Friday, 30 June 2017

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Strawberry-Picking


Tis' the season for strawberry-picking in Denmark. The season typically starts mid-June and last 2-3 weeks. Depending on how cold the spring is, if it has been very warm, the strawberry-picking season can starts already at the beginning of June. The strawberry-farms usually sends out an email or notification on their website, on when the strawberries would be ready for picking.

We love Danish strawberries and it is really fun to pick them yourselves. Many strawberry farms all over Denmark are open during this time for the public to pick strawberries. It is a nice activity for a family to do together. At most of the strawberry farms, it is free to eat the strawberries, while you are picking them. Thus, you can literally pick and eat to your heart content :-) It cost 15 DKK per 500 g to bring the strawberries you pick home.

This is one of the strawberry farms that we go to:


You can see this signage from afar, so it is pretty easy to drive there and find it. Here is the address:

Jordbærcentret Vejborggaard
Roskildevej 203
Freerslev 3330 Gørløse
Tlf. 4827 8635
Tlf. 2097 8635
post@vejborggaard.dk 


The farm is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm for strawberry-picking.

There are ample parking available, so you don't have to worry about where to park your car, when you arrive.

July 2010 (J:1Y4M)

Here is how it works when you arrive a Danish strawberry farm. Take your containers to the staff for weighing before picking your strawberries.


After weighing the containers, the staff will give you a slip of paper and the row number where you could go to pick the strawberries. We usually ask the staff for the row where the sweet strawberries are located. They are usually by the specie name called Polka.


If it is a big farm like this one, you have to drive your car all the way down to the row of strawberries and park it just beside the rows of strawberries.

July 2010 (J:1Y4M)

 and you can simply start picking :-)


and eating...

July 2010 (1Y4M)

picking...


and eating...

July 2010 (1Y4M)

your toddler may also enjoy walking up and down the rows...

July 2010 (1Y4M)

when your child is a little older, he may enjoy picking the strawberries himself...


and observing it close-up...


Tips for strawberry-picking:

Some tips before the trip:

1. Apply sun screen and bring along a hat.


2. Bring water to drink, as it can be very hot and sunny.

3. It can be a good idea to wear dark clothing, as you don't want the strawberries juice to stain your clothes.

4. And lastly, don't forget to bring along the containers/baskets for the strawberries. (If you really have forgotten like we did the first few times, it is alright, you can just for some old boxes there, or simply use plastic bags)

In this picture, we went there with my friend from my mother's group. It brings back such good memory.


Here are some other strawberry farms with the same concept:

Holmevang Frugtplantage
Frederiksholmsvej 3, Sengeløse
2630 Taastrup
Telefon: 51 30 75 58/ 40 17 16 36
http://holmevang.rm2.dk/
(The strawberry farm is across the road from the farm house)

Ama'r Grønt
Kirkevej 58, 
2770 Dragør 
(We also harvested potatoes here)

Thursday, 29 June 2017

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Montessori Activity: Elderflower Sensory Box


Age: From 1 year old

Activity Duration: 5-10 minutes

Objective(s):
1. To stimulate and develop the sense of smell and touch.

Materials:
1. 1 transparent storage box approx. 40 x 30 x 16cm
2. Some elderflowers

Directions:

1. Simply place the elderflowers in the box.

2. Let your child touch and feel the texture of elderflowers, hold them and smell them.

3. Describe the feeling, the touch and the name of the sensation to your child, for example, ask your child doesn't the flowers smell good.

Additional Information:
29 June 2017 (1Y1M13D): We plucked some elderflowers off a main road side. As it is polluted by the traffic and not suited to make into elderfower cordial, I decided to use them for the sensory box for Baby FECS.

Before I made this sensory box, she was very eager to play with these flowers from those we plucked from non-polluted trees. When I finally made this for her the following day for her to play to her heart's content, after touching and taking out some of the flowers, she quickly lost interest... the novelty was perhaps lost already.... grrrhhhh!!!

References: 

http://nurturingnaters.blogspot.com/search?q=sensory

 29 June 2017 (1Y1M13D)

29 June 2017 (1Y1M13D)
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Homemade Elderflower Cordial/Hyldeblomstsaft


Ingredients:
1. 30 big heads of elderflower blossom
2. 2 kg sugar
3. 2 litres water
4. 3 large organic lemons in sliced
5. 3 TBS citric acid (50g) (optional) ("Citronsyre" in Danish)

Directions:
1. Pick flowers away from traffic pollution. Remove stems, and shake away any insects. Don't rinse them, as it takes away the flavor from the flowers.

2. Boil water and sugar to just below boiling point.

3. Stir in lemons, citric acid and elderflowers, making sure that elderflowers are fully submerged.

4. Let cool on the kitchen counter for 12 hours. If you wish for a stronger flavor and color, continue to let it steep in the fridge for 1-2 days.

5. Use a sieve over a large bowl and strain the flower liquid.

6. To remove any last residue, fill them into bottles using a funnel lined with a filter cloth. 

7. The cordial is ready for use - dilute with water or fizzy water. You can add ice-cubes and lemon slices as desired.

Video Demonstration:



Storage:
1. Store bottles in the fridge. It can last for 30-40 days.

