Monday, September 1, 2008

Elderberry Jubulation & Education

Have had two harvests of elderberries and two batches of elderberry syrup. We were fortunate that the timing of it coincided with the Homestead Herbalism class so there were quite a few hands to help to strip them from the stems. That tedious job is so much more fun to do with a group of laughing women! See some of the finished bottles below. Hey, did someone sneak a slurp from the bottle on the left??? Looks a might low!

Elderberry Syrup

Simmer one gallon of fully ripened black elderberries ( stripped from the stems) with ½ cup water in a large pot until softened. Strain the berries through a cloth, saving the juice and squeezing the cloth for more! Add ½ oz. grated fresh ginger root and 1 heaping teaspoon of whole cloves to the juice and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Take off the heat, add 1 cup of dry elder flowers to the hot juice and put the lid on. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain out the herbs, measure the juice and add an equal measure of honey. One part honey to one part juice. Reheat slightly and blend well. At this point, I add a few good ‘glugs’ of brandy to insure a good preservation. Pour into sterilized quart jars and refrigerate. Also freezes well.Yummmy!!

Just for the record, I added this picture here because I am questioned about this sooo often, it scares me. These are not elderberries...they are poke berries. Not edible, not useful...not safe. Leave them to the birds. Somehow, someway they are able to be ingested by the birds who will promptly return them to the earth via the windshield of your car, the windows of your house and your laundry hanging on the wash line. Or if you are extremely lucky, the shoulder of that beautiful white blouse you love....All joking aside, poke berries are poisonous. Please don't confuse them with elderberries. 'Nuff said.


kansasrose said...

OHHHH! I still have some of your elderberry syrup. Deeeelicous. especially a drop or two mixed in a glass of sparklin'wine or ginger ale. Gives it a pretty color, immune boosters, flavor of summer. Love the new lables. Will have to stock up on this and more your broths for winter defense shields. (I had several cups of your warm water mix and Vinegar of 4 Thieves to help fight recent bad bug, muxed in some lavender honey...ahhhhhh, sublime!) hooked...b.

I got those pokeberries..made mistake of trying a taste...ewwww.

Susan said...

you better check that syrup, Jenny...she might be elderberry mead by now! That syrup doesn't last forever...unless of course, you add a glug or two of brandy, like I do.


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