Skull Gang Foraging Club: Flower Fritters
Grandpa Charlie used to make Elderflower wine each Christmas. He drank it throughout the day, until he fell forward out of his chair and slept on the rug. Pop never drank Elderflower wine, but when he got drunk he would take off all his clothes, fold them neatly in a pile, shit beside a tree, and sleep under it.
Elder is pretty versatile. You can make champagne, using only the yeast present in the flowers. The berries can be used for wine, and the flowers for cordial. Judas hung himself from an elder. Totally unrelated, but kind of interestingly, Judas might have been part of the Sicarii, a group of Jewish assassins who murdered people with small knives hidden under their cloaks. Militant Jews are nuts. If you burn Elder you will see the devil, and that super powerful wand that Voldemort stole from Dumbledore’s grave was made of Elder. It didn’t do him much good.
Elder grows everywhere. They are tall, bushy shrubs with cork-like bark and dark green leaves. The leaves usually grow in groups of five, and they stink. They begin to flower in early summer, and by the end of June are covered in clusters of tiny, creamy-white, sweet smelling flowers. The berries will begin to appear around August.
Although early in the season, there are plenty of flowers about now. They are mainly growing out of reach, but we filled a bag in no time at all. We wanted to eat them straight away. The best way to do this is to make the flower heads into fritters. It’s super simple. All you need is some flour, vegetable oil for frying, and an egg. Mix 4 or 5 tablespoons of flour, the egg, and 1½ cups of water together to make a nice thin batter. Heat up enough oil to fry the flower heads. Keep a small length of stalk on the flowers so you have something to hold them with. Dip the heads in the batter, then place in the oil and fry until golden brown. The batter should coat all the flowers evenly, letting them fry separately and giving you rad, crunchy, flower shaped fritters. Leave them to cool, and then cover with icing sugar and lemon juice. They’re pretty fucking ace.
And if you do make some wine, and end up asleep under a tree, the strong smell of Elder has been suspected of having mildly narcotic effects. So, free drugs too.