Crabapples and Elderberry Tonic

And then there were CRABAPPLES!! What a treat. Arrived home from mulberry picking this morning to find these treasures in the porch, such good quality (thanks Deborah).

IMG_1486

Tomorrow I will make jelly and paste from them, maybe even some crab-apple lemonade.

I neglected to take the camera with me this morning when we went mulberry picking at a beautiful B&B in New Norfolk. It was so hot, but under the massive mulberry there was a cool breeze and plenty of shade, just perfect for picking. The mulberries have all been frozen now – they will be used to make Mulberry Monkey Bun in cooking classes.

The plums are now in the pots, par-cooked on their way to jam and worcestershire sauce.

IMG_1485I’ve made that elderberry ‘tonic’. It contains loads of honey – and it would undoubtedly be great for coughs and colds. Elderberries, and indeed elderflowers, have been referred to for thousands of years as the medicine chest of the country folk. It tastes quite delicious. I will post the recipe tomorrow.

Elderberries don’t break down much as they cook, no matter for how long, so the only way to grab every bit of goodness from them is to squeeze with your hands (though most people wouldn’t bother – may well not want to anyway, my hands are stained purple).

IMG_1488IMG_1490I’ve made a batch of cordial syrup too – always refreshing. I will reboil my last batch with it as I thought it needed a little more acidity.

So another day of preserving tomorrow. There must be plenty of we preservers about. On the way into Glenorchy on Sunday, there were people everywhere by the roadside picking/’foraging’ apples and blackberries.

Again on the way out today, just travelling into New Norfolk, I counted at least 6 people picking blackberries.

How lucky are we to be able to do so?

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