Claire and I went on our usual (shortened) Hetchel Wood walk on Saturday afternoon, 29th September, with a variety of plastic bags. As well as elderberries we were on the look out for sloes and brambles to use in gin and crumble respectively. It was a pleasant amble in mostly sunny weather - there is something entirely pleasing about autumn afternoon sunlight cascading through a forest.
We picked most of our elderberries in the regular field, thought continued foraging down the length of Kennel Lane. Once I got my eye in, elder trees were easy to spot, even when they did not bear any fruit.
Between us we gathered one full plastic bag and one two-thirds full. I was confident that this would be sufficient for a double batch. At home I started stripping the elderberries at 4:25 pm and did not finish until 7:10. It is a tedious task made bearable by Radio 4. I have found stripping the berries into sandwich bags aids their weighing.
|The elderberries in their bucket, in the dark.|
If you want to see how the first bottle of this turned out, click here