The Miracle Blanket review

When I was pregnant Chris and I attended NCT antenatal classes. During them we were briefly shown how to swaddle a baby and discussed the benefits of it. I don’t think either of us really grasped how to do it properly or realised how useful it could be. I’d tried swaddling Isla a few times, with blankets and even a special swaddle blanket from a well-known brand,  but she is such an escape artist that her arms always came free, so I gave up trying!

As I think I’ve mentioned before Isla has often struggled to get to sleep, and gets over-tired resulting in her screaming the place down, sometimes for hours. It’s not pleasant for any of us! When I heard about The Miracle Blanket I was eager to give it a try, as it helps babies to sleep better and longer. At the time I was willing to give anything a try, and thought I may as well try swaddling one last try.

The Miracle Blanket is made from 100% super-soft cotton and comes in a range  of patterns. I’ve got the solid grey, which suits a lot of other ‘baby bits’ we have. The Miracle Blanket comes in a one size fits all style, with the suggested age use of birth to 14 weeks. It’s unique design ensures snug, straightforward wrapping with no excess fabric (so overheating is not an issue) and it has special flaps to secure baby’s arms.  

The Miracle Blanket is distributed by Maguari, and sells for £19. Usually I would think this was quite expensive for just a  piece of material that you wrap a baby in, but when Isla is screaming the place down  because she is so tired, it is worth every penny!

It comes with clear instructions on how best to swaddle your baby, and offers a couple of tips and tricks. When I first tried it, Isla wasn’t really having any of it. as with many ‘sleep aids’ she seemed to think it was meant for play time instead! I think part of my problem was I would swaddle her and put her straight down and ‘shush’ her hoping that may work.

It didn’t.

The Miracle Blanket

The Miracle Blanket

I persevered though, and changed my style. I cuddled her up in my arms, and sometimes fed her as well. Each time she was asleep within 5 minutes! When we visited Chris’ mum recently we’d had a really long day visiting both our works, long delays on the journey, and Isla’s immunisations the day before, so she really wasn’t a happy bunny. After a while of crying and screaming, and both of us trying the old favourites to get her to sleep I decided to give The Miracle Blanket a go. Chris was amazed and said I was a miracle worker getting her to sleep! Without meaning to sound cheesy I said it wasn’t me, it was the blanket!

The Miracle Blanket works!

The Miracle Blanket works!

Even though Isla is now 16 weeks old I still occasionally swaddle her using The Miracle Blanket if she’s particularly unsettled and struggling to get to sleep. Once she is asleep and settled I will unswaddle her so as to prevent any risk of her rolling over in her sleep and not being able to roll back, and she stays asleep. I think this has vastly improved all of our sleeping and we feel more human for it!

The Miracle Blanket is definitely something I would recommend, and I wish we’d discovered it sooner. If, and when we have another baby I think I’ll definitely use this from the start.

This product was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review, and is my unbiased honest opinion of the product.

A glut of courgettes, plus recipes

As many gardeners will be finding at this time of year, we are experiencing a glut of courgettes! There are so many of them! I’m not really a big fan of courgettes, but Chris loves them, so we tend to grow them on the allotment and at home each year. At home we never usually do too well with them, and although the plant grows, we don’t get any courgettes from them. Last year my lovely mother in law gave us a round courgette plant, which we planted at the allotment and it did really well. So this year we grew our own courgettes from seed. When I say we, I mean Chris, I was busy growing a baby! And wow, this year both the plants at home and on the allotment have done really well.

We have had a glut of courgettes…annoyingly just as we had a really busy couple of weeks! We haven’t really been home much over the last couple of weeks, so our courgettes are more like marrows! We were going on holiday for a week, so decided we needed to do something with them before we went otherwise they’d just go bad. Queue an evening and morning of lots of cooking with courgettes and marrows!

We made courgette loaf (like carrot cake), chocolate courgette cake, and then some ratatouille and courgette & leek soup for Isla when she starts weaning.

The courgette loaf is sooooo nice (in fact Chris then made some more when we got home from holiday to take in to work), the chocolate courgette cake was still really nice, but I think it was taken out of the oven 5 minutes too early, so not perfect.

