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Sambucus nigra ssp. caeruleaSambucus mexicana or Mexican elder.


We’re nearing the end of elderflower season in the sunny parts of Los Angeles. Little green berries are forming where flowers once were. A season or so ago I made a lovely elderflower liqueur that we enjoyed with sparkling wine on hot afternoons. This year I wanted to try my hand at something sweet and versatile like a syrup. While rushing home one sunny afternoon in northeast LA I spotted some bouncing yellow flowers off in the distance. In typical last-minute fashion I hastily pulled over to the side of the road, repurposed an old bag from my car and trekked into a small elder grove to avoid street exposure. Thirty minutes later and happy with my harvest of elderflower umbels I headed back home in high hopes. It was a cool night and I left the flowers outside in a shady covered area to tend to other things. The next day I awoke from dreams of elderflower flavored cordials, lemonade and cocktails to retrieve my bounty. “Oh, look at all these tiny dancing orange dots on my treasure…wait, maybe I am still dreaming?” Nope, nope, not a dream. These are just thousands of little bug larvae trying to make a run for it. Can’t say I blame ‘em. Sitting with this information I thought about how to wash away the worms but ultimately landed on compost. So, there must be a lesson here, right? “Early bird get’s the worm?” No, that’s close but not right. “We’re all worm food in the end.” Too dark. Perhaps my takeaway lesson should be not to do things hastily? Like with any (food) project follow-through is everything. Time is an ingredient that can’t be ignored. If I could do it all over I would have shaken away any bug friends, rinsed the flowers and stored them in an airtight container in the fridge with a dry cloth. Ideally, I would have just processed the lot of them that same night. Oh! How clear the answers are now. While I contemplate shady spots across town to forage more flowers in, I’ll leave you with these delightful recipes from smart people who do things the right way: #elderflowerfail2017

*The Spruce came up with an educated Elderflower Syrup I see mixed into meyer lemon juice for a springtime lemonade.

*The graceful Emily Han teaches us about all things Elderflower on her website and in her Wildcraft Cocktail Recipes.



::Good Clean Fair Food For All (Los Angeles)::



Slow Stories & Updates

+The Hass Avocado Was Born In La Habra.

+Make Dates Shake Again!

+It’s Hip To Camp.

+Hipcamp @ Angeles Crest Creamery

+Food & Wine Shines A Light On Lasa.

+Adventures In Reducetarianism.

+Adventures In Rastafarianism.

+Phoney Bologna.

+Bagel School: Montreal vs. New York

+A Very Italian Asparagus + Artichoke Pasta Recipe.

+The CA Approach To Fighting Fruit & Veg Waste.

+Hella Tight w/ Less Rust.

+Chia Sauce.

+Primal Alchemy In The LBC.

+Limonadiers vs. The Bubonic Plague.


Slow Events & Activities  

+Larchmont Charter School Edible Schoolyard Dinner w/ Former AOC Chef (4/21).

+Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent LA Screenings (4/21 – 4/26).

+Beautiful Beats w/ The SFPLA (4/22).

+7th Annual Spring Melt for Food Forward (4/22).

+100% Whole Wheat Fresh Milled Sourdough Bread Class (4/23).

+Elysian Valley Fruit Share (4/23)

+Spring Hike With Our Favorite The Goats (4/23).

+Food, Identity & The Media: A Conversation With Cool People (4/24).

+Free Winemaking Lecture in Whittier (4/26).

+A Very Wild Fermentation (4/29).

+LA Times Presents Chef’s Fable – On Food & Film @The Wiltern (4/30).

+Taste Of The Eastside (4/30).

+Disco Chop Volunteers Needed @ LA Kitchen (5/2). #discochop

+Feeding The 5000 (5/4). #zerowastela

+Symposium on Food Systems & Public Health (5/10-5/12).

+Sweet Preserve Contest @ The Old Town Newhall Farmers’ Market (5/13).

+Community Wood-Fired Pizza Bake in Westchester (5/13).

+Local Urban Farm Tour: Sarvodaya, Huerte del Valle & Amy’s Farm (5/20).

+The Fight For Fair Food (5/25).

+Dinner With Frida K. (6/3).

+Good Food Gala w/ The LA Food Policy Council (6/15). *Early Bird Tickets Available


Slow Food Nations

+Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO (7/14 – 7/16).
    +A National Slow Food Event that gathers leaders, and eaters for a weekend of tasting, touring and talking.
    +The largest Slow Food Event in the US! 
    +Open and free to the general public.
    +Block Parties, Demos, Tastings, Classes, Lectures, History, Culture, Day Drinking & More!


Slow Job Opportunities

+Big Mista’s Is Looking For Kitchen Help.

+R&D In Burbank.

+Clark Street Bread Is Looking For A Bread Baker.

+Eataly LA (what!) Is Looking For A GM.





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