Elderberries

Elderberries

Elderberry wine has been in my consciousness since I can remember. But I’ve never had a glass of it. I’ve never seen or tasted an elderberry and I can’t recall the source of my memory. My best guess is that it was in a book I read many years ago or perhaps in a movie or TV show. So, when I saw photos of elderberries, I knew I wanted to bring the topic here because I am sure many of you have either made the wine yourselves or sampled elderberries in deserts or cordials. I would love to know! My first question for those of you who have grown up with them, were you warned about the poisonous nature of the plant and the berries?

First, a small bit of folklore about the elderberry shrub/tree. Some lore insists that the elder tree can ward off evil and protect against witches. While other lore says that witches like to gather beneath the trees while they’re in full fruit. Maybe I’ll have one of my witches in the Flame Series have an elder tree in her backyard, lol!

FunFacts about Elderberries (Source) (Source) (Source)

  • The elderberry is part of the Sambucus family of which there are up to 30 different species.
  • The fruit of the elderberry is purple-to-black in color and is produced in clusters in the fall.
  • Elderberry fruit can be poisonous consumed raw. Cooking is advisable to remove the toxicity. Only Sambucus nigra is considered non-poisonous, yet some cooking is still advised.
  • The flowers of the elderberry can be used to produce an elderflower cordial.
  • Romanians have a soft drink made from elderflowers that steep with water, yeast and lemon for 2-3 days. It’s called ‘Socata’.
  • Birds and butterflies love elderberry shrubs and trees.
  • Elderberry shrubs and trees produce white, fragrant blossoms in the spring and summer.
  • Elderberries are used in jams, jellies, yogurts, pies and other baked goods.
  • Elderberries are also used to create wine, brandy and gin, especially in certain European countries.
  • Elderberries have been used as medicine for a long time to treat a variety of ailments: Rheumatism, the common cold and flu, for constipation, or as a diuretic and even for AIDS.
  • Elderberry shrubs and trees can live from 80 to 100 years.

***This Week’s Giveaway is Closed!!!***

The winner is Dianne K.C.! Congratulations!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, August 24, 2017.

Last Week’s Winner: Pansy P.

August Winners: Tamara K. and Marie S.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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***This Week’s Giveaway is Closed!!!***

The winner is Dianne K.C.! Congratulations!

August Winners: Pansy P., Tamara K., Marie S.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, August 24, 2017! On Friday, August 25th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This week’s giveaway! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about elderberries. Have you ever enjoyed cooked elderberries in baked goods or yogurt? Have you ever made elderberry wine? Have you ever eaten them raw and gotten sick? What stories did you grow up with about elderberries? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.)

Above all: Live the fang!!!