We still had loads of courgettes and marrows left over, so I gave several to a lady who was coming round to pick up a load of nappies Isla no longer fits into (and we didn’t like anyway – they were part of a nappy cake we were given), and then took several on holiday with us. And surprise surprise there were quite a few waiting to be picked when we got back from holiday as well!!

So below are some courgette recipes to help you out if you’re experiencing a glut of courgettes too! My brother’s lovely girlfriend sent over the recipes for the loaf and cake, but I’ve no idea where she got them from. The ratatouille and soup are from a pdf I was sent when I bought the Fill n Squeeze for when I’m making food for when Isla is weaning.

Meredith’s Zucchini Bread

400g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
300g caster sugar
100g Demerara sugar
3 beaten eggs
200ml sunflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
380g courgettes, grated with skins on
75g chopped walnuts

Two 13x23cm loaf tins

Preheat the oven to 150 C (300 F) gas mark 2.  Butter or oil and flour the loaf tins.
In large bowl, sift flour, salt, bicarbonate, baking powder and spices. Add both sugars and stir well to mix.
Add beaten eggs, oil, vanilla extract and grated courgettes to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
Add walnuts, mix in and divide the mixture between the two loaf tins.
bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1 and 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the tins for about 20 mins before turning out onto cooling rack.

Wrapped tightly in cling film these loaves will keep well for up to 10 days.  Also freezes well.

Courgette recipes

Yummy courgette loaf

CHOCOLATE COURGETTE LOAF CAKE

175g sunflower spread
200g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50 g ground almonds
200g courgette, grated
100g 70% cocoa chocolate, melted (in a bowl over a pan of simmering water)

  1. Heat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan/Gas 4.  Lightly oil the base and sides of a 900g/2 lb loaf tin and line with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Cream together the sunflower spread and golden caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and 2 tbs flour and beat well.  Sift in the remaining flour and fold together thoroughly with the almonds and courgette.  Finally stir in the melted chocolate then spoon into the prepared tin.  Level the top with the back of the spoon and bake for 60 minutes until well risen.
  3. To test if it’s cooked, insert a metal skewer into the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean, it’s ready, if not return to the oven for a bit longer. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely
Courgette recipes

Chocolate courgette cake

Thick Courgette and Leek Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
300g courgettes, sliced
150g leeks, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and thinly slice
1 onion, peeled and thinly slices
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
900ml home-made vegetable stock or filtered water
1 bay leaf

Heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan, add the courgettes, leeks, potatoes and onion and sweat for 3-5 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and a bay leaf
Bring to the boil, cover, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes
Remove the bay leaf. Pulse or purée to a smooth texture in a blender or food processor, blending in batches if necessary

Ratatouille

1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 large tomatoes
1 red onion
Half a red pepper
Half a yellow pepper
Half a small courgette
Half a small aubergine
1 bay leaf
A sprig of fresh thyme

 

Begin by chopping all of the vegetables into small bite size pieces. Next heat the olive oil in a pan then add the onion and crushed garlic and cook together until softened, then add the vegetables with the thyme and bay leaf and leave to cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the vegetables are completely tender.

Finally, remove the thyme and bay leaf before blitzing into a puree. If too thick, add water.

Courgette recipes

The beginnings of ratatouille

Courgette recipes

Ratatouille ready for freezing for when they’re needed for weaning

Isla at 3 months old

It only seems like yesterday Isla was born. I really can’t believe that Isla is already 3 months old! I thought I’d give you an update on what’s going on in the life of Isla Jean, and how much she is changing by the day.

One thing that does my head in is that she doesn’t let me eat yoghurts!! Sometimes I can start eating one but will never be able to finish one before she starts screaming. Other times, she can be fast asleep and I just need to get a yoghurt out the fridge and she’ll wake up! It doesn’t happen with any other food, just yoghurt!!

One of my favourite parts of our day is after Chris has gone to work we snuggle up in bed (shhhh, don’t tell the health visitors!) and often fall asleep. When she finally decides she is done with sleeping and properly wakes up, she looks at me, at first totally confused, but then this massive smile spreads all over her face. It just melts my heart!

Waking up smiles

Waking up smiles

I’m sure every parent says this, but Isla is growing so fast! It took her quite a while until she was big enough for 0-3 month clothing, but I think she’s really only been in those less than a month, and they are nearly too small for her now. I spent the other day sorting through her clothes to see what 3-6 month clothes she has, and what we may need. She’s fine if she’s happy to live in dresses constantly, but if she wants to go to bed she may struggle!! May need to sort that out soon. I also spent some time packing away clothes that she no longer fits in to – tiny baby, first size, new born, up to one month etc. Made me a little sad if I’m honest. My baby girl is growing up too fast!

