PLUMS AND PEARS HARVEST UNDER THE LINDEN TREE

Last year we had a very good harvest of apples. This Summer we had only one apple on one tree so we can forget about making our own cider, juices or apple pie.

Instead, this year our plum and pear trees are covered with fruit /last year we did not see even one plum…/. After swapping fruit with friends this morning, I had a basket of a very nice mix of plums – mainly common plums and mirabelles, so I decided to do very easy mixed plum cordial.

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Recipe

1 kg of fruits

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1l water

0,5 kg of sugar /or less/

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

half a lemon

Boil water with sugar, cinnamon and juice from the half of lemon in large pan. Add all fruits whole, I do not cut and I do not take stones away and cook 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the jars, clean them, and sterilise them with boiling water. Pour the hot cordial through sieve into the hot jars, close the jars tightly and leave them upside down until they cool down.

Our last goodies to keep our bellies happy during the Winter – stewed pears for pancakes, elder berry syrup for colds, and plum and apricot jam with cloves and ginger.

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SPANISH WORKAWAYERS UNDER THE LINDEN TREE

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During the last two weeks we enjoyed the company of Spanish workawayers – Cristina and Joan. We are very thankful for their help, cutting wood for us for Winter, washing dishes every day, painting, collecting fruit and herbs etc. And of course for cooking for us amazing Spanish dinner – gazpacho and frittata with spanish wine, polish vodka and home made walnut liquers.

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We have made together elder flower syrup with ginger and cloves. Cristina and Joan collected one kilo of berries, later we gently warmed the berries till they give a juice. After that we added 1 glass of sugar, 6 cloves and 3cm. of fresh grated ginger and cooked it together to make a cordial. It will keep us warm and healthy during the Winter. Viva Espania!

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LINDEN FLOWERS

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Our beautiful big linden tree is full of flowers. Linden flowers are used in herbalism for colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache… Linden flower tea is one of my favorite tisane! So this year I not only dry flowers but I decided as well to make linden blossom syrup, which is made in very similar way to elder flower syrup. https://underthelindentree.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/time-for-elder-flowers-and-strawberries/

Serving suggestions from http://foodpreservation.about.com/od/Preserves/r/Linden-Basswood-Syrup-Recipe.htm:

 – Dried linden blossoms are available as tea bags to infuse into a calming hot tisane. Try sweetening your linden infusion with linden syrup for a double dose of this plant’s flavor and soothing properties.

 – Add linden blossom syrup to white wine or vodka for an aromatic aperitif.

 – Drizzle linden syrup over fresh fruit (it’s especially good with strawberries), yogurt, or cheesecake.

 – Add a small spoonful of linden flower syrup to heavy cream before whipping it for a delicately flavored dessert topping.

 – Spoon a little linden syrup over a mild goat cheese (chevre).

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Lime /pol. Lipa/ gave name to the month of July – Lipiec and in the Slavic mythology was considered as a holy tree.  For sure this is one of the most beautiful trees, giving a strong fragrance and keeping all the bees very happy!

A particular Greek myth speaks of a time when the gods, Zeus and Hermes, decided to pay a visit to the land of mortals to see if they were behaving themselves. In disguise, they knocked on many doors and found that no one would give them shelter, eventually, they came to the house of Philemon and Baucis who welcomed them. To reward them of their generosity, Zeus granted them their wish to remain together forever after they died and transformed Philemon into an Oak tree and Baucis into a tilia (lime tree) so they could be side by side. It is common to find that oak trees and limes grow close to each other.

In folklore medicine, because of its heart-shaped leaves the Lime tree (tilleul) was dedicated to Venus, the goddess of love, and was said to cure all diseases classified under the goddess.
http://www.holisticaroma.co.uk/articles/Lindenblossoms.htm

TIME FOR ST.JOHN’S WORT OIL

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Last weekend we celebrated beginning of Summer and of course John’s namesday. We took our guests for local folk music festival next to Lithuanian border. Next day was perfect for collecting St. John’s Wort flowers and making the oil – Red Oil.



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Flowering St. John’s Wort should be collected on a sunny day. Put flowers  into the jar and add sunflower oil. Leave to rest for three weeks in sunny place. After this time, the oil should be drained through a cheesecloth and pour into a dark bottle.
In the cosmetics industry the oil is used for body lotion for dry, sensitive, itchy skin, also damaged by the sun, with burns, rheumatism and cellulite.
In natural medicine, this oil is recommended as a soothing back pain, lumbago and sciatica.

This oil increases skin’s sensitivity to light (photosensitizing reactions), after application, do not expose skin to the sun (also a solarium).

Digital StillCameracelebrating John’s namesday – lunch in the garden with Carol from Scotland and Kenzie from USA

TIME FOR ELDER FLOWERS AND STRAWBERRIES

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I did not post anything for long time, only because last days are so beautiful and busy. Everything is growing so fast! There is a new workawayer from USA with us and tomorrow my friend from Scotland will join us. We plan to do canoe trip on Czarna Hancza river together and celebrate summer solstice next Sunday with folk dance and music /Feast of St. John/.

In the meantime I managed to make more syrup, this time from elder flowers and beautiful strawberry jam!!!Digital StillCameraDigital StillCamera

How to make elder flower syrup?

You have to collect around 40 flowers. Boil 1 l. of water with 1kg. of sugar and juice from 1 lemon. Add this hot liquid to the flowers and leave it for 3 days. Then sieve into bottles or jars. Easy!

TIME FOR DANDELION SYRUP!

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Everyone knows dandelions and how good they are for our health. Today there are thousands of them flowering on the meadows around our house. Living north, we had to wait a little longer…

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After breakfast I took Maya for morning walk and I collected 500 dandelion flowers. Maya of course was very helpful…

I spread them out on  paper, so all the ants and other insects could walk away.

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I boiled all flowers 15 min in 1 litre of water with 2 lemons. Later I drained off through a cheesecloth and boiled again 1 hour with 1 kilo of sugar.

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In the sunny afternoon we had 4 jars of beautiful dandelion syrup!

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