September 2, 2010

Berries Abundant

I found this little bird nest in the raspberries while picking some the other day. It's the perfect jam season right now. Red and golden raspberries are abundant. Jan and I made swirled jam by making two batches and alternately filling the jars with each color.

Last week was elderberry week. Andrea picked some to make wine with her dad, and Daren helped me pick a fair amount on the premise that he'd get a jar of the finished product. I never mind a little barter here in the countryside, especially if I get help with the prickly, outdoor part. Unlike raspberries that can be eaten off the bush with fervor, elderberries have a funny taste that comes out best as a jelly or syrup. They are poisonous in large, raw quantities, but perfectly safe when cooked. The right-side photo is of elderberries, but the other is of pokeweed, a non-edible berry of the same color.

Also, since plums are in season, I canned them in light syrup with whole cloves and a touch of maple liqueur. They will be saved for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. The deep purple globes floating in the jars look gorgeous!


  1. A jar? I would not be that dumb! I negotiate for percentages. It just so happened that my negotiated percentage ended up being a single jar. Just needed the record straight.

    "Ain't a charity event" as I say, haha.


  2. okay - swirl jelly sounds AMAZING! (and you said yellow raspberries were just for city folk...) also, i can't wait to try your elderberry jelly when you come visit! poke can be medicinal, when the berries are dried and swallowed whole in small quantities (one a day). it's the seed that's poisonous when chewed, and the leaves and roots have toxins too. however, poke berries are mostly used for rheumatoid arthritis, so it's not for common ailments or general health. therefore, wise to steer clear unless under the guidance of a trained herbalist.

  3. I concur.

    And as for Daren and his wisdom . . . you better be prepared for dumbness unless you want to buy sugar and take two hours to whip out all the jam. And that doesn't include washing dishes and driving around to pick up jars when the season is closing for their sale. Your one-ish hour of berry picking is well worth the single jar you might get. Trust me, no charity included.