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Friday, August 26, 2011

Elderberry FUN

A few years ago, at the recommendation of some Mom's group friends, our family tried Elderberry Juice to help with prevention of flu symptoms and better overall health.  We did this regularly for some time but honestly I just got out of the habit of making it for everyone and then it set.  

However, that short introductory to Elderberries got Marion thinking that we did indeed have elderberries around here somewhere...growing wild!  Why these thoughts came to him this year, I have no idea, but he decided to do botanty research and figure it out. 

LO and BeHOLD, he found Elderberries!

This particular patch is along the side of the road going out west to Crystal Plains.  I also found another patch going south to the Boxum's place from that same road.  And Marion also said that there were some over on the Berl Seam's quarter by his folks place.   So we have lots of Elderberry plants around.  And the ones today looked like they were just beginning to ripen.  

Since Marion was so excited about his discovery, I packed the kids up and we went Elderberry picking:

sorry...the lighting was just not right...let's try this again...

better...but now I can't get them to look at the camera and smile...ugh...

Jonny...get back by the bucket and look at me!

OK...we're done!  
Anyway, we brought the Elderberries home, and per the instructions on one particular website (sorry...can't link it cuz I looked at so many I don't remember which one it was) I used a fork to comb the berries off the stems.  THEN the big debate came as to if I really had to pick out all the stems and green ones or if they really could stay in.  In the end, I did the best I could and went with it! After washing, and washing, and washing the berries, I boiled them, sieved them, strained them, and then made jelly out of them!  (I did go ahead and water bath the jelly jars - sometimes I just invert the jars - but since we definitely don't want to risk any spoilage on these we water bathed them.)

Based on our initial tasting, the Elderberry jelly tastes an aweful lot like grape jelly...with just a little twist!  But we like I just might go back out there in a few days and see if the rest of the berries are ready yet!