Isla has turned into a bit of an escape artist recently! We have a Poddle Pod for her, and as she’s grown so much recently we’ve had to adjust how you put her in it. If her legs aren’t over the end, then she will kick her way backwards and ends up hanging off the back of it! She also enjoys sitting up these days. She still needs supporting, but if she is in her car seat and not strapped in (obviously when not in the car!!) or in her bouncer seat then she tries to sit up in it and escape. If she’s sat on your lap and tries to sit up, then she obviously face plants our stomachs! Her other trick is when she’s on her tummy time roller, her legs get a bit over excited, and she kicks forward so again ends up face planting the blanket in front of her, but continues to keep trying to crawl! I have to stop myself from laughing and pick her up, as she does tend to get a bit annoyed!

 

Escape artist

Escape artist

Sitting up like a big girl

Sitting up like a big girl

She babbles away ten to the dozen these days! It is soooooo cute!! She is such a little chatter box. Often though she will start chatting but it usually only last 5 minutes or so before she starts to get really annoyed ( maybe that we don’t understand her??) and will then start crying! Still pretty cute though!

I think I’ve mentioned before about Isla’s sleeping. If she is alseep on us, she will quite happily sleep most the night. She will usually sleep from 9pm (at the earliest, usually closer to 10.30pm) and will sleep through til 7am-ish or so. She will usually stir for a feed once or twice, but will usually stay pretty much asleep while feeding!!

Much to my annoyance she seems pretty camera shy! She has the most beautiful smile, however as soon as I get my phone out to take a picture she stops smiling. She can be chatting away, get my phone out to record it, and she stops. This is the reason why most of the photos I post of her are of her asleep. Maybe it’s just my phone she doesn’t like. Sometimes when I’m feeding her, if I play on my phone at the same time she will kick my hand away that is holding my phone until I stop playing with it! Someone likes us to be paying her attention!!

Not smiling, but at least looking at the camera!

Not smiling, but at least looking at the camera!

On Friday we had out first day apart. I went into London for the day for a hen party, and left Isla at home with Chris and his mum. I’ve got to admit I did have to stop myself from crying when I said goodbye to her at the station, and Chris was on strict instructions to send regular photos and updates! I’m not keen on having another day away from her for a while though, I missed her so much!

In the last week or so Isla has started trying to roll over. She hasn’t quite mastered it yet, as either her arm or her bum gets in the way, but she really tries! I’m never going to be able to take my eyes off her again!! I was convinced she was going to roll over for the first time while I was in London, thankfully she didn’t!

She’s been starting to grab things a lot more often these days. Including my hair! On Saturday morning when chatting with Chris and Jan about what they got up to with Isla on Friday, Jan showed me Isla’s new trick. She has a soft elephant wrist rattle that her Uncle Matt and Aunty Caroline bought her, and Isla has now figured out how to grab the rattle. She holds on to it for a while, shaking it, and then throws it away and finds it funny!

One of the things that both Chris and I had agreed on before Isla was born was that we really didn’t want her to have a dummy. Well that went out the window! Isla seems to like sucking on things, and would quite happily feed constantly if you let her due to this. She often has her hand, or ours in her mouth and sucks on that too. We started off with just giving her a dummy when she was distraught, as we found it would calm her down, and would often then help her get to sleep. Now we use it slightly more often, though still only when she’s screaming the place down or we’re trying to get her to sleep.

I think she’s going  to be an independent missy though, as she likes to hold her dummy in her mouth herself (most the time) and when she spits it out, quite often she will get  really moody if you try to put it back in for her. If it is still near her mouth she will bring her hand up to her mouth to try to put it back in, but often doesn’t realise that it’s the teat that needs to go in her mouth so will just suck on the plastic bit!!

So, this is a not so short update on what Isla is up to these days. I’m constantly amazed by her development and each new things she does. It is amazing to watch, and I am so totally in love with her! This little girl has made me so soppy!

11 weeks with a baby

So I thought I’d do a little update on life, and how the last 11 weeks have been with a baby.

