Updated: May 7, 2020
4th May l 2020 | By Cara Nicholls
After endless days of heavenly warm sunshine and feeling like I'd never get anything done indoors ever again, rain finally came! Now I'm not really one for the wet stuff, but my flowery friends were crying out for a drink and the smell of the rain on the warm fertile earth is always such a treat. Plus, it was high time I temporarily hung my gardening gloves up and got on with some chores!
So, my first rainy day job was to do some washing as we barely had a pair of clean pants between us!
Next up was to paint the inside of my hut (hut name to follow). She kinda got dumped at the bottom of our garden in a hurry when we moved and there just hasn't been the time up until now to give her the love she needs. Or more to the point, that I need! Sharing my life (& lockdown) with a husband, a son and three male dogs, I SO needed a little creative space of my very own to retreat to. No. Boys. Allowed!
Once the rain had passed and I was sitting blissfully in my new lady space, I looked out the window and couldn't help but notice next-doors breathtakingly beautiful Lilac bush hanging over the fence line. You can guess what happened next.. Those scissors were in may hands faster than you can say "Oops, I accidentally stole some of my neighbours Lilac blooms!'
So I'm pleased to tell you, that my very first creation in my new/old/made-over hut/lady space, was a decadent Lilac Infused Honey. Followed by a Lilac Oxymel and Rose Infused Honey.
Here I share all the details with you so you can enjoy it with me too (It's soooo good!)
So, first of all, ask your neighbour very nicely if you can please have a few of their lilac blooms! Lilac has a fairly short flowering season, so you want to make sure you harvest them before they begin to turn, ideally on a nice warm day when they're air dried and smell most delicious.
Next, gently remove all the little flowers from the stem and place them in a clean dry jar. This is such a beautiful thing to do and the smell is absolutely intoxicating, so take your time and do so mindfully to fully soak up all the medicine during the making process as well as at consumption time!
Once the blossoms are happily sitting in the jar, it's time to smother them with raw gooey honey until they are completely covered. Let the bubbles make their way to the surface (you may want to help them along with a chopstick or suchlike).
After a little while, you will see that the flowers float to the top. Add a little more honey if needed to ensure all of the flowers are well covered. Then cap and label your jar (not forgetting to add the date) and leave it to infuse for anywhere between a few days to a few weeks for a more intense flavour.
At this point, I like to set an intention for the infusion to make sure it is full of love and positive energy. I will revisit that intention every day as I gently flip the jar upside-down to keep the blooms submerged in honey, during the infusion stage.
As I mentioned before, I also made Rose Infused Honey by repeating the same process as above, but this time I used dried rose petals. The result is the most delicious and delicate Rose flavoured honey that I'd highly recommend on warm toasted crumpets!
Both the Lilac and Rose flowers are edible, so you can either strain the honey from the flowers to have clear textured honey, or leave them in! If you do end up removing the flowers, don't discard them, as you can use them to adorn cakes or make a nice cup of sweet tea from them.
I also made Lilac Infused Oxymel with equal quantities of raw honey and organic apple cider vinegar, which are both know for their health benefits. In a few weeks time I will enjoy this every day as an extra special immune boosting dressing over my salad leaves,
I hope you've enjoyed this blog and perhaps feel inspired to have a go! Let me know how you get on.
Big love & hugs