The fog clung to the M62, through Pontefract and was only beginning to lift at Ackworth. On arrival I set off with my plastic bags and wandered around the perimeter of the school's football pitch. This was well stocked with trees and some of them were elders. The dew left behind by the mist picked out hundreds of spiders' webs, each bejeweled and breath-like. I apologised to the spiders as I destroyed their nets to pick fruit.
After the sports ground I bumbled around, sometimes on public footpaths, sometimes not. The only place that rivalled the school for elder trees was the graveyard of St Cuthbert's Church. By the end of the morning I had moved onto blackberries, which are still in abundance.
|This is what 6 lbs of elderberries looks like.|
I crushed the berries in the bucket with a potato masher, added 5 lbs 4 oz sugar and poured over 12 pints of boiling water. On Monday morning I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient. I left this until Saturday 3rd October before putting the wine into its demijohns. This was a rapid job once I had fished most the fruit out with a collander. The amount of water I used was perfect. Its colour is one that I would like to use when painting the new house.