Category Archives: recipes

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual a la soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Making Elderberry Sparkle

It’s easy, it’s yummy!

Step 1   Locate (Black) Elder Trees and when flowering (sometime in June if you are in the Northeast) On a sunny day collect 3 large heads of fragrant elderflowers. Make sure they’re not going by (you can tell by the browning of the petals), otherwise the finished result will taste nasty! 

Step 2  Shake any insects from the elderflower heads and immerse in 4.8 litres of cold water in a crock (a plastic bucket works well also) 

Step 3  You’ll need one lemon, 750g white sugar, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar   Peel a lemon, making sure not to include any pith. Squeeze the juice. Put the flowers, the lemon peel and juice into a large clean plastic bucket, together with the sugar, wine vinegar, and water.

Step 4 Stir vigorously. 

Step 5 Leave for about 24 hours, then strain and pour into strong screw-topped bottles – fizzy water bottles are ideal. Don’t fill them to the top.


Step 6 Leave in a cool place for 2 weeks and the naturally occurring yeast on the elderflower heads begins to ferment with the sugar creating a very weak alcohol content but lots of carbon dioxide.

Lots of CO2 = Big Elderflower Fizz!!!!

It is possible that one or two of the bottles explode! It seems a little random, it is possible that they’re less likely to explode the cooler.

Step 6 Drink cold. Great for a party on a hot summer’s day. I have heard that if stored in a cool place they can last up to a year! 

Cocos nucifera


The Life Cycle Of Coconuts:

The flesh goes from nothing at all, to a thin layer of clear jelly. The jelly gets thicker and thicker and firmer and firmer as the coconut matures, finally turning into the very dense meat that we all think of as coconut.

As the flesh matures, the juice, while initially perhaps a bit cloudy, gets completely clear, and gets sweeter as the coconut matures.

Parallel to all this the inner shell (not the fibrous outer husk) also progresses from thin and whitish to blackish brown and very tough.

Both the flesh and the juice are delicious throughout the process. I like the flesh particularly when it is gelatinous or just getting firm.

Making Coconut Milk at home:

Place the coconut in a heat-proof bowl. Cover with hot water and stir. Let cool to room temperature.  Place a sieve or strainer over a large bowl. Line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Pour the soaked coconut with its liquid into the lined strainer. Lift the cheesecloth, pull the edges together, and squeeze out the coconut milk. Refrigerate the coconut milk.

The remaining coconut flesh may be air-dryed and/or toasted for other uses. Spread coconut out in an ungreased shallow baking pan and toast, uncovered, stirring often, 30 to 40 minutes at 300 degrees F. until golden.

Recipes to check out

Coconut Cream Pie

Lemon Chamomile Cream Pie

Striking deals!

We are in Flagstaff waiting out the snow storm…in a Barnes and Noble. I picked up this book called “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas and started perusing some of her mouth-watering recipes when I had an idea

“Zoe let’s strike a deal  ! Let’s make and try a new soup every week this Winter and we will also bake new cookie or muffin”

She thought about it and the agreed!  So begins a Monday Soup and cookie tradition! Now we just need to get back home!

This years Favorite Seasonal Recipe


We were over some friends of ours earlier this holiday season for their afternoon tree lighting, and  stollen (a German yeastted fruit and nut bread – delicious!) I was offered some Gluehwein (hot mulled wine). I paused to remember. . .  The last time I had heard that word was as a teenager on a school ski trip to the Austrian Alps where it was consumed in high volumes and under appreciated. 


Besides its popularity at ski resorts! you are supposed to “glow with warmth” once it has been consumed. It is German/Austrian winter-holiday drink. 

Here is a recipe

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (if used freshly squeezed save the peel)
  •  rind of some orange and lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (you can experiment with different types- we like to use honey)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of quality black tea
  • mulling spices
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine. It can also be made with hard cider as a base. 
  1. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
  2. Pour the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water along with the remainder mulling spices. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Add the rest of the juice.
  3. Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the spices and clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)