June 20, 2013
Delights: Tech Goods, Elderflowers + Elvis


Blog friends!  So sorry you didn’t get to see this yesterday — my usual Thursday Delights didn’t post on time because of some technical difficulties, but it’s all sorted out now.  How was your week?

Awesome shared web-hosting.  Super gigantic shout-out to my web-hosting service provider, Lunarpages, who saved the day when a major malfunction yesterday had my whole site down!  I have worked with Lunarpages since 2003, and my site was only down once before — when they were moving the server across the state for a couple of hours — so their track record is impeccable.  My current site is a pretty complicated custom word press website, and it took some doing to make sure it all kept functioning as it should when adjustments were made after the crash (the crash had nothing to do with them, but they sure hopped to it when I called for help!).  Lunarpages‘ tech support is fun, cheerful, and expedient, and I can’t recommend them enough, if you are looking for a web hosting service.  Incidentally, if you use this link and enter the code aff15off, you’ll get 15% off your hosting service.  Bonus!


The keyboard that isn’t.  In other techy-news, my mind was totally blown when my blogger friend at Strange & Charmed shared her scoop on portable keyboards for summer travel, and I caught site of this projected one! Yep, this little box projects a keyboard on any flat surface.  Magic!  I think I’m going to need one of these so I can type on my iPad on the go.


Elderflower Cordial.  A few years ago in NYC, I tried St. Germain’s for the first time.  Many people prefer it as a cocktail with sparkling wine, but I actually like it chilled by itself.  I am just in love with the sweet flavor, and have been wanting to make a non-alcoholic cordial for creating spritzers for quite awhile.  I knew elderflowers grew in the northeastern part of the states, but wasn’t sure where to find them.  I was so excited when I spotted some driving down a country road in Ohio this week!  It was the perfect time to harvest them, so I had admittedly been on the lookout.  Below is my reduction of several recipes I found online, with a shout-out to Hunger & Thirst, who shared a recipe very close to what I made.  The cordial is still infusing at the mo, but I should have some ready to drink with sparkling water over the weekend.


Elderflower Cordial Recipe
1.5 cups of elderflowers plucked from their stems (make sure you know how to identify them when you’re foraging!)
3 cups of sugar
2.5 cups of water
1.5 small lemons or 1 large lemon
First, locate some elderflowers — tiny, cream-colored blossoms — and pick about 10-14 heads.  You can identify them by the blossoms and by their distinctive leaves; a google image search can reassure you.  You’ll want to remove the tiny flower blossoms from their stems (the stems are toxic), and collect them in your measuring cup.  This part was the most time-consuming (I recommend sitting down), but if you’ve ever tasted elderflower cordial or liqueur, you’ll understand that it’s well worth the effort.
Boil the water and sugar in a medium saucepan, until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Then, add in the flowers, remove from the heat, and cover.  You can let it infuse for 24 hours or up to 4 days.  I take a clean spoon, stir the infusion, and taste it every 12 hours or so, to decide when it’s to my liking.  (Always use a clean spoon to prevent any bacteria from forming in your infusion.)  Right now, it’s on about 48 hours, and I intend to leave it one more day.  It will depend on your taste, and the potency of the blossoms you find. 
When you’re done infusing, put the saucepan back on the stove, bring to a boil, and add in the juice from 1.5 lemons.  Allow it to cool, and then use a cheesecloth to strain out all of the the little flowers.  Pour into a bottle and refrigerate.  Enjoy with sparkling water or sparking wine — the perfect summer spritzer!

Such a Night by Elvis.  I was in the car a lot this week on my way to and fro a gazillion kids’ photo shoots for a series of events I did with creative-minded, Cleveland-based toy store Playmatters.  To keep myself amused, I was checking out channels I don’t always listen to on Sirius XM, and landed on the Elvis Presley channel  (how’s that for a milestone?  Elvis has his own channel!).  Anyway, despite the fact that I was totally obsessed with my Dad’s Elvis 8-tracks (which he copied onto cassette for me in the 1980s), I hadn’t heard Such a Night before, and I love the unusual flow of the verses and chorus.  Check it out — but be warned, it might make you want to boogie.


Hey, remember when Elvis was on a stamp?  Actually, remember when stamps were 29¢?!

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