One of the joys of seasonal eating is that many ingredients can be found in hedgerows - they can be foraged. I have a number of Elder trees bordering my garden which are currently in flower - masses of tiny white flowers that hang in sprays which will develop into elderberries later in the year. The sweet fragrance of the flowers will always mean the beginning of summer to me.
The flowers have a short season from around late May to mid-June and it is best to pick them on a warm sunny day, choosing the heads with buds that have just opened. It is the pollen that gives the distinctive aroma and flavour.
These tiny flowers have a number of health benefits and can be used to treat conditions such as sinusitis, colds, flu and bronchitis. They are believed to aid with constipation and act as a diuretic. Dried flowers can be infused to make a tea which is a source of Vitamin C and quercetin, a flavonoid with powerful anitoxidant properties and believed to reduce cholesterol levels.
.Most of us will be familiar with Elderflower Cordial which makes a refreshing drink when diluted with water. The flowers can also be made into wine, as can the berries which appear later in the year. They can also be added to fruit tarts and crumbles and also to cake mixture to give it a light summery scent. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously broke with tradition by having and Elderflower and Lemon wedding cake last year - it looked and sounded delicious.
I based my Elderflower cordial on a recipe from Jamie Oliver which includes lemon and honey. It does also contain a lot of sugar but as it is diluted, this isn’t too much of a problem. I am not usually a drinker of sparkling water but it does this make this feel more special, like drinking a sparkling wine.
Apart from light, one of the most important factors in creating photographs is visualization. Having an idea in your head from the outset of how you want an image to look is the best starting point. This applies across most genres of photography from Landscapes to Products and it is usually a case of knowing how to use light to achieve that scene in your head. A Landscape photographer will wait hours for the right light. They are also dependent on the elements so may not always get what they hoped for, simply because the weather was not playing ball. They often, however, end up with something unexpected and, in many cases, this will be better than what they had visualized.
In a studio setting the light is far more controlled and achieving what you want on any given day is pretty much guaranteed. I still prefer to work with natural light wherever possible and, at this time of year, it is a lovely crisp light which works throughout the day. I know how the light changes throughout the day and can plan my shoots accordingly.
I had visualized all of these images before I shot them and they turned out exactly as I had planned - the right light, the right props and the freshest ingredients. I am very happy with the results.
Its a short post this week, I am afraid but, as always, thank you for looking.
Until next week