Elderberries – Takes Me Back

Okay, these shrubs are huge.  When I think shrub, I imagine bushy, low to the ground, reachable… manageable even.  In contrast, the reality of my elderberry bushes are heading-to-the-sky enormous and this is only year three.  On the other hand, I have a huge amount of juicy, aubergine berries to go with my out-of-control shrubs.

With those berries, what will I make?  A perfectly balanced sweet and tart pie with a flaky, buttery crust?  Elderberry syrup for both our mile-high pancake stacks or our viral ailments during the winter months?  Gem-like elderberry jam or jelly for shockingly purple smoothies or homemade bread and butter?  Maybe all three given the amount of berries we have.

The tiny treasures that are elderberries pack a powerful punch in both flavor and health benefits.  My grandmother used to make pies and jams the recipes for which are both on the blog already.







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  1. Felicia
    Posted August 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My grandmother made elderberry jelly every year. It was a sign of the end of summer but we still looked forward to it!!!

    • Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      I know, it’s like seeing Orion in the early morning sky. You watch for it and then once you see it there’s a combo feeling of glad/sad.

  2. Posted August 24, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Mine aren’t ripe yet. I make a tincture out of some of the berries. Put three or so cups into a Mason Jar and cover with vodka. When the alcohol has leached out the color of the berries–you can leave the whole thing on the counter–drain off the juice and add another three cups or so of the berries. I did this three itmes last fall over a month. The resulting tincture was/is amazingly powerful. When anyone tried to start a cold, a tablespoon given a few times a day for a few days knocked it right out. You can also freeze the berries. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride of GAPS (healing protocol) says if you defrost a teaspoon of berries overnight and eat them in the morning, you’re giving yourself amazing protection all winter.

    • Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Louisa! I just made my first batch of tincture yesterday and have two gallons of berries frozen for the winter months. I still have some leftover syrup from last year. Do you have any idea what the viability of a syrup might be? xo, Annie p.s. I’ve loved seeing you over the summer.

  3. Posted November 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really Annie? Picking elderberries in *Khakis* and a *White* blouse?

    • Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey a girl’s gotta look good. But seriously, the photos don’t show that those pants have a huge denim patch on the butt and the shirt is one of Jon’s old ones that I always wear in the garden. Just don’t look too closely!

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