2. You can also freeze it down in the freezer in ice-cube trays or containers.

Uses:
1. Also delicious in vinaigrette - mix with wine vinegar, a touch of mustard, salt, pepper and a light olive oil, and pour over a salad of courgette, lettuce and broad beans.

2. You can also freeze them as homemade Popsicle for the children without diluting them.


References:
https://www.meyersmad.dk/lav-mad/opskrifter/hyldeblomstsaft/

http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/elderflower-cordial?img=1

http://www.valdemarsro.dk/hyldeblomstsaft/

https://www.dr.dk/mad/opskrift/hjemmelavet-hyldeblomstsaft

https://www.dk-kogebogen.dk/opskrifter/visopskrift.php?id=4574

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMIfx4MuHOQ

https://www.foodtv.dk/video/1_tcioxvhx/hyldeblomstsaft-frisk-og-laeskende-sommerdrik

https://lonelandmand.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/hyldeblomstsaft-opskrift/

http://www.kvalimad.dk/page/hyldeblomst-saft-hyldeblomst-drik-hyldeblomstsaft/uuid/df7419a1-4f7c-11e6-843e-f1226953a0e3


Additional Information:

The elderflower trees are all over Denmark, and they bloom during late June and early July, ready to be plucked and made into elderflower cordial. This is one of the Danish childhood's activities that Danish kids grow up doing and experiencing.  

J learned how to make elderflower cordial at his scouts and requested me to make this with him. He considers it a Science experiment :-) He brought me to the places where we can pluck elderflowers. First we found them in Virum along Lovgardsvej. Then we found a elderflower tree near Sorgenfri Church. We also found elderflower trees in Slotsparken. And finally on the way home, we found two elderflower trees along the way home away from the traffic, near the cycling lanes "down the river valley" in Lyngby.

So we have been plucking elderflowers after I picked him up from the after-school care for the past two days. Daddy FECS came along yesterday at Slotsparken. It was a blessing that he was there, as the trees are too high and hard for J and I to reach, so Daddy FECS could help to pluck the elderflowers for us.

But being a Singapore born city girl, after being in Denmark for 17 years, this was the first time I dared venture into making elderflower cordial with our Little FECS though, and after much pestering from our Little FECS to do this with Mommy!!!

After trying, I realised that it is actually very simple.

J was very excited when we made it together for the first time. As we had so much elderflowers, I made a second batch last evening, and there, the novelty was gone :-( J wasn't too enthusiastic to help me :-( This is my boy!!!

We gave a bottle to a friend, who was happy to receive it :-)

J taught his concrete-jungle-born Singaporean mom how to spot an elderflower tree, which he learned from his scouting.

An elderflower tree in Slotsparken

 We spotted a elderflower tree that is not polluted by the traffic on the way home from school :-)



Elderflowers blossom close-up.



 27 June 2017 8(Y3M23D): J plucking an elderflower head.


1. First, bring to boil 2 litres of water.

 2. Add 2 kg of sugar i.e. 2 packets of sugar

 3. Wait for it to boil to just below boiling point and until all the sugar dissolves.

4. In the meantime, cut the stems off the elderflower heads and shake off any insects. 

Do not wash and rinse them, as it will take away the scent and flavor. You can't avoid some tiny insects remaining, but they will all die in the boiling water and syrup solution.

5. Slice 3 large organic lemons.


 6. Add lemons into the pot. Reduce heat. If you wish to have a longer lifespan for your elderflower cordial, add the citric acid ("citronsyre" in Danish) now. If not, it can keep for 30-40 days in the fridge.

27 June 2017 (8Y3M23D)
7. Add in the elderflowers, making sure that they are fully submerged.




 8. Cover, off heat and let it cool for 12 hours on the kitchen top.

9. Here is how it looks like inside. Thereafer, if you wish to have a stronger flavor, continue to let it steep in the fridge for 1-2 days.

10. This is how it looks like after being cooled down overnight. 

11. Use a sieve to strain the elderflower cordial.


12. To remove any last residue, I fill them into bottles using a funnel lined with a filter cloth. 

They are ready to be consumed :-) Simple add a small part of elderflower cordial and dilute it with a glass of water to drink. 


You can also freeze it up undiluted to make elderflower popsicle :-) Our kids enjoy it very much. I normally mix 1/2 elderflower cordial and 1/2 water to make the popsicle though so that it is not too sweet, but it is still sweet enough.

You can add elderflower as dressing to your salad too :-)

Come autumn, you can pick wild elderberries to make elderberry cordial. Here is a wonderful post and recipe I have found:
https://suzanneaskham.com/2013/09/15/recipe-elderberry-cordial

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

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Oven-Baked Cream Potatoes (Flødekartofler)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1. 1kg potatoes peeled and sliced thin
2. 2 onions minced
3. 250ml cream (piskefløde)
4. 100ml fresh milk (optional)
5. Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degree celsius.
2. Add potatoes, onion, cream, fresh milk, salt and pepper in an oven-proof dish and mix well.
3. Bake for 30 mins or until potatoes are cooked and the surface look golden brown.

Additional Information:
J requested for this Danish dish and I made it for the first time today. It tasted like the good old cream potatoes :-) Sorry no picture to show :-( With an impatient baby on the side, we were too distracted and hungry to take a picture. I adapted from the recipe here.

References:
http://www.louisesmadblog.dk/floedekartofler/
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