Friday, June 18, 2010

fruits (and flowers) of the season

Not everyone would take this as the sign of a good day. Then again, not everyone has a fabulous new kitchen to play in. And play I did. It's been weeks since I've had time for a kitchen I hunkered down and messed up every surface.

First up: elderflower champagne:

After reading Leda's post I was afraid I'd miss my opportunity for elderflower champagne this year. Last weekend in NH the flowers were out in abundance and each time we passed a shrub I worried I wouldn't have a chance to brew. Fortunately, there were still plenty of flowers here in PA and first thing this morning I picked enough for a gallon batch. It should be ready in time for the 4th. Recipe anyone?

Next: Juneberry (aka Amelanchier) wine:

This was a great year for Amelanchier berries...the first time I've ever harvested enough to consider making wine. It'll be a year before we can taste-test the batch, but the blueberry wine recipe I used as a jumping off point is a proven winner. Thanks to Marie for sharing her boffo harvest grounds.

Last game of the day: Juneberry sumac jelly.

Amelanchier fruit is better suited to jelly than jam because of its numerous seeds, and I think the sweetness of the berry calls out for tart accompaniment, hence the sumac, foraged last fall in NH. I may be biased, but I think it's delish.

Sigh. Such a nice day.


At June 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

Sounds like my kind of day! I look forward to taste-testing that Amelanchier wine ;)

At June 20, 2010 at 8:33 AM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Looks like a great day! I'm jealous of your Amelanchier bounty... I held off harvesting my own because of the tour, and the birds and squirrels got much more than their fair share this year! Though I did pass an impressive feast still ripening in Prospect Park...

At June 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM , Anonymous mark said...

What a great day. The jelly sounds inspired! And I am ever glad to be a wine tester. The shot of your kitchen is perfect - what's the point of such a wonderful kitchen except to mess it up?

At July 7, 2010 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Zoomie said...

Ellen, just read about your gin popsicles on Cookiecrumb's blog and I totally need that recipe! It sounds so good! Please, please, please? Can you either post about them or send me the recipe at
Please, please, please!

At July 9, 2010 at 7:51 AM , Anonymous Zoe said...

What inspiring creations! I was mourning the fact that it appears my elderberry blooms didn't pollinate well, so not many berries. Should have made champagne, it seems! Always interested to hear what others are making with wild and foraged treasures... Thanks for the ideas.

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