For some reason, this summer the birds didn't eat all the elderberries at my mother-in-law's house. She invited Joey and Lena to come over and eat whatever they could pick. Well, they picked a lot. A Lot. And because grandma lives next door, the kids were easily able to go back for more. Which they did. They brought back bowl after bowl. They mashed 'em up and added sugar. They ate 'em plain. They ate 'em with milk. They fed 'em to our delighted toddler.

The elderberryfest lasted a couple of days. Then my mother-in-law called just as we were in the middle of cleaning the purple off their faces so we could go to a dinner party. She told me she was looking up elderberry recipes on the internet. One of them warned that elderberries should never be eaten raw. Gulp!

I rushed to the internet to try to find more information. I found something about the pits containing cyanide, but it wasn't very specific. So I called poison control. The person who answered was not a native English-speaker. There was a bit of a communication problem. Now, is it just me, or is answering the phone at the poison control center the one place where communication skills are vitally important? ("Elderberries, dammit! E-l-d-e-r-b-e-r-r-y, elderberry!") By the time they figured it out my kids could've been dead!

Not really, as it turns out. Raw elderberries can cause tummy aches and diarrhea, but we would have known about it within 2 hours of first ingestion. Some people are more susceptible than others.

And I know what you're thinking. Yes, grandma did find an elderberry recipe. We ate the pie, still warm, with vanilla ice cream. Man, was it good!

elderberry pie


  • Did Poison Control outsource overseas too? :)

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 11:16 AM  

  • But the pie looks wonderful.

    posted by Blogger liz on 12:52 PM  

  • That's really shocking about poison control. A health disaster in the making.

    But berry pie... yum...

    posted by Blogger Phantom Scribbler on 4:43 PM  

  • Mmmm pie.

    posted by Blogger Running2Ks on 5:16 PM  

  • I had to call poison control last week when Ethan came down the hall sprinkling Isaac's Singulair behind him like a trail of bread crumbs. I cannot believe you got a non-native English speaker. Every time I've called, I've been so impressed with their helpfulness. Egad.

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 1:09 AM  

  • Wow, I didn't know that either!

    posted by Blogger purple_kangaroo on 1:26 AM