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…

Recipe: Homemade Super Seed Matzoh Sticks

It's the thin and crispy
unleavened bread
eaten at Passover
(but delicious year-round)

As a child in a mixed-faith home,
I grew up noshing on boards of butter matzoh as an after school snack,
learning to make matzoh brie from my Gentile dad,
and looking forward to the perfect little matzoh meal pancakes
that my grandmother would make when she came to visit.

I've always been curious about making matzoh from scratch,
and this year a conversation with my mom
inspired me to come up with a party-style matzoh:
A chic compliment to wine and cheese at happy hour
Or a dramatic presentation for your table setting.  

 Here are my Super Seed Matzoh Bread Sticks.
They take less time to make from start to finish
than it takes to run to the store for a box of the premade stuff. 

My family loved them.
I hope yours does too.

  Super Seed Matzoh Bread Sticks
adapted from the New York Times Olive Oil Matzo recipe
(makes approx. 30)

Active time: 10 minutes
Baking time:  6 minutes 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Olive oil spray
  • A flaky finishing salt 
  • Mixed seeds (I recommend a combination of sesame, poppy and caraway.  Everyone agreed that the black caraway that I used in my matzoh really  'made' it)
Step 1:  Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Position one rack at the top and another at the lower middle of the oven.  Whisk together oil and water.  Place flour and salt in a food processor.  Turn machine on, then pour in the water/oil mixture.  Continue to process until the dough forms a firm ball, rides around on the blade is is not sticky.  If dough does not come together, add another tablespoon of water.

Step 2:  Cut dough into two equal portions.  On a well-floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out one of the pieces of dough into a paper-thin rectangle.  Dough should be almost transparent.  You will need to occasionally dust under the dough with flour during the rolling process to prevent sticking.

Step 3:  Spray the dough with a very light coat of olive oil to help the seeds adhere.  Sprinkle dough with the flaky salt and as many seeds as you'd like.  Gently roll the dough with the rolling pin to press the seeds and salt into the dough.

Step 4: With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim dough into a rectangle, roughly the size of your baking sheet.  Set scraps aside.  Using a ruler or straight edge to aid in cutting the dough into 3/4" strips.  


Transfer strips to  an ungreased baking sheet.  Dough can be placed tightly, edge-to-edge.  Use the tines of a salad fork to dock each strip of dough at 1" increments.  

The photo on the right shows the docking process on plain dough.

Step 5:   Repeat with second piece of dough.  Place one pan on top rack of oven and the other on the lower middle rack.  Bake for 3 minutes.  Switch the pans and bake for 3 minutes more.  For your first time, you may want to keep a careful eye on the pans during the second baking, since ovens can vary and the thin dough can brown rather quickly.

Step 6:  Let pans cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Matzoh sticks are ready to serve.  I like to cut the remaining scraps of dough into diamond-shaped crackers and bake for 2 minutes on the lower rack and 2 minutes on the upper. 

Is it kosher?
Well, I'm not an authority on that.
You can use kosher ingredients
and make sure that you complete the process
in under 18 minutes.
But this recipe is best used when
adherence to kosher guidelines is not imperative.

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