Sunday, 28 September 2008

Time Flies

I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by at the moment. It is the first time in a long time that I can honestly say that I do not know where the time goes.

We have had a fabulous week at the cafe. The sun has shone, people have sat outside and enjoyed the weather and everyone has seemed happy. It is amazing what a little bit of sunshine does for the spirit. (yes, the lady in the photo did agree to it! She asked if she could put a bit of lipstick on but I assured her no one would see that close up to notice)

The Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday went without a hitch. Mum and Dad came and helped out and we had a steady stream of generous customers between 9am and 11am. We raised the grand sum of £130 and were absolutely delighted with ourselves and all of the lovely people that gave so kindly to such a worthwhile cause.

We set out loads of cups and saucers, flapjacks and danish pastries and did it 'canteen' style. We had time to circulate, chat to customers and hand around cakes. It's amazing how people will be 'forced' to have another piece of cake with a bit of encouragement!

This afternoon I have been making Elderberry Cordial, after stumbling across a recipe a while back. The hedges surrounding our allotment still had plenty of berries, despite the council giving them a haircut! Have you ever removed dozens of berries off a plant with a fork? Very satisfying experience, I must say. So easily pleased...Use a fork to remove berries and put into a pan. Add a little water and simmer until the juice all comes out..I mashed them with the back of a spoon a little to help them along.

Strain off the juice, return to the pan and add 1lb of sugar for every pint of liquid. Boil the liquid until it turns into a thick syrup.

And bottle!
Now the idea behind this stuff is that it is supposed to get rid of colds and lurgy if they should appear. The berries are rich in antioxidants which help cholesterol, diabetes, ulcers and colds! I must say that the berries don't smell particularly pleasant until you add the sugar, so be warned if you try it!

This morning after a trip to the allotment we went to Worcester for a wander and I bought some fabulous pumpkin lanterns from Lakeland to hang in the windows of the cafe. They have battery operated lights inside, so are completely safe and re-useable. I can highly recommend them for childrens bedrooms or living room windowsills if anyone is feeling Halloweeny! (I realise it's a while to go yet but I am trying to get prepared-hell, I've even been thinking of what we can do for Christmas and Easter...)

I am now off to watch Strictly and dance around the house, pretending I am wearing a ballgown. There's an image!


Lisa said...

Another Strictly fan here, don't they get to wear the most luscious frocks on that show!
Well done on the fund raising on Friday.
Take care
Lisa x

Gina said...

I like the idea of the elderberry cordial. I made cordial from the flowers in early summer and that was good too. Well done on your coffee morning.

Petticoat Lane said...

So glad the coffe morning went so well and you raised so much. You're doing so well at No.9. I'll have to pay another visit soon to check for lippy. May even be tempted by the Elderberry Cordial as have been v.poorly this week 'man flu' Tried to throw a sickie but girliewigs struggled to put themselves in the car and drive to school, make own lunch and struggled rather to run a bath and climb in.....Must make a mental note to teach them to do these things for next time I'm struck down!!
Found great present for bloke but will email seperately just incase he reads this!
Jane. xxx

The List Writer said...

Yikes that cordial is close to the top of the pan. I've got clammy palms just looking at that photo!

I love elderberries and eat great, greedy handfuls straight from the tree whenever I see one. My well brought up children think this is gross for some reason.

I'm so pleased the coffee morning was such a great success. Events, parties and themes are the way to go I think.

And - you won't be surprised to hear - I saw those lanterns in Lakeland when I was shopping with my sister yesterday. And nearly bought them, but had just spent all my money on a cake box.

N. xx

Janette said...

well done on your coffee morning it sounds fab, as do the halloween lights, as for strictly - aren't we all fans it's one of the rules of being a girl isn't it....

Cowboys and Custard said...

What no muffins!! Have you sold that muffin I was coveting?
I am so glad the sun shone for you on Friday and your MacMillan day was a huuuuge success!
I am a firm believer in Elderberry cordial.. I bought a small bottle of Sambucca essence at vast expense last winter.. along with ecchinacea.. if you start swigging now you should be cold free this season..
Re: The ballgown.. did you sew all the sequins on yourself?
Michele xxx

Cowboys and Custard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JuliaB said...

Oooh i've been meaning to make some of that myself! But come to think of it, I can't remember seeing any elderberries around here htis year - which is very bizarre. Glad your coffee morning went well. We had one too! x

julia said...

Great work on the Macmillan morning, well done you two!
I'm thinking I will still allow you to be my friend even though you don't have your own log man, I'm kind like that - besides where else could I get my waffles from!
Sorry to have been so long away from the cafe but Jane has produced a little boy and isn't quite up to cafe visits just yet!
Julia xx

driftwood said...

love the idea of you dancing round the house -perhaps you should have a ballgowned themed event at the cafe Anna !

Dragonfly said...

Great news about your successful coffee morning!

Your cordial looks very medicinal in that bottle!

Things Hand Made said...

I tried naking some of that and it started to ferment! I was just forced to turn it into wine! so beware. Well done on the coffee morning.

Kitty said...

Ooh, who got voted off this week? I missed the Sunday show!

Does the elderberry cordial taste good or is it purely 'medicinal'?

congratulations on a successful coffee morning for MacMillan.


Ragged Roses said...

