Garden / Kitchen

Dear Grandma, Can I tell you about my Elderberries?

Dear Grandma,

Well, the moment I’ve been dreaming about and waited on for so long has arrived and I’m about to go out to harvest my first crop of elderberries.  When I do, I’ll don a white, long sleeved shirt that Jon tossed into the rag pile, only it won’t go down to my knees like it did when I was little and I’ll only need to roll the sleeves up once.  We used to have metal buckets when we tromped out to the fields behind Uncle Bob and Aunt Marjorie’s house, but mine all have wood ash in them from emptying the wood stove so I’ll bring a basket lined with some parchment paper so that the berries don’t fall through the bottom.  I don’t remember ever picking through the berries with you once we got home.  I suspect that I made myself scarce at that point and you and mom did the lion’s share of that work with me running into the kitchen for a snack to take out onto the patio where I sat in some much needed shade and watched the daddy long-legged spiders build nests and listened to the background music of you and mom catching up and telling each other stories.

I’m going to make your pie first, but I have a lot of berries so I’ll also make some jelly and syrup.  If you were here, I’d love to share some with you over a cup of tea, but I guess we’ll have to wait on that until I see you again in the future.


elderberry picking

picking elderberries for jam and syrup

cooking with elderberries


  • Betsy
    March 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for this inspiration. I’ve never done anything with my elderberries, but now that I’ve freed up my future abit :), I’ll have to be sure to harvest them and make something yummy.!

  • Annie Mahle
    March 6, 2013 at 10:30 am

    We are both still laughing in the office as I’ve shared the ‘free future’ comment with Elizabeth too. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, creative woman that you are. Just finished the last of our Born to Swarm in my green smoothie this am!

  • […] pack a powerful punch in both flavor and health benefits.  My grandmother used to make pies and jams the recipes for which are both on the blog […]


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