Elderberries are ripe and ready for picking right now. By coincidence, I’ve been editing and preparing to web-mount a recently completed catalogue of the Webley-Parry collection (of which more soon) and a very seasonal recipe caught my eye:
It is in a handwritten recipe book (catalogue no. WP/2/1). We think the book was begun in the early-to-mid 19th century (possibly even earlier) but we don’t know by whom. It is a real treasure and beside recipes it also contains ‘observations’ on pickling, preserving and puddings, and assorted household hints. Here is a transcript with original spelling preserved.
Mrs. Philipps receipt for Elder Wine
To ten gallons of water put twenty parts of Elder Berries let it boil an hour, strain it and to every gallon of liquor add two Pounds of Brown sugar, let it boil half an hour longer skimming it well while any scum arises. Put all spice to your taste strain it agen into a tub to cool. When cold put some ale yeast upon a toast on it and let it work 2 or three days. Tun it and stop it up close. You may bottle it at Christmas.
Ceredigion Archives is not responsible for results or consequences of following this recipe – but if you do, please tell us about it!
I hope to post more gems from this book, and from another one in the same collection, soon.