Sunday, September 11, 2005

Berry pickin'

Yesterday, I went to wave the dp off on a visit to his parents. We walked the back way round to the railway station, and remembering that there had been blackberries and elderberries in the bushes, I took a box and scissors. So, we gathered lots of berries! Yesterday I had a big bowl of blackberries with evaporated milk (yum) and this morning, I boiled the elderberries down for juice. It's the first time I've done this, and all I can say is that for the amount of berries, the out put wasn't great, but an excellent drink. The recipe said that I could add honey if required, but it was easily sweet enough. I may return for more berries next week.

I had to strain the elderberries and was surprised to find the muslin dyed nice shades of blue. Cogs have started ticking over in my brain writing wise ... Someone will be wearing a tunic of elderberry blue, that's for sure :-) Rather suspect the colour will fade quite fast. I already have a scene in SoD where the two main characters are having a game of knucklebones, using blackberries as winnings. I don't think the lazy pair have gathered the blackberries themselves, after all they are warriors and it's beneath them!!


At 7:55 pm BST, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Mrs Grieve's Modern Herbal quotes Culpepper that the Romans used elderberries to dye hair black. Grieve has about 10 closely-printed pages on the uses of elder bark, wood, leaves, flowers and berries including the colours elder produces. I could scan or copy them for you if you don't have the book. It's a great read on the uses and folklore of all manner of herbs and plants.

Yummy -- evaporated milk is a food of the gods! As a child, I used to love bananas mashed up in it. Still do.

At 9:28 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I'm tempted to have a go at dyeing my hair black now - it would cover the grey in some sort of colour, I guess! The 'muslin' I used was fine linen, but I wonder what colour would come out on wool? The water quality also has an effect, as does where the plant grew (as my re-enactment group's dyers tell me).

Yes, I DO love evap milk :-)


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