You smell of elderberries, compliment or complaint?


Until a few years ago, everything I knew about elderberries I learned from watching Monty Python movies.  "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." I assumed that elderberries weren't any good.  As it turns out they are delicious and good for boosting your immune system.(  For more info about elderberries and their uses check  here.)  Once I knew elderberries existed I came to realize that they grow abundantly in thickets along country roadsides.  So for a free source of delicious berries all one needs to do is scope out a patch of elder bushes and wait for the berries to ripen.  You might have to fight off the birds however, as they are keen on elderberries.



The stems of the elder are not edible so they need to be removed before cooking.  Removing the tiny berries can be kind of a pain.  I like using a fork, a method you can find here along with information on how to identify the elder bush.  This year I decided to make Pontack Sauce with my foraged elderberries.  Pontack Sauce is sauce that is used like Worcestershire, and improves with age.  Here is a blog post that explains pontack in detail. 
The recipe I used called for:
elderberries
cider vinegar
shallots
fresh ginger
allspice
mace
cloves
black peppercorns

Tastes good right now, so I can't wait to taste it in six months.

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