I picked up a new book at the Rodale Garden Store two days ago. It's entitled "Full Moon Feast", by Jessica Prentice, and is WONDERFUL. After reading the foreword, I skipped ahead to the season we're experiencing in order to better savor the book; it's been such a pleasant and informative read that I've progressed to Autumn already; I expect I'll be through the year in a few more days. One of the many things I've learned from Ms. Prentice (and there ARE many; though it's a pleasant read, the work is scholarly) is that indigenous peoples have traditionally named the moons according to the significant events of the time at which they occurred. Hence my title today.
According to the 2010 Lunar Calendar, the full moon occurred on July 26, last Monday. Since then, I've had the great pleasure of finding (at Fleur de Lys farm market) blackberries and elderberries. At Bechtolt Orchards, blueberries. Then, at the farm today, wineberries, black raspberries, and their own stand of elderberries. Gold! I've been intrigued by elderberries ever since attending the PASA conference last winter.
I had the trees scoped out in the spring, and hoped I was correct; after purchasing a quart for comparison, and checking in with Steve Brill and a few other online resources, I confirmed my find and harvested a bag of the beauties today. I brought them home to clean, and found that they're a bit difficult to work with; you need to remove all green berries and twigs, as they're considered slightly poisonous; the ripe, black elderberries, however, are nutritious miracles. Used in the treatment of aids, cancer, emphysema, and other debilitating diseases, these tiny berries pack a powerful antioxidant punch. And you can eat them in PIE!!!! In the spring, the berries are beautiful white clusters that Steve Brill says can be eaten as fritters, or made into tea; I'll try that next spring!
So, tomorrow will bring a day of experimentation for me...elderberry pie...and quarts of frozen elderberries for those winter colds. Nature is bountiful. She's full of gifts to us.
Oh my! Don't eat the green ones!
By the way...read that book! You'll understand the concept of "gifts" in a more globally meaningful way.
This Elderberry Galette was based upon the Recipe for Peach Crumb Galette provided by The Farmer's Daughter. I simply substituted elderberries for the peaches, and omitted the spices (but not the sugar; elderberries are tart). It was delicious!