Talking of fruit bushes, we had a big blackcurrant harvest last summer. Rather than use the fruit there and then, I washed it, bagged it and put it in the freezer. This makes it very handy for making jam or cordial later on. I recently made some blackcurrant cordial so I thought I'd let you see the process. I got the recipe on the internet years ago and can't remember where. But it's just a basic recipe that you could find anywhere.
So, this is what you need:
250g caster sugar
De-stalk and wash the blackcurrants. You don't need to be too fussy with the de-stalking as none of the fruit ends up in the cordial. Just make sure there aren't anything creatures still there!
Place the blackcurrants, sugar and water into a saucepan. Melt the sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a gentle simmer. Simmer the fruits for 5 minutes.
Now add the juice and skin of the lemon. You can see I'm using two lemons because I made double the quantity.
Bring the syrup back to simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Let the cordial cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile sterilise a glass bottle.
Pass the cordial through a fine sieve (or muslin).
This is what was left behind after the juice had dripped through. The wild birds eat it once it has gone cold.
Pour the cordial into the sterilised bottle, cool and keep refrigerated until needed. I like to strain it through my funnel to make sure there are no wee bits still left in the cordial.
There it is! You only need a small amount of cordial diluted with plenty of water.
This same method can be used for other fruits such as grapes. There are some grapes in my freezer that I must use to make cordial. The grape cordial is very mild and I really like it. Sometimes I mix blackcurrants and grapes too.
Back in the summer I made some pink elderflower cordial which I froze in plastic bottles. We had it at Christmas, diluted with sparkling water. Very tasty!
There are some crochet projects that have been finished and progress with knitting that I hope to show you very soon. Just need to get the camera into action again.
All the very best for now. Thanks for all your lovely comments; I'm looking forward to getting lots more this year.