Wild Abundance

Despite the foraging fails I discussed last week, there is one bright spot in my exploration of wild edibles.

So bright in fact, it’s nearly blinding.

I am on the verge of being inundated with elderberries.

Elderberry abundance
Elderberry abundance

This is even after harvesting flowers for fritters. And some more flowers to dry to try storing apples in dried elderflowers.

Dried elderflowers
Dried elderflowers

I read in Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning that apples packed in dried elderflowers for storage will end up tasting like pineapple! And I couldn’t pass up the chance to see for myself! Of course, I will have to chose to wait until fall, when locally grown apples are available, to actually give this a try.

I am also going to try the Fermented Elderberry Capers recipe in Forage, Harvest, Feast. (Yes, that book again.) The berries appear to be as large as they will get before turning colors, although still somewhat small for “real” capers. The branches are already sagging under the weight.

The weight of the unripe berries are bending the branches
The weight of the unripe berries are bending the branches

Of course, I don’t normally cook with capers, so it remains to be seen whether this will be a good use the berries!

Although … I have yet to use all the ripe berries either. I still have freeze dried berries from two years ago, and berries left in the freezer from last year! And I have produced fermented syrup, regular syrup, chutney, fruit leather and wine. (Not to mention other uses for the flowers, like cordial.)

To think, just a few years ago, elderberries starred on my list of “foraging fails” because I couldn’t find them anywhere. And now I am inundated! I am grateful for this abundance, in the midst of so many other challenges this year.

As June creeps towards July, what are you enjoying in abundance?

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