(Thank you Corner Viewers for sharing your thoughts, continuing with our tradition was the vote, and how about "together" for a theme next Wednesday?)
Early summer around here smells of elderflowers. The sweet fragrance of the lacy, cream-colored blooms fills the road to town we drive each day, this time of year with the windows down, breathing in the elderflower beginning-of-summer scent of our hills.
Over the years I've made several recipes with elderflowers, and with the berries too. The lovely elderflower syrup, for example, though it turned out that my kids don't like sweetened drinks, so I stopped making it. Elderflower fritters, though it turned out my kids don't really like sweet fritters. I made elderberry jam as well, though it turned out that the cook felt it was too much work. This year, though, I've found a winning recipe that makes everyone happy: strawberry and elderflower cheesecake, which condenses the flavor of early summer in a summery dessert.
I got the idea from a Danish friend on Instagram who made elderflower and gooseberry jam a year ago - mmm! I don't grow gooseberries - they aren't suited to our Mediterranean climate - but didn't I have lots and lots of strawberries this year, just as the elderflowers came into bloom? Didn't we discover cheesecake last summer?
Elderflowers from our woods steeped in strawberries from the garden made a wonderful sauce for our first cheesecake of the season - a summer-infused berry and flower cake, which we ate as dessert on our terrace while the hot sun set behind the mountain, green with summer life.