Elderberry Blackberry Wine


I have started to transfer recipes from my notebook to the computer which is a good thing in case of a flood or more likely I lose the notebook. I keep track of what I make and the date so I remember what to do to it when.

I had some dried elderberries and a lot of blackberries so I made up a recipe! You don’t have to use the cherry syrup but I had some in a jar on the counter and I added it in for fun.


Elderberry Blackberry Wine

Makes 1 gallon

1/2 cup dried elderberries

2 cups blackberry puree

4 cups sugar

1/2 cup cherry syrup (optional)

4 tbsp. of actively fermenting blackberry wine (used one that had pinot noir yeast used to start) or pinot noir yeast a pinch.

Water to fill

Soak the dried elderberries in water for an hour or more and then add blackberry puree to it and sugar. Mix well on medium heat but don’t boil. Add the cherry syrup or substitute 1/2 cup sugar and a few blackberries.

Add mixture to the one-gallon carboy and let sit until about 72 degrees. Add the yeast (just a pinch of it since it’s made for up to 6 gallons not one) or the borrowed yeast to start the fermentation.

After about 10 days rack the wine and then let it sit for up to 4 months until fermentation is complete. Bottle, cork and age for 4 months.


Still spinning

The girls went back to school yesterday and I went to spinning club alone! Well my littlest is in preschool for two days a week for a tiny bit but still =6 hours of free time till I get a job next week we hope.

They will tolerate going with me but once they realized there is a playground across the street they can’t wait to get over there instead.

I pretty much horrified the lady in charge with my dyed wool with particles of stuff in it. She can’t stand little pieces of stuff which I understand but I actually think it adds to the uniqueness and character. She would lose it if she saw the book that has instructions for using plastic bags and spinning them with or without fabric or wool to use!

So I am using the easiest spindle to start with the Turkish even though I like the other one better. I am trying to start off right and then get into my own thing once I get more consistent. I also have to wait until after I spin the yarn to dye it which is fine. I wasn’t sure what the correct order was but dyeing it first can make it felt more than you want so to keep it smooth and aerated (that’s not the right word just throwing that in). It is hard to spin white fiber for me since I really want to dye it funky colors but I will see how the spinning first thing goes. I likely will end up doing crazy stuff and spinning tinsel into my yarn soon so who knows.

The easiest fiber to start with is the merino wool super soft or alpaca. I have both of these and the alpaca reminds me of brushing your hair after it’s just dried and it is smooth and conditioned.

Good eating season

I picked Asian pears and Bartlett pears until I was uncomfortable with the height. We have two trees but that is enough for apparently 75 pounds of fruit! They are both semi dwarf trees that are pruned but still they yield a lot of fruit especially this year.

I went to my bi-weekly chicken harvest volunteering and after eating such a fabulous lunch from the farm, took two chickens home and then stopped at another farm and feel like I am in food heaven this time of year. Blackberry or cherry soda, apple juice, chicken with herbs, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Asian pears, Bartlett pears, making local milk into ice cream. It’s so divine to enjoy the fruits, veggies and meat this time of year. I haven’t eaten cow (unless you count some ground beef in March) since I was 12. I am 37. I smelled the beef that was cooking and I knew I had to eat it! I thought it was pork when I looked at it and honestly I didn’t think twice before I ate some with bbq sauce on a bun with three different salads. I know the cow was raised on pasture and lived like a cow. It was delicious.

I have homemade juices, kombucha, soda, wines, meads, chicken, veggies, fruits and sometimes make bread and use our preserves. I try not to take forgranted all that we have. This is the time of year for good eating!