I''ve often wondered about making elderberry cordial, I love elderflower cordial.
Well done you on the coffee morning, such a good idea to have involved your coffee.
I'm off now with thoughts of you twirling round your living room in all your sequins and feathers ...

mollycupcakes said...

Well done sweetie on your coffee morning, so glad it all went well and you raised lots of money too.
That elderflower looks yummy I never knew about the ulcer thingy I must get some and give it ago because just of late I've been plaged with ulcers on my tongue and they are very painful and sometimes make it hard to talk lol much the happiness of Ben hehe! peace and quite he says lol cheeky sod!
Loving the sound of the halloween lantens, will have a look in the Bluewater store next time I'm in there. We always have a pumkin it's great fun and something Ben likes to do with the girls.
Catherine x
Ps, thanks for the little note and hanger idea x

Fancy Elastic said...

Looks like you have rather good taste in Gin!

My dad used to make elderberry wine when we were little and you reminded me of the fork method... yes, very satisfying.


Tracy said...

That cordial sounds a treat, Anna! So glad all is going so well...Such festive and exciting days you are having! And super that the Macmillan morning went off so good! Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS)) Oh, do stop by if you get a chance, I'm having a fun giveaway this week :o)

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh glad to hear the coffee morning went well. Wasn't it glorious last week, we were in Devon and so very very lucky with the weather.
OOooohh I start thinking about Halloween mid August ~ absolutely love it!
Alison x

Pinkie Cupcake said...

Cafe looks so inviting, I wish we lived nearer!

Glad all is still going well xxx

Lynn said...

Ooh, I've only ever seen the elderberry syrup sold in health food stores -- it would be amazing to have some FRESH and homemade!! (How's the restricted eating going?)

Attic24 said...

Hi Anna
Your cafe looks to be having such success, I am so very thrilled for you hun. You really deserve it.
I am also chuffed to bits on hearing about your knit and crochet teachers coming to do sessions at the cafe, such fun! I mentioned it to Julia and she said she will come...I was at my own knit and natter on Thursday,I always think of you when I'm there.
Anna do you sell carrot cake at no 9? I made one today, such a fab recipe, i blogged about it, I was thinking of you when I made it too, because I always LOVE a cafe with homemade carrot cake :o)xx
have a great weekend

wendster said...

:) Hi!

Suzie Sews said...

Hope your feeling a little better, the coffee morning looks like good for the cordial...yummy my fav.

Miss sew n sew said...

Well done on the coffee morning your cordial looks delicious getting in the mood for halloween to just bought my two some cute outfits today.

Janette said...


just checking you are still about. Cafe looks like it's going great and the cordial looks fab must try some.


Pretty Practicals said...

Ooh I love elderberry cordial, it brings back memories of childhood days when my father used to make it. Sorry I haven't been to visit your blog for a while, the summer seems to have run away from me too!
Chat soon, Liz

Katherines Dream said...

Hi I am back in the land of please your coffee morning went well and yes, just a little sun does makes us all feel so much better.
I have made elderflower and elderberry wine-both were very nice indeed.
I am at the cottage next week for the fair ! sadly I have broken my leg so may not be able to get in for coffee...but you never know...I amy be a bit more morbile by then, I do hope so as I am so looking forward to popping in for some Cake....can you send me directions from Stow as Katie and I are usless with directions!
Carol xxx

Hillbilly Artist - H. Hinkle said...

I am soooo happy I stumble on your blog ,,,,from another blog. I picked and froze a whole bunch of elderberried and wasn't quite sure what to do with with them,,,,now I know. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Well done for raising so much for a worthwhile cause and having fun at the same time. The elderflower cordial looks fab. So sad Don and Lilia were voted out. I wonder who will be next!

wendster said...

I tried making your lovely muffins a few weeks ago. props to you! they are not so easy, and you made them look SO fabulous and easy.

Pencil me in for a visit, where I will eat my fill of muffins.

Attic24 said...

Hi Anna
Been thinking of you a lot lately, I do miss your blog. Here's hoping life is treating you well and that the cafe is thriving and you're having fun. If you get a spare minute, would love an update...sending love and hugs

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

Hi Anna, judging by the fact you havent written a post for a while must mean that your new adventure is a huuuge success. Well done, just wish I lived a litle bit closer to pop in and sample the yummy cakes you sell! Take care
Claire x

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

hope your feeling better for being home and get lots of rest! Driftwood sent us over to you but it had been noticed that there was no blogging done recently so hope your on the mend !
Lesley x

JuliaB said...

Hi, heard you are in hospital! Hope you get well soon. x

Jude said...

Get well soon! Had got a little worried about you, and missed you so been checking your blog as one of your silent visitors. Take care and time to get better. XX

Lynn said...

Anna, a little birdie told me you'd been in the hospital -- hope you're on the mend and that all is well. Thinking of you...

alice c said...

Hi - Driftwood sent me over here - I am sorry to hear that you have not been well. Sending you good vibes for happier days.

Janette said...

hi, hope you are ok, we have been missing you lots.

take care


Simone said...

I too have come over from Driftwood's blog. I hope that you are feeling better and are on the mend.

lou said...

New to your blog, I have loved reading it! I wish you a speedy recovery. Love Lou xxxxx

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

Hi hun, hope you are feeling much better and taking it easy. Take care...claire xx

Curlew Country said...

Sorry to hear you've not been the best Anna. Glad you're home and sure Rob is taking great care of you. Hope you're feeling much better soon.
You've been much missed.