The Wonders of Elderberry

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This weekend I picked 6 gallons of Elderberries from my volunteer tree that God gave me.  It took a great deal of time and energy last year getting the field mowed down.  It became overgrown for at least ten years and there was everything from Blackberry and Multi-Flora Rose, Thistle, Milkweed and Poison Ivy to my wonderful Elder Tree.

Last summer I only picked 3 gallons since I could only reach a small area due to all the Multi-Flora Rose and Blackberry reaching out and ripping me apart.  This spring I got the rest of that mess cut down so I could harvest the entire tree.

I could go on and on about the wonderful Elder Tree.  In the herb world, Elder is a favorite.  In early spring it’s blossoms are harvested and made into Champagne, in the summer the berries are used for making everything from jelly to cold syrup.  You’ve seen it in the store labeled as SAMBUCUS Syrup.

Sambucus is the Latin name.  The berries should be used ripened and cooked.  If not they can make you very sick.  They are super easy to harvest.  Cut the clusters off and freeze in a ziplock bag.  Once frozen just shake the bag and the berries will fall off the little stems.  Pick out the stems and cook your berries.  Don’t worry if you can’t get all the stems, once you cook the berries you will mash and strain them and save the juice.

Elder is loaded with potassium and Vitamin C and helps to boosts the immune system.

Here is my Elderberry Cordial for winter colds and flu.  I always keep it on hand or fix some up in a hurry when cold season hits.  It only keeps for a short time in the fridge so I only mix up a small batch.  Of course you can leave out the Brandy.

Elderberry Cordial

1 Qt Elderberries

1 C Water

1 tsp size fresh ginger

1 tsp whole cloves

Brandy

Honey

Combine berries and water.  Simmer low for 40 min’s and mash as they cook.  Strain pulp and seeds.  Return juice to heat.  Add ginger, and cloves simmer for 15 min’s and strain again.  Measure the amount of Elder Infusion and add equal parts of Honey and half part Brandy.  Stir well until honey melts.  Cool and bottle.  Store in Frig.

I did try making Elderberry Jelly….but it didn’t jell.  I wasn’t sure if my famous no-pectin Blackberry Jam recipe would work…it didn’t….at least not yet.  But I don’t think it’s going to set-up.

No worry.  It will taste great on ice cream as a syrup!!!  And now that it’s been pressure sealed, it will be ready for cold/flu season!

Mmmm it’s so good.

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