Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

St. Patrick's Day Craft: Wee Bottle of Leprechaun Gold Necklace DIY

When I was a child, my parents took the family on a trip to California's Gold Country where we spent several days panning for gold (in earnest).  One of my brothers found a nice little nugget, but the rest of us ended up with tiny bottles of gold leaf suspended in water from the gift shop -- not that I'm complaining.  That little bottle of glittering golden goodness was one of my most treasured possessions as a child.  I still have it, and it has inspired the awe and amusement of both of my girls.

So, when I saw a bag of gold leaf at my local Michael's crafts store, I new right away that I'd be putting together some magical little bottles of gold for St. Patrick's Day.  My girls are going to be so excited to get their own little bottles of real gold! 

The necklaces cost less than $5 to make, 
so you don't have to accost any Leprechauns in the process.
It's a Leprechaun-friendly craft!

Wee Bottle of Leprechaun Gold Necklaces
(instructions are for one bottle necklace)

  • 1 tiny bottle with cork and eye hook (here's my SOURCE)
I used the 1ml bottles and purchased a 6-pack for $8 (incl. shipping) 
  • Gold Flake (just a pinch)
(I purchased a .1 oz. bag of ArtMinds Gold Flake from Michael's for around $6 with a coupon.  You could probably make 100 bottles from a single bag.)
  • Distilled Water (for suspending the gold)
  • An eyedropper
  • A small paintbrush, skewer, or toothpick
  • Waterproof glue (I used Gorilla Super Glue)
  • A silver jump ring
  • Jewelry pliers
  • A chain/necklace
  • Leprechaun Gold labels (free printable HERE)
  • Mod Podge  (I used the outdoor formula)

Step 1:  Use a small paintbrush, toothpick or skewer to push a small amount of gold flake into the bottle.  I found it easiest to twist the tip of the paintbrush into the gold flakes (as if you were twirling spaghetti on a fork), then pushing it inside the bottle.  Do not pack the gold leaf too tightly.  Save room for water.

 Step 2:  Using eye-dropper, fill the bottle with distilled water, then push in cork firmly.

Step 3:  Screw eye-hook into the center of the top of the cork.

Step 4:  Put a small amount of glue (non water-soluble) around the rim of the bottle (where glass and cork meet).  

Step 5:  Print and cut out a label (inside the black lines).  Brush a thin coat of Mod Podge on the reverse side.  Attach to bottle, then cover with a thin coat of Mod Podge on top of the label to seal.  Wipe off any excess that exceeds the borders of the label.

Step 6:  When glues have dried (approx. 5 minutes), attach the jump ring to the eye hook.

 Step 7:  Thread your chain through the jump ring and you're done.


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