Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making Elderberry Tincture and Other Things…


a couple of the jars i made of elderberry tincture today while watching Disney’s Earth video.  i had watched it once before and all i can advise is, if you haven’t seen it, you should! marvelous music, wildlife video and earl ray jones narrates. what more could you ask for! it was fun to sit and tease the frozen elderberries off their stems while watching this wonderful movie! i had harvested these elderberries awhile back and just did not have anytime to do anything with them besides the elderberry honeys i did. so froze the rest of them, right inside my carrying basket, in the basement deep freeze until today, when i took out some more to work with. i still have ALOT in the basket and will be doing more things so stay tuned for when i next have a spot of time. here is a pick of my frozen berries


you can see in that deep freeze some goats milk i have frozen for lovely cheese this winter, and also some jars of lemon balm tea, which will be a ray of sunshine one day soon:) you can just see the elderberries peaking out so you can imagine how many i got that day of harvest! i love that carrying basket! my husband won it at a turkey unlimited event i think


the other day i went to the recycle center and since we don’t have glass recycle here, someone had left all these lovely wine jugs! i grabbed them and they have been riding in my car for a week. i just today have a spot of time to myself to have hauled them inside and given them a good cleaning. i will fill a couple with water and store in our basement for an emergency and just cap and save the others until needed for whatever project i think up i need a container like that for!lol


my friend garrett has a lady ginkgo tree and has always complained about the smell of her ripened fruit. i have always tried to tell him that he shouldn’t cut her down, but after working with her fruit getting the nut out, for an hour, i wouldn’t really want to open any window during the fall if she was outside my window. garrett brought me a nice big bucket full and i spent a nauseating hour hulling them yesterday. they smell like vomit, no kidding just horrid.



but surprisingly, the nut, after being rinsed repeatedly and then baked in an oven at 275 degrees for 25 minutes, taste and smell fine! they did smell some though while cooking i will admit. my poor daughter michelle,  my oven is out so i baked them in her oven and i smelled up her whole house! thanks michelle for putting up with your mom!lol anyway, the nut itself cracks very easily and inside the nut meat is a pretty green. they just taste a bit bland, maybe just kind of green, you know what i mean, and a texture a bit like a bean. i will let you know when i try adding them to different dishes and how that does. for now, i think i will just crack one or two a day and nibble on them. lisl meredith heubner did an excellent article on ginkgo and i encourage you to read it. i followed her lead on this , my first time harvesting them. if for some reason you can’t read the link for her article, she said to tell you to just friend her on facebook and then you could read it under her notes section of her profile.

been busy with the end of harvest also. lemon balm honeys, comfrey, lady’s mantel, pineapple sage, thyme, and the last of the chamomile drying. a few infusions with the pineapple sage, which is very yummy . going to freeze a few of those in the deep freeze for later:) i used a recipe tina sam’s of the essential herbalist blog had posted.  that magazine is invaluable! other than that, been saving a few seeds from the garden some butterfly weed seed, marshmallow and others. dandelion trying to help with the butterfly weed seed!lol


and a little surprise. chickweed planted herself in this old watering can! had to hurridly pull out the copy of herbal roots zine, for march as that issue of this monthly herbal pdf kristine lovingly creates, had chickweed as the star of the month. for those of you who don’t subscribe, i highly recommend kristine brown’s wonderful herbal roots zine!


so much more i could tell you but night is coming too fast these days and i still am trying to get alot done today!

big herbal and honey hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages!


Anke said...

You have been very busy, makes me hang my head in shame. :-) We just went out and had fun today...

Comfrey Cottages said...

oh gosh anke! you have done so many things lately! no shame to you, ever! you are a wonderful woman who is teaching her children such wonderful things and you just rock lady! these things have been over the course of time, i am just catching up here posting:) big hugs to you alway anke:) glad you had fun!

Rita M said...

You are a very busy woman :o)
Wine jugs,many beautiful bottles Leslie - enjoy filling.
Frozen goats milk... how do you make cheese from it my friend?

Comfrey Cottages said...

rita, i will make a post about the goat milk cheese soon for you:) love you:)

janet said...

I'm so jealous, wish I had fresh elderberries. Your jars are awesome, what a great find!

*Ulrike* said...

I always love reading about what you have been doing. It is something that I love, but this year has not given me much time for anything. I had to laugh about the nuts! My hubby has taken an old motor home stove and hooked it up for me outside. That way when I cook fish or anything else with a stinky smell I do it there. I got the idea from my aunt when we visited her last year. She said it's best to cook her sauerkraut outside!!!
Take Care!

Lisa said...

Leslie- You have been a busy bee! I just requested Disney's Earth from my local public library and I can't wait for it to arrive. Your poor, but wonderful, daughter. What a sweetheart to let you smell up her place. The jars look way cool and I love all the information you have to share!

Hugs to you my dear! :)

Comfrey Cottages said...

oh hi janet! thanks for visiting:)
that is a good idea ulrike! next time those nuts get cooked outside!! thanks for the tip:)
good to see you too lisa! i use our library ALOT for movies also. the interlibrary loan system just rocks as i can get all sorts of books that aren't stocked at my library:) you will love the movie:)
great big hugs to all of you:)

Jane said...

I found a great spot for elderberries in 2010 and made my first elderberry jelly. It was divine! I harvested flowers from another spot in early summer of 2011, but when I checked both spots in the fall, looking for berries, there were very few. So few, that I didn't bother harvesting. My feral apple tree and pear tree didn't produce either. I wonder what happened. Perhaps the drought during the hot and humid summer. I hope 2012 is better for fall fruit and berries!