I have noticed from comments posted on Facebook that many readers are not as far along in their seasons as we seem to be here. In my part of the world the lilacs and violets are over but I did manage to put up one small bottle of lilac honey.
Last year I tried roses and that was a smashing success. That post is here. This year I wanted to try lilac and lavender ( who knows I may try mixing a tablespoon of all three and seeing what a bouquet tastes like ). The lavender will be later in the summer but for now, if you still have lilac available, it really can not be any simpler and what better way to hold on to the energy of Beltane?
You will need:
Jar ( I used a clean 8 oz. mason jar )
I have written before about the role flowers play at Beltane/MayDay. It is so nice to see life returning each spring and flowers are Nature’s way of stimulating reproduction in plants so that the cycle can begin again next year. Keep an awareness and gratitude for Life as you prepare to prepare your ingredients.
Use honey that flows well. If need be gently warm your honey to thin it down a little in a pot of heated water. You will want to transfer the honey to a non plastic container first if you are going to so this.
Additionally, if possible choose a local source for your honey so you have the best chance of a good quality product.
The lilacs around me this year seemed to be less aromatic than in previous years. Weather conditions will have an affect and what is great for some plants is not good for others. If you get to choose, use your nose and pick the best smelling lilacs you can ethically access. Try trading some baking if the best lilacs are in a neighbours garden.
Years ago I planted elderberry trees in the hope that I could make elderberry syrup in future years. I managed to give it a try three times and each time I got the woody flavour of the stems into the syrup. For that reason I am going to suggest that you take the individual blossoms off the stem and only use the blossoms in the honey. That is not to say that you can not add a complete grouping of flowers, just that my preference is to separate out the stem sections.
Fill the jar with blossoms and add the honey. A knife might be needed to circle the inside edge of the jar and release any extra air trapped within the blossoms. Let sit for 2 – 6 weeks before trying. Turn the jar upside down for a few minutes every so often to remix the contents.
Last year with the roses, I left the blossoms in the honey for 8 months before straining out the petals and that was just because, we were getting to the end and the honey was started to harden. The petals were a bit chewy and so I would probably also choose not to eat the lilac petals but keep them in the honey for the longer period of time, especially with this years lack of a strong aroma.
Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!
Lilac Honey from My Kitchenwand.