A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Elderberry Bushes

I just went for a walk to the back of our property. These Elderberry bushes are blooming right now. They are a kind of nondescript bush and may not even be noticed if they were back farther in the woods. I think the blossoms are cute. Little popcorn balls. Pretty for a filler in bouquets.
The Elderberry bush or tree as it is also called, is very hardy and grows wild. It can grow quite large and blooms in late spring with small white flowers, which will then produce small dark berries. Elderberry bushes are popular as landscaping bushes. The berries are edible and are one of the favorites of birds, who can eat a lot of the berries if not picked when ripe. This can lead to bright purple droppings on vehicles, which can ruin a car's paint finish. There are several varieties of the Elderberry bush.

So, that's what is staining our deck etc. later in the year....I was blaming the Chokecherry trees in the woods. Probably both are the culprits. When I started planting in the woods, I was pleased to find anything blooming and this was one of the first things that I found. Remember Arsenic and Old Lace....the ladies had Elderberry Wine. Elton John has a song out called Elderberry Wine. Elderberry wine, is considered to be one of the most sweet flavored fermented and alcoholic fruit drinks. It however has got a lower alcoholic concentration and furthermore, it is sweeter than most of the other alcoholic drinks. To make it more appealing to the taste, you could consider mixing the berries with some strawberries, since they both contain the right amount of natural substances that give you the right taste.
The fruits that make this drink come from a shrub that grows in the wild and which is more productive in mid-summer. It does well in moist land and in areas that are fertile, those that have rich soils. The fruits are blue and black, and for the best tasting drink, you should prepare them while they are raw. Do not cook them.
The elderberry wine requires that you choose the berries depending on the results you want to get. You can choose to use the fresh fruits or those that are dried. Either way, wash them in fresh water and mash them, with your hands protected. As for the color, remember that it gets better if you ferment and store the drink in a dark place. Here's a recipe...

Ingredients...3 lb elderberries (remove the stalks)
3 lb sugar
l lemon
l lb raisins (could use sultanas)
½ ounce of yeast
Directions...To remove the berries from the stalks, use a fork.
Put berries in a sanitized bucket and pour on gallon of boiling water. Mash the berries against the side of the bucket then put in the raisins. Cover and leave for 3 or 4 days. Strain and tip the liquid back into bucket; add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Squeeze the lemon and add all the juice (to get the most juice from your lemon, cut it in half and put in microwave for 30 seconds). Sprinkle on the yeast. Cover for 3 days, strain again and pour wine into demijohn (an archaic term for bottle to ferment wine )and leave until bubbling completely stops (for about 5 months). Strain and bottle off. The wine could be ready to drink in about 4 months (if too young leave it for much longer). Has a lovely red color.
I don't think that I'll be making the wine...just thought it was interesting.


OhioMom said...

I love your woodland garden, and I keep forgetting to tell you how much I love that new header photo.

Sue said...

Balisha, These bushes are actually have very pretty blooms. I've never had wine made from their berries, though. You have choke cherries! We used to pick them and make jam out of the berries. I could kill for some now. I was a young girl in New Mexico helping my grandmother and mother pick them. Yummy jam, have you ever had it? Thanks for stopping by for a visit to my garden stuff.
:-) Sue

Anonymous said...

I love the cute blossoms on the Elderberry. Wish I had more shade in my yard for this large bush. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Lynn said...

Sure does sound good but I think I will go buy some!!! Can't wait that long... LOL

Elenka said...

Yes, that IS very interesting....thanks for the info!!

Balisha said...

I really didn't know much about these bushes until I checked them out on the internet.

Barb said...

Balisha, I remember going to my grandmothers as a little girl and picking elderberries. I believe then made jelly or jam out of them.MY grandmother lived in southern MO. I didn't know they grew in this part of the country. Learn something new everyday.