The Elder: In History, Myth and Cookery
Humanity has found a use for each and every part of the elder: the leaf, the bark, the wood or branch, the flower and, finally, the berry or fruit. Some of these functions, or associations, are both mythic and grounded in superstition: that the elder encourages the fertility of cattle for instance; or its relation to witchcraft; or is place in Celtic folklore. Others are more nearly medicinal: it was an essential to classical and medieval physicians. And, of course, it may be eaten and drunk. The flowers lend their fragrance to gooseberries, or are sensational as a spring fritter. The berries are wonderful as ice cream, or as wine.Ria Loohuizen has pursued the elder into every corner of history, literature and kitchen usefulness. She claims this is only the second book on the tree (the first being published in 1644). In an evocative text, she explores its meaning to early physicians, its place in mythology and folklore, its occurrence in literature (Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc.) and gives maximum exposure to recipes for medicaments as well as delicious sweet dishes and drinks.
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Foreword by Gillian Riley
The botanical elder
The mythical elder
The useful elder
The healing elder
The culinary elder