SmithFarmsWest.com

OUR JOURNEY FROM CITY TO COUNTRY

I am lucky to be able to pick elderberries and blackberries along the edge of a neighbor’s orchard. My friend came along and we had a blast walking and picking berries on a cool-ish summer morning. We set out with the essentials for berry picking: gloves, scissors/clippers (to snip off clusters of elderberries), bags and buckets, paper towels, and hats.

When I was researching elderberries, I found this link helpful!

After picking, I couldn’t wait to get home and decide what to do with all of these berries. After washing and laying them all out to dry, my kids were begging me for breakfast. Deliciously ripe and sweet blackberries are amazing and they became really tasty when put into homemade buttermilk pancakes! I was having a major crush on these berries, it’s no surprise when the pancake batter made itself into a heart and shared the love. My kids were in awe and my son kept saying, “Mom, it tastes just like cake!”

Here is the buttermilk pancake recipe I used.

After eating way too many blackberry pancakes, I had batter leftover. I whipped up a batch of elderberry pancake muffins! Yum!

Elderberries having amazing nutritional and medicinal uses, but they are also tasty and juicy! Just last year a neighbor introduced them to me, I didn’t even realize they grew in my area! They must be picked when they are dark, not green and are easily snipped from the tree in clusters. I wash them while gently pulling them from the stem into a colander. I end up doing a few washes to be sure they are clean and all bugs and other unwanted items are out of the mix!

Now completely stuffed with blackberry pancakes, I set out to find the ideal elderberry jelly recipe. I found one and began the work of sanitizing jars and boiling/juicing the berries. I have yet to invest in a canning set so I used the inversion method of canning. Basically, all items need to be hot and when jars are filled and closed up, flipped upside down and left for 20 minutes or so, you end up with sealed jars. The unfortunate part was that I made a big OOPS and didn’t use enough pectin, so I now have some really delicious elderberry syrup. I give away most of what I make, but also plan to eat it with my yogurt and oatmeal on a regular basis! A friend also suggested adding it to sparkling water (I might add some vodka as well).

Here is the recipe I used for the elderberry jam (syrup in my case): https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/elderberry_jelly/

At the end of the jelly/syrup making, I had one more berry task: blackberry cobbler! Still completely stuffed from pancakes, it was difficult to imagine wanting to eat in a few hours! I knew I’d be able to manage though when I saw a blackberry cobbler recipe from the Pioneer Woman!

With this easy cobbler recipe, I even had time for a nap before friends came over to help us gobble this up! Luckily, there was a little leftover for me to have for breakfast!

The berry love affair may be over for now, but a neighbor just gave me a box full of peaches. So, back to the kitchen, I go!

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