It had been more than 30 years since I saw elderberries
until this summer.
Suddenly there was elderberry jam at the roadside
stand where I stopped to get tomatoes.
They were selling products made from elderberries
Then on recent trip to Longwood Gardens I saw these...
tart little berries that are quite labor intensive to
However, it took me back to my childhood.
I grew up just yards from Penns Creek.
In between our home and the Creek was what
you might call a swamp.
Well, we did anyway.
When Mom wanted to know where we were going
to play we would tell her we were "going to the
swamp"...or wherever our play site happened to
be that day.
In this swamp were tons and tons of
My mother is very frugal and was even more
so then, as a pastor's wife and stay at home mom.
We tried our hand at many canning and freezing projects.
Some that were very successful and repeated were
corn, peaches, pickles, peas, limas and cherries.
Some one time deals were
Ketchup(really didn't work out!), butter and elderberries.
While I don't remember much about the project
itself several things have stayed with me.
It was very messy.
You could dye a whole mess of fabric with these
They were sour!
It took a lot of sugar to make Elderberry Jam.
And it was time consuming.
I think I remember that there was a lot of
use of strainers and maybe cheesecloth to
extract the juice.
But, I don't think badly of these little berries.
In fact I was very tempted to pick up a jar
of that homemade jelly at the roadside stand.
Just for old time's sake.
Do you enjoy elderberries?