The Family Lawyer recommends…………..
……….finding interesting things to do to prevent you and your locked-down partner from driving each other mad and heading for the divorce courts come Summer.
Nettle cordial is balm for the soul on many levels and could keep you and your locked-down partner busy, cheerful and refreshed.
First, you go out in the fresh air and forage amongst the undergrowth for 200 – 250g of nettles. Look for the fresh green new-growth. Avoid eating nettles when they are flowering as they can have a certain laxative quality and the plant will then contain cystolith crystals that can upset the urinary tract. They sting so don’t forget to wear gloves!
Gather them in a big bag, take them home and wash them.
Weigh 1kg of sugar and 40g of citric acid crystals (from pharmacies/home brewing shops etc)
Put the sugar, citric acid and 500mls of water in a large saucepan (I use a big jam-making pot) and heat slowly so that the sugar melts gently and does not burn. Heat until the water starts bubbling slowly then turn off the heat – it doesn’t need a rolling boil or reduction.
Add the nettles and give them a good stir. Cover them with a cloth and leave for a week, stirring daily.
After a week, sterilize some bottles, strain and squeeze the liquid out of the nettles, then bottle. The resulting cordial is a gorgeous deep pink so choose some attractive bottles. It has a sweet but refreshing flavour. The citric acid is a preservative and will ensure that it lasts some month. Once you open a bottle, keep it refridgerated.
So have fun, stay sane and enjoy!