Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Everlasting Elderberry - Part 1

Our elders have gifted us with a huge abundance of berries this year. Thanks to the MAN and the many helping hands of the women in my classes, I have been able to keep up with the task of separating the berries from the stems. I believe I still have enough on the bushes for one more manageable harvest. Those will probably go into the freezer unless another lightbulb appears over my head.
...Picking and Plucking...
...It's a meditation...

Many thanks to Tina from Essential Herbal for the inspiration for this recipe. I wouldn't be me if I didn't tweak it a little bit. hehheh. We tried to incorporate some of the MAN's concord grapes into this recipe, but the seeding process proved to be just too much...We changed the plan after about 1/2 cup. They are in there, but won't be included in the future! I also tripled this recipe. Sensational!

Elderberry- Peach Chutney
1 one medium onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
3 t olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 c white wine vinegar
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

3 c sliced peaches
1 c elderberries
1 TB chopped lemongrass
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large heavy skillet or frying pan, sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil slowly over low heat. Add the salt, vinegar, sugar and spices, and continue cooking until all are well blended. Add the fruits and nuts. Cook over low heat for 12-15 minutes, until the fruit is just starting to release juice. Don’t let it get mushy. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using to allow the flavors to mingle. It keeps for months if stored in a covered container and refrigerated.((Side note: We felt that this chutney recipe produced an abundance of juice. Too much to be called a chutney. At the risk of cooking it down more and losing the nice texture of the peaches, we opted to strain the spiced fruit juices and add some fine brandy to it. Oh yeah. An unexpected but very welcomed Spiced Elderberry Peach Cordial was created ! A perfect graduation day feast addition, don'tcha think?))Oh, there's so much more to share. More recipes and more inspiration. And I'm sure I feel an elderberry giveaway coming. Check back soon for Everlasting Elderberry - Part 2. The harvest continues.

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