Thursday, 4 July 2013

Blowing my mind the creative way

Another of the quilts in the recent Jen Jones and Kaffe Fassett exhibition.

I have just been getting some creative energy from browsing on Pinterest.  "Just" the quilts section. HERE'S a link to some of the ones I have pinned on my board in the past few days.   Oh my . . .  If you have never checked it out and you have just one creative bone in your body, go there - but be warned, it could blow your mind, just the way it has mine this morning.  I want to just sew and stitch and make beautiful things.  Quilts and wallhangings and runners and . . .  but until we have finished the decorating and tidying and cleaning and gardening, it will just have to be in my head.

Still, I was able to be ME for a brief period yesterday morning when I set to and made my Elderberry Syrup.  I had 1 lb 12 oz of frozen Elderberries left from my freezer stash, so that amount would have to do.  First of all I put them on their own - no added water - into my Le Creuset casserole, but any earthenware dish with a lid will do, into a medium hot oven until they had burst and the juice was running.  Then I popped them into a jelly bag and hung it from a beam over a big pan.  With the squeezed-out juice at the end, they made about 2 cups of juice and boiled up/thickened, it made about half a (Gin!) bottle.  The actual recipe is:


Ripe elderberries
Granulated sugar
Cinnamon sticks

(Makes about 3 cups per 2 1/2 cups syrup)

Wash the heads of berries thoroughly, remove the stalks and then place the berries in a large earthenware pot.  Cover and bake in a medium hot oven at 375 deg. F until the juice begins to run. Strain the juice into a saucepan, and for each 2 1/2 cups liquid, add 1 cup sugar and a broken cinnamon stick.  Cover the saucepan and boil gently until the syrup thickens.  Pour the syrup into warm, dry sterilized bottles and seal securely.  To sere, just dilute to taste with hot water.  The recipe is taken from The Country Store by Stephanie Donaldson and it is a beautiful book, with some fabulous recipes in it.

As I was making it, Steve our builder came round, and he said his wife always made this every year, and also all sorts of Elderflower recipes.  He swore by either the Elderberry Syrup or Elderflower and Peppermint for colds/flu.  I am hoping that it will boost my immune system (the berries are very high in Vitamin C) and when they are used to treat flu, they encourage you to sweat freely and help to fight infection.  HERE is a link which explains the technical "how".

My immune system has been battered after 2 1/2 years of infections and repeated doses of steroids and anti-biotics and I need to a) help combat any infections the natural way, and b) try and rebuild my depleted immune system.  I have another 4 days on anti-biotics and then I will start taking the Elderberry syrup daily.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I painted the end wall in one bedroom, and a bathroom wall upstairs, as well as a lovely small set of shelving I found at the car boot sale last week for just £5, and a kitchen chair which we had bought already painted white many many years ago, and which T (then aged about 8) had added some painted decorations to.  Anyway, it and the cupboard are now the same Bay Leaf green as the outside woodwork on the house, and it looks very smart.

Onwards and upwards and possibly Pinterestwards  . . .


  1. I've just repinned one! I admire anyone who quilts - it's such an amazing art. Embroidery too...I have a whole Pinterest embroidery board.

  2. Ah - I haven't even got as FAR as the Pinterest embroidery yet . . . Or the general crafts . . . Or . . .

  3. Ah yes, the time sucking machine known as Pinterest. Love it. Get some great ideas, have many boards of my own and get lots of repins. It's cool so see what others have chosen to display-sociologically speaking.

    I sure as ^&ll hope you get better soon...

  4. Ooh I dare not look. I have several quilts on the go right now and a "queue" of the ones I want to make :-O

    I think you are on the right track healing your body with good nutritious foods.

  5. That quilt is beautiful. I am looking forward to exploting Pinterest.

  6. Now this is certainly in the "Too Much Information" category, but I was told that fermented veggies (a la sauerkraut ) restored the gut flora after antibiotics . . . did you want to know that?? I'm giving it a try after a gazillion antibiotics for recurrent sinus infections. You could Google it if you wish!! (Otherwise file in the round bin)

  7. I haven't visited Pinterest--rather afraid I could get too absorbed.
    Your mention of "The Country Store' prompted me to trot immdiately downstairs and pull the very book from the glass-fronted cupboard which J. bought for me last summer at the auction house [as he did NOT want to construct bookcases!]