This is not a Foraging Blog

It’s a blog about finding a better life by choosing a simpler life, and simple practices one can adopt for a fuller, more enriching existence.

Foraging is simply one way I accomplish this.

Another is by daily gratitude practices. Each morning with coffee, I list at least three or four specific things for which I’m grateful about the preceding day. At least one of these is focused on wealth and abundance – of any sort, not just monetary wealth – to help direct attention to abundance and away from scarcity and lack.

I found the idea for this daily gratitude practice in Broadcasting Happiness, and have managed to stick with this habit for several years now. The worse the day, the more creativity required to see the positive side of whatever occurred.

As a side benefit during the stay at home orders, it has helped keep every day from seeming the exact same, because I’m trying to make each gratitude unique.

Here’s an example: “I’m grateful for the wealth and abundance of elder flowers this spring so I could restart my elderflower cordial because I failed so utterly the first time around.”

I am grateful for more an abundance of elderflowers...
I am grateful for an abundance of elderflowers…

See, not only did my cordial never actually ferment (the recipe in Forage, Harvest, Feast said it should be bubbling by Day 3 to 5, depending on the ambient temperature), but I also forgot to stir it daily due to a family emergency. By the time I remembered and went to stir the flowers into the liquid again, there was mold growing on the flowers floating at the top of the jar.

Ugh.

Normally with fermenting foods, instructions say you can simply skim the mold off the top and keep going. Since this was Day 7, and there was STILL no bubbling indicating fermentation, I carefully skimmed the mold, then strained off the liquid. After washing the jar thoroughly, I also rinsed the lemon peels and returned them and the liquid to the jar. I harvested new flowers and plucked them off the stems over the course of the day. They were much harder to remove than if they had sat overnight … or for several days (like last time). But I couldn’t risk the yeast and other wild microorganisms dying this time around!

My efforts have been rewarded by active bubbling, a definite yeasty smell, and murky liquid, all signs that the ferment is finally taking place. I am grateful that the cordial recipe is working this time around, and that I persevered rather than giving up after my initial failure!

...and I am grateful the fermentation is occurring this time!
…and I am grateful the fermentation is occurring this time!

…Oh wait, maybe this is just a foraging blog!

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