Sunday, September 20, 2009

In the Land of Purple Fingers...

Madman got a line on some free elderberries. A woman we know, mother of a friend, said she had tons of them, and he was welcome to come pick as much as he wanted. (Her late husband had cultivated them. Word is, he would make wine out of anything. Literally anything. The results were generally excellent, though there was once an unfortunate experiment with tomatoes...)
Madman joyfully went over this morning and picked elderberries. And picked. And picked.
He came home with three grocery bags full. Woohoo!In an effort to avoid those previously mentioned purple fingers, we used forks to strip the berries from the stems.


We filled three 4-qt bowls. Three gallons of elderberries!! What bounty!

There were a few hitchhikers...

Several of those caterpillars turned up. And there was a Japanese beetle.


We mashed the berries. (The Japanese beetle was mashed separately.) Because what would be a better thing to make from elderberries than elderberry wine?


We used about half the berries to start a 4-gallon batch of wine. We won't be able to truly enjoy it until at least a year from now. Long range planning at its best.

I also made a batch of elderberry cough syrup for the coming winter. It smells so good, I can hardly wait to get sick...

8 comments:

Bullwinkle said...

Oh! That is a weekend bonus!! Very cool! (Just don't be in a hurry to get too sick!)

kmkat said...

There used to be a good-sized thicket of elderberry bushes by the road that leads to our house, but the last roadside trimming eliminated it. Sad, but the road is safer now. I had always intended to make elderberry syrup for pancakes and ice cream; maybe some day...

Anna M said...

That's wonderful! Elderberries are a great anti-viral as well. This is something we need to plant up here, just need to figure out where...

Norma said...

Oh, Oh, OH! How I love elderberry jam. And elderberry syrup for the cold and flu season. You are so lucky. I still have one jar left, I believe, of the elderberry cement (meant to be jam) I made a couple years ago...

pacalaga said...

can't wait to get sick? you northerners are an odd bunch. ;-)

Cookie said...

How wonderful! What a wonderful score.

amy said...

I've never had elderberries or elderberry wine. They look good!

Angie said...

So *that's* what elderberries look like! How do you make the wine and syrup? Pretty photos!