I've had a jelly making adventure here on Dogwood Lane that I've been eager to tell you about. How can making jelly be an adventure you may ask? I'm here to tell you that this mundane household task can be an adventure for sure if you have to trek through the wilds to find your ingredients and then climb down a cliff to retrieve them! Now you're impressed or you should be.
OK, So I didn't do the trekking or the climbing my son did but you should still be impressed. These little gems are what he was after - Elderberries. They grow wild on the sides of the canyons around here and it can be a task to get enough to make anything with so I'm giving Zack a shout out here.
HerbWisdom.com touts the benefits of elderberries as an herbal cure for colds, flu and bacterial and viral infections. I don't know a thing about that but, I do know that Harry Potter is pretty impressed by the power of the Elder Wand in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Elder Wand is made from the wood of the elderberry so let's get our magic on!
This is what I had after stemming and washing, not really a whole lot to work with. These are so tiny and don't taste like much on their own as they are very astringent. I needed to get the juice from these tiny berries. I've made jam most of my life but I've never made jelly it just seemed too fussy and time consuming to me. Zack convinced me that this would be fun and I'm up for the challenge.
An internet search yielded little in the way of recipes for elderberry jelly but jelly is jelly so here goes. Gentle heating and mashing to extract the juices.
I did not possess jelly bags so I made my own from a fat quarter. Quilting stash to the rescue!
|My adorable kitchen twine holder, isn't it cute?|
|Elderberry pulp. Gorgeous color!|
The next morning two stainless steel bowls of elderberry juice ready for jelly making.
Until next time,