Gardening and growing your own food is one task when you want to live a more self sufficient lifestyle, but preserving and processing it is another - and requires a lot more work and effort than what I would have thought.
I do not only use the berries and fruits that I grew on my own though. I have found a lot of berries in the forests as well, blueberries, raspberries... and so on.
I like to make jam out of it, most of the time, it is the easiest and perhaps fastest way.
1 pound raspberries
1 pound granulated sugar (about 2 cups)
Cooking it in a crockpot, stir it up ... add the sugar when the raspberry dissolve while boiling. then again raise the temperature until it becomes a nice thick liquid jam. Then filling it up in glass jars.
I am still having a hard time understanding american measurements, so please bear with me.
I have also made natural elderflower and elderberry syrup as well as all kinds of natural syrups such as made out of real peppermint.
The elderberry tree has a long history in european folklore and spirituality. In Germany this tree is connected to the Goddess Frau Holle which holds the same essence as norse Goddess Hel. She is the goddess of Death and linked to the realm of the Underworld. Now she is not evil, though. Her realm is more like a place of transformation. She personifies the void of which everything came out of, thus she is a strong symbol of the transformative power of nature and evolution. With that being said, she is a natural recycler, so to speak. Her realm holds the secrets of life and nature, but also the transformative power of evolution.
Birth / Transformation / Rebirth / Ascension are powers that are connected to her.
It was believed that the tree of the elderberry tree is connected to her realm and the roots of that tree reach deep down into her realm. Offerings and meditations were held at this tree. Why, you might ask? It was believed that she this tree is like a connection to her, and whenever her power is close or near, she purifies the people and the environment from negative influences. Trees were sacred and holy, every tree had its own unique spirit and consciousness, thus they were like portals in order to communicate with that which lies beyond our world.
Elderflower or berry syrup boosts the immune system, it is a good and old remedy and all of my german ancestors back in Bavaria were making elderberry syrup.
You will need lemons, water and lots of sugar.
I preferably use scissors to cut off the blossoms from the branches.
1,000 grams of sugar. Add 5 cups of water to the sugar and 1 teaspoon of citric acid.
Bring the syrup to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Carefully trim the stems away from the elderflower blossoms. Place the blossoms into a large bowl and add lots of lemon slices. Let it cool off and rest. But not longer than 4 days with the blossoms as they will begin to ferment.
Not a good idea as I have discovered. Also, too many lemons can literally destroy the flavor of the syrup.
Then, strain all the elderflower blossoms from the syrup. Let it boil up again. And pour the clear syrup in your bottles or jars. And it should be ready. Enjoy!