The spring greens have long since turned bitter with the summer heat, so it’s time to move on to different foraged goodies! (I’m still eating dandelions, however.) This month we feasted on mulberries and foraged elderflowers for the first time.
I already knew about this one— we had a mulberry tree in my backyard when I was a kid, so the taste of mulberries is synonymous with summer. These berries, which grow prolifically everywhere, are fairly bland, but they make up for that with sheer number. You can pick them every day for weeks! Zach made a mulberry infusion in Everclear and made some delicious drinks with the liqueur and some sparkling water. I simmered a bunch with some lemon juice and sugar to simultaneously make jam and syrup, the latter of which I used in homemade ice cream. You can also eat the berries out of hand, and I’m going to try to make a cobbler with them soon. Plus, they’re fun to pick, even if your hands get stained!
Once Zach and I learned to identify the elderberry bush— an important note, since it bears casual resemblance to hemlock, the plant that killed Socrates— we’ve started seeing it everywhere. We decided to visit a particularly dense patch to harvest some of the huge umbrella-shaped flower clusters. We shook off the bugs, picked off all but the smallest branches (the larger stems are mildly poisonous), and infused the flowers in Everclear. (We biked all the way to the liquor store before Zach realized he didn’t have his ID with him. I felt a bit self-conscious walking into a liquor store to buy Everclear, but the cashier didn’t bat an eye and I felt very grown-up afterwards.) The liqueur is excellent for mixed drinks, and we recently added a couple tablespoons to homemade ice cream for a delicate summer treat. Stay tuned for our adventures foraging elderberries in the future!
What seasonal foods are you eating right now?