So about this time every year, except the two I was pregnant (pregnancy sickness/tiredness and foraging do not go), since 2009 I have started collecting elderberries to make my tried and tested home-cure cold remedy: elderberry cordial. With The Boy about to commence his second winter at preschool I am even more keen than usual to have large stocks of this anti-viral wonder in my ‘pantry’ (no. I don’t have an actual pantry, but I always wanted one so I like to throw the word around for fun. They’ll probably be stored in the garage.)
So anyway, today The Boy, The Girl, The Mater and I went on a brief ramble to see what we could grab before the kids started wailing. I’ll probably expand on this at some point in the future as we did rather well and I’d like to brag a bit, but right now I’m halfway through prepping elderberries – the most tedious, thankless, spidery task ever – and I need to get back to it. As soon as I lifted the lid from the box leggy bastards rose from the depths and started sprinting across my kitchen table, dangling from my fork (you need a fork to remove the berries from the stalks). There were also aphids, thunderbugs, unidentifiable mini-beasts and even one <shudder> earwig. But mostly there were spiders.
I saved as many as I could because I like spiders… in principle. Not so much in my house, but oh well. I feel all shuddery and itchy now. Ugh. Time to get this finished up so I can freeze the berries until a more convenient time to turn them into syrup.