Sunday, July 10, 2011

Elderflower Cordial and a Roadtrip

I had a chance to harvest some elderflowers and try the lovely elderflower cordial recipe, my sweet friend Rita shared with us:) It is so delicious!

My hubby, Eric and I took a daytrip and first went to Burlington, Iowa where we saw something weird. The mayflies had hatched and there were piles of them either dead or dying everywhere around the visitor center!

Weird huh? There were still a lot of them flying all over the place!

We then decided to go back over to the Illinois side of the Mississippi River and take The River Road to Navoo.

My favorite historic building there is the apothecary and variety store

We had been to this historic village before, so I had just wanted to briefly swing into revisit this apothecary and revisit their medicinal gardens. Was I disappointed! They had ripped out all their huge mature plants and put in new ones, which were really more annual types so not near as interesting to me:( Also, Eric found right on the outside of the gardens a trap with a poor raccoon which had obviously been in there a long time and was very thirsty, hot, and probably hungry! So inside the building I tromped to raise hell and insist someone let the poor thing go, and if they must trap and release them, to check their traps more often! ggggggrrrrrrrr!


Poor little fellers big offense was raiding trash cans! I suggested those folks might do better to bunge strap their cans, then to trap and torture poor critters! These building are by a river and a woods, for pete’s sake! Do they really think raccoons won’t try and raid their cans?!

I frankly was glad to get out of there after that, so we just travelled on down the river road, looking at this and that until we ended up at Quincy, Illinois. There we discovered an unusual building Villa Kathrine, so we took a tour.

So a little bit of herbal deliciousness and a glimpse at our road trip:)

Big herbal and honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx



Brigitte said...

Hi Leslie,
glad you could save the raccoon!!!!
So sad to give animals such a hard time...

Love the pictures of the apothecary!!!!
It makes me long for the smell and way of 'the good old time' which seems to dwell in every herb wife ;-)

Will have a look at the Victorian Pharmacy series.
Thanks for so much new things you shared :-)

Love and hugs to you!

Anke said...

Leslie, the cordial sounds delicious. I've never ventured into making cordials or using elderflower for that matter. The places you visited look lovely, something we would enjoy as well. I'm glad you saved the raccoon. He might be a nuisance to them, but that doesn't justify just leaving him in a cage to starve.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, I found an organic elderflower liquor that I might splurge on here, soon.

The apothecary is adorable, I can't believe Burlington has something like that and Iowa City doesn't.

They mayfly thing while odd, is completely normal. That is just what they do. The adults have an incredibly short lifespan. We used to go to Bellevue to see them when I was little.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Hi Brigitte! Iwas so determined to help that raccoon! My husband even tried to use his firm voice to convince me to just stay out of the problem. Guess the firm voice doesn't impress me much! lol I just love old apothecary things! We used to have an old apothecary here, that even after it quit dispensing medicines, the ice cream parlor part stayed open:) We could sit there eating ice cream and admiring all the old bottles and things:) The Victorian Pharmacy was an amazing series, I believe you would enjoy:) Love and hugs to you!! xoxoxo
I thnk mint or other things would lend themselves nicely to this recipe Anke. The elderflowers are just the traditional recipe, but I plan on trying it using lemon balm as the herb:) I thought of you while we were visiting places, and thought how much you and your family would enjoy it! I know you like to explore also, as a family xoxox
I bet that liquor would be great Stephany! When the kids are all older and I can devote more time to the bees, I hope to make my own meads, and I think one variatel I would like to make would be elderflower:) The apothecary/ historic Navoo, is actually on the Illinois side of the river. At Burlington is just where we visit a lot (we belong to the pigeon group of SE Iowa there, amongst other things) and we had driven there first, and then crossed back and started on down the road. Weird was such a bland word to use when I described the mayfly event. You can tell I hang out with kids all day sometimes;-) It was just kind of mindblowing to see such an explosion of life and death all in one big orgy! lol! Winsome looking little critters I thought. That's interesting your family made the journey to see them:) I was surprised there wasn't more birds after them! xxx

Rowan said...

Poor little raccoon! I hope your words had some effect, people can be so cruel. Good for you for making a fuss about it. Other than that it sounds like a nice trip.

Comfrey Cottages said...

thanks rowan! xxx

Rita M said...

Poor little thing,good for the raccoon you were there!!
I'm glad you liked the elderflower recipe Leslie.
That was a nice trip along the Mississippi river my friend.

Have a nice week :o)

Comfrey Cottages said...

Rita, it is sooooo hot here, and I am drinking your elderflower cordial a lot to keep cool:) love you!!!