Back in September, Mike helped me pick elderberries from a bush he found off the draw north of the farmhouse. From that picking I processed enough juice for four batches of jelly and stored it in the freezer. My thinking was that I would have juice ready for our “Elderberry Fest,” but I knew in my heart that Hallie and Nick might not come. Hallie had just started a new job. Nick was enrolled in college. And they were shopping for a house. And after all, they came in July and we made mixed berry jellies of various combinations. We had plenty jam/jelly on hand – just no elderberry.
Well, I still have those four jars of elderberry juice and no freezer space to store them –and why would I continue to store them anyway? It’s the kind of thing one should dispose of if one isn’t going to use. So, I put one jar in the fridge and three in cold storage in the garage. The three in the garage thawed with last week’s moderate temperatures, but they are still very cold.
So, today was the day. I undertook to make one batch of elderberry jelly.
Now, the town house is not the jelly-making place. We do that on the farm. From stove to pot to jars, I had to make-do. I even had to buy a box of pectin at the off-season price of $4.69 – and that’s when I admitted to myself that the process was not only “iffy” but expensive as well.
Well, I got it done. Not sure it’s going to gel. And I think I put too much water in the berries last fall – live and learn. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll make syrup / elixir with some of the remaining juice.
Here's a picture of Bess and Nell taken last night -- lest you worry that Bess imposes too much on Nell. KW
Vintage Household hint: A pinch of ginger boiled with the onions will render them more digestible.