~~~~~~~ Uncommon Plants for the Garden Bring Much Joy ~~~~~~~
Even though my garden is big by city standards, there’s never enough room for everything I want to grow. One of the strategies I’ve developed is to grow things that I can’t buy in a store.
Enter Elder and Josta, two delicious nutritious berries (pronounced yusta-berry). Make juice, pies, jellies. Dip the huge elderflower in (soy) milk, drudge in cornmeal and lightly fry up a delightful Flower-Fritter!
For a more adult type of fun try alcoholic infusions. Easier than pie to make, much easier.
Method: fill a big glass jar with flowers or fruit, pour the liquor or wine over and cover. Let it sit awhile. One week, two weeks a few months, there’re no hard and fast rules. When you’re ready strain off the flowers, or use a tomato press to squeeze every last bit of juice out of the fruit.
When I make a concoction out of both flowers and fruit I infuse each one separately. This way I’m straining flowers and squeezing fruit.
Last year I made an Elderflower Gin that was out of this world. A splash of tonic and you have the essence of sunshine in a glass.
This year I’m basing my beverage on the Whiskey Sour. First I’m infusing the flowers in whisky. After two weeks I’ll strain out the flowers and I’ll add the Jostaberries. This I’ll put through the tomato press (or use a food mill) so all the dark, tangy goodness from the berries will stay in my beverage.
Below find an articles on the horticultural properties of Elder trees and Jostaberrie bushes, and an article that details some of the mythical and magical properties of the Elder.
~~~~~~~~~~ Elder in Folklore and Magic ~~~~~~~~~~
Source: The Practical Herbalist
Elder is a relative new-commer in world folklore, holding her place most prominently in European history and mythos where she has been associated closely with the Celtic faerie lands and those similar otherworldly realms of various European traditions. Elder is sacred to many goddess-traditions and especially to the goddesses Venus and Holle. Most popular among pagan traditions modern and old is the myth of the Elder Mother, a spirit who inhabits the Elder tree and holds the power to work a variety of magics in this world.