Isla

I really can’t believe Isla is 11 weeks old already, it’s going too quickly! It really doesn’t seem that long ago that she was born, and she is growing so much. There are some days when I feel like I’m winning and we’ve mastered things. And then there are other days when I feel as though I’m having a good day if both Isla and I are dressed! We’ve been getting smiles from Isla since she was about 5 weeks old, and they really melt your heart, and can make you forgive her when she’s been screaming all day, or keeping you awake at night! She’s just starting to take more notice of her hands, which is so cute to watch. She just makes a fist and stares at it for ages, and then smiles or laughs as if it did something funny! Oh how I wish I knew what she was thinking at times like that (do babies think? I mean about things other than food, sleep and the fact they need a nappy change!?) She’s just started trying to sit up, if she’s lying on our legs and you hold her her hands, she pulls herself up. And then grins, as if to congratulate herself. Dare I mention sleeping? Well she can often sleep from 10/11pm until about 4/5am, wakes up for a quick feed, and then will go back to sleep again for another couple of hours, feeds again around 7ish, and then snoozes until 10am. Sounds wonderful? There’s one catch. She will only do this if she is sleeping on us! Chris isn’t confident enough to have her sleep in our bed (I know, I know, we shouldn’t do it!) so we take it in turns. I have her until 4/5am downstairs and she sleeps on me on the sofa, and then Chris comes downstairs and has her until he goes to work, so I can get some sleep in bed. She’ll then sleep or snooze in bed with me until we get up, usually around 10ish (on the odd occasion until much later!!) We’ve tried putting her down in her moses basket, but more often than not she wakes up either straight away, or will sleep for about 30 minutes before she wakes up. I know we need to get her in to the habit of sleeping down, but I’m often so tired, that I don’t have the energy to spend the whole night up and down with her. I guess for the sake of a week or so of little sleep it might be worth it, but I never quite manage it. Plus, I love snuggles with my baby!! She’s not always going to want to snuggle up with me like that, so I’m kinda making the most of it while I can.

Isla having cuddles with Grandpa, and meeting Great Grandad for the first time while at Mum and Dad's.

Isla having cuddles with Grandpa, and meeting Great Grandad for the first time while at Mum and Dad’s.

Garden and allotment

These have taken a bit of a back seat in recent weeks, we’ve kinda been busy with other things. Chris however, did really well when Isla was only a few weeks old, and when he was with her, and the odd occasions she would sleep down, he would pot on a lot of the things we were growing. This now means that we have flowers in our garden and court yard, as well as some up at the allotment. Our greenhouse is doing wonders, and means that things are growing well. We’re in the process of ‘improving’ both the garden and the courtyard. We’ve started digging up the lawn (when reading lawn, think moss and weeds with about 5 blades of grass) before Isla was born and were hoping we would get it finished one weekend, but then she decided to make an appearance that Sunday, so it still isn’t finished!! Yesterday we also started painting one of the walls in the courtyard, it’s about 3/4 done with the first coat, and then will need a second coat, but that hopefully shouldn’t take too long. It’s really brightened up the courtyard. Mum and Dad have really helped out at the allotment. When they come to visit we usually end up making a trip down there, Isla usually gets fussy so I end up feeding her while Mum and Dad dig lots of weeds etc! We’ve already dug up our garlic, which we’d planted over the winter. Our onions, unfortunately, have been eaten by who knows what. I think possibly a badger. We’ve got leeks, potatoes, cabbages and courgettes growing up there at the moment. I decided I wanted some flowers up there, so we have a row of lavender on the border, and then a selection of hardy perennials on the bed in front of it (we got plug plants through the post, but we never labelled them when potting on, so I know what plants we have, just not which are which!) We still have loads of weeds. Our apple tree doesn’t seem to have done much this year, not sure why….possibly over run by weeds! Our raspberries also haven’t done much, we’ve maybe had a handful of them, but again, probably over run by weeds! I do feel like we’re getting there with it though, one step at a time though.

