings can be boiled in plenty of water in a saucepan for a couple of minutes which should see off most nasties.

Good luck.

Catofstripes said...

Thanks Fuzzlewoof. Just making a feast now. We've tried some elderflower fizz already and it's pretty good!

Paul said...

Thanks for the advice! Went to local woodland today only to discover there is only one beech tree in entire area! Suffice to say couldn't find it!
Have tip for wood with plenty of beech so will be off there tomorrow. Have you ever used any leaves other than beech? I have a lovely young cherry tree in my garden that sounds like it should work but don't want to poisin anyone!

Cat Stripes said...

Hi again Paul,

I've never seen any recipes for using cherry leaves in this way although salted cherry leaves are used in Japan for wrapping small snacks so you would probably be o.k. if you only used small quantities from cultivated fruit trees.

Some cherries' stones and bark are high in prussic acid which is dangerous, particularly to children and animals if eaten in quantity.

The French like to infuse peach leaves in wine to make a summer drink. That might be a better bet if you have access to any.