Happy 2011! I don't want to jinx myself by writing this post, but it's been in the hopper since the summer, and I thought January of the new year would be a great time to talk about the health benefits of your own totally local elderberry syrup. I haven't been sick yet, and I'd like to think that it's due to a few tricks to staying healthy. One of them being taking a spoonful of elderberry syrup every now and then when I think I'm running low, or when people around me start to get sick.
This summer I had a bit of an elderberry obsession. I found scraps of time to bike around my neighborhood sussing out where the elderberry bush grows. My own two little sambucus canadensis plants have miserable, and now I know that where I planted them was not optimal. Elderberries like swampy lands, their feet well in the water, face in the sun. Once I started looking, of course, I found them everywhere. Even on my property, on the edge of the pond, being choked out by alder bushes. I've since trimmed the alders back, and come spring I will transplant my two unfortunate troopers to a prime spot all cleared out: nice and wet, super sunny. I hope one day to encourage a whole passel of elderberry bushes down there, but in the meantime they are all over my immediate neighborhood for the picking.
|Elderberry production line.|
|Fair warning: they will dye your fingers.|
Then take the juice, measure it and add an equal amount of honey. Simmer it until the honey and juice are combined and look syrupy. And that's it. Seal it in a jar, keep it in the fridge. No canning required.
|Fave kitchen tool. Potato masher. Or berry masher, depending on the season.|
Some other good elderberry posts:
Picking Berries in California, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
Elderberry Jelly, Simply Recipes
Respect Your Elderberries, David Lebovitz
Just a little something to keep under your hat until summer! It's really not that far away.