Courtyard wall

A work in progress

Out and about

We had our first weekend away from home when Isla was 4 weeks old. We went up to Mum and Dad’s for the weekend as it was Mum’s 60th and Dad was retiring, so they had a party. It went….OK. Some nights she was fine, other nights she was awful! We’ve also been to Chris’ Mum’s a couple of times, most recently to her new place in Broadstairs. Again, they’ve been fairly mixed, I think she gets a bit over tired with the long car journeys. We had a lovely trip to the beach when we were at Broadstairs, but she slept the whole time and didn’t see any of it! We’ve had lots of friends and family come over to visit, which has been lovely, and they’ve usually brought lunch or dinner with them (always welcome!) Chris has been away for a stag weekend and left me and Isla to fend for ourselves. As you can see, we both survived! Big respect to single parents by the way, I honestly don’t know how you manage it! I was exhausted come Sunday afternoon. It really made me appreciate how much Chris does for us. Isla has also been to her first birthday party, she slept for a lot of it, but so did the birthday girl (it was a 1 year old’s party!)

 

We’ve probably done loads more stuff, and I was going to say other bits, but I think this has turned into quite a long post already, and having said that a little lady doesn’t sleep in her moses basket, she has been asleep in it for the last 2 hours – I think it’s the heat – but is just starting to stir, so I need to sign off.

Moses basket

Sleeping in her moses basket

Breastfeeding Dilemma

So after 2 months of breastfeeding I feel as though I’ve finally cracked it, but now I’m posed with a breastfeeding dilemma.

Breastfeeding is going really well, both Isla and I seem really happy with it, and are getting on really well. She’s putting on weight and remains on the same percentile as when she was born.

As mentioned before, I suffer with Chronic Daily Headaches. I had to stop taking all my medication when I got pregnant, so as not to affect Isla’s development. My headaches got significantly worse – whether that was because I couldn’t take any abortive medication or not though I don’t know. After never having a single sick day due to my headaches in all my working life, during my pregnancy I have over 14 sick days. I was referred back to neurology, they gave me medication that I could take during pregnancy, but they didn’t do much. I saw my neurologist again a month after Isla was born and he put me on a new type of medication.

I started this medication (Topirimate 25mg) on the Tuesday, with the aim of increasing this to twice a day after 2 weeks, and doubling this again in 2 months if needed, with a follow up appointment with neurology in January.

On the Friday evening I then realised that the diarrhoea Isla has been experiencing since Wednesday morning was due to my new medication. I phoned my GP surgery on Monday morning for a telephone consult, but missed his call back as I was driving (get me!!!) so went back on the list for a call on Tuesday.

A GP from my surgery called me and we discussed what was going on. He gave me two options

  1. Stop taking the new medication, suffer with headaches and continue breastfeeding, or
  2. Continue with the new medication, hope they work and I don’t get (as many) headaches, and stop breastfeeding.

He believes all medications to address my headaches would have the same effect on Isla. This wasn’t the answer I was expecting. I was expecting him to suggest another type of medication.

Now, I don’t want headaches, but I also don’t want to stop breastfeeding. By the end of the phone call I was quite upset. By the time I’d thanked him for calling me back and hung up the phone I was in floods of tears at the prospect of having to stop breastfeeding. I’d just congratulated myself that morning on learning how to breastfeed while lying down, and now I may not be able to do it any more. I spent the rest of the day in tears on and off whenever I though about it all.

There’s a number of reasons why it upsets me so much:

  1. It sounds to stupid, but it feels as though I won’t be her mum any more. I could just be anyone to her if I stop breastfeeding. Only her mum can breastfeed her, anyone can give her a bottle
  2. I’ll miss that big smile she gives me when I get my boobs out to feed her! Her eyes light up and she gives me a big smile. If she’s upset beforehand, then breastfeeding really comforts her, and she’ll pause part way through to give me a smile, almost as if she’s saying “thank you for making me feel better mummy”
  3. I feel as though I’ll lose part of the closeness and bond with Isla that breastfeeding gives us
  4. I’ll feed as though I’ve failed her
  5. My headaches have ruined things again. I can manage holidays, friend’s weddings, weekends with friends, even parts of our honeymoon being ruined by my headaches, but the fact they are now ruining my relationship with my daughter too is too much to bare.

So many people have been so supportive since this bombshell was dropped, saying I’d done so well to feed her thing long, they will support whatever decision I make, bottle-feeding wont negatively affect Isla at all, etc. but it doesn’t make me feel any better to be honest. I just want someone to come up with a magic answer that means I can have no headaches and still breastfeed.

Someone suggested that I express milk and then freeze it as it will last a good few months in the freezer and then I can mix and match with formula milk. This made me consider becoming a cow for a month or so (after ensuring the medication was out of my system first) so that I can store up loads of milk for Isla, but I realised that it wasn’t the milk I wanted Isla to have. I wanted to breastfeed her, not bottle feed her with my milk, but couldn’t see a way around this.

My parents were on holiday at the time, but I emailed them anyway to let them know what was going on. They emailed back suggesting I contacted Breastfeeding Network to ask for advice. I emailed them in the middle of the night, and had a response from them when I woke up in the morning. They couldn’t advise on what medication I could take, but suggested I contact my neurologist again and ask for a phone consult, and if he did prescribe another medication, then she would look into it for me to find out how it could/would affect breastfeeding.

So now a week later and I’m still waiting for my neurologist to call me back as he was on holiday last week. I’m hoping something positive will come from it, because I’m really not sure what I’ll do if they say all the medication could/would affect Isla. Though I guess it’s worth trying them in case one of them doesn’t have an effect on her at all???

What are your thoughts? Have any of you ever had a similar problem? If so, what did you do? Am I being selfish in not wanting to stop?

Breastfeeding

Isla breastfeeding

Bottle-feeding

Nanny giving Isla a bottle

The secret to stopping a baby from crying

It’s true, I know the secret to stopping a baby from crying!

 

We seem to have the odd night, maybe once a week or so when Isla just isn’t happy at all. She will cry and scream for hours and nothing we do will comfort her. It breaks my heart. We’ve tried cuddling her, swaddling her, feeding her, changing her nappy, changing her clothes. We’ve been out driving, we’ve walked around the house, we’ve bounced on the birthing ball, we’ve even tried a dummy which is something we didn’t really want to do. Sometimes the dummy works if you swaddle her and bounce at the same time, but often she will only settle for a short while and then carry on screaming again.

I met up with a friend for coffee the other week and Isla started fussing while she was holding her, and she let me in on her secret that works with her daughter. I told her she was insane and that there was no reason why that would work. But she reassures me that it does work, and yes, it is insane and there is no reason why it would work. She has even told the nursery staff at the nursery where her daughter goes and they agree that it works.

So what is the secret?

Singing Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday

Picture taken from http://harperschoice.org

Huh!?

Yup! Sing Happy Birthday and it seems to settle Isla, and various other babies it seems. If it doesn’t work at first, try a bit more enthusiasm. It may just be the tune, as I’ve changed the lyrics when singing it to her when I’ve needed to get Chris to pass me the remote, or get me a drink or something – as long as you sing it all to the tune of Happy Birthday, then it still works!

Don’t believe me? Give it a try and let me know how you get on with it!

 

P.S. Isla is currently asleep in her moses basket – I know, it won’t last for long! But she is making the cutest noises in the world, totally sounds like she is singing to herself! I think I might try and record it so I can play it to Chris when he gets home from work!

Elderflower Cordial Recipe

I absolutely love anything to do with elderflower! Love it! So over the last week or so I’ve been picking elderflowers, and here is an elderflower cordial recipe I’ve used.

  1. Dissolve 1.5kg of caster sugar in 1.5 litres of water over a heat. Once the sugar has all dissolved, take it off the heat and let it cool.
  2.  Finely slice 2 lemons, and put them, pips and all, in a 3.5 litre container (bowl, pot, whatever you have).
  3.  Add roughly 25 elderflower heads to the large container, as well as 50g citric acid (you can buy this from a pharmacy)
  4. Add the cooled sugar syrup, stir well and cover for 24 hours
  5. Sieve it all through a muslin and decant into sterilised bottles.

This elderflower cordial recipe will keep for approximately 1 month, if you want it to last longer however, try adding 2 Campden tablets to the mix. Campden tablets are generally used in wine and beer making and can make your elderflower cordial last for 2-3 months.

If you pick you elderflowers, but don’t have time to make your cordial straight away, then free them as soon as you can before they start going brown. You can then add them to your sugar syrup straight from the freezer.

Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Lots of lovely elderflower cordial

 

Tastes great with fizzy water, or if like me you love your cocktails try adding a bottle of prosecco to a large jug filled with ice, lemon slices and mint, and then add some elderflower cordial to taste. Yum!!