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…

DIY Gourmet Food Gift: Rosemary Salt

Have 5 minutes?
Then you can make this
delicious, inexpensive gourmet food gift.

Over Thanksgiving weekend I was visiting family up in California Wine Country.  I cooked a big meal on Saturday night and while rifling through their spice cupboard, I discovered a beautiful bottle of Rosemary Salt from a winery in Napa.  I tried it on the chicken I was cooking and ended up using it on everything else I made the rest of the weekend.  

When I returned home, I decided to try making my own so that I could always have it on hand, and would be able to share it with family and friends.  After just a little of experimentation, I found the perfect blend.  I've been using it in my recipes ever since.  It's wonderful on chicken, fish, beef and lamb.  I'm not usually a big fan of the strong flavor of rosemary, but when blended finely into the salt, it adds a perfect aromatic element.  The salt is superfine, so it melts immediately into the meat, adding lots of flavor and helping to create a nice crust when you pan sear.

Gourmet Rosemary Salt

Makes approx. 3/4 cup

2/3 cup Kosher Salt (I recommend Diamond brand)
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 1/2 Tablespoons Dried Rosemary

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Attach lid and shake to combine.  Then, blend till the rosemary is fine.  Time will depend on the power of your blender.  I use a Vitamix and it takes only seconds.

When making this for gifts, I recommend blending each batch individually.  The more ingredients that are added to the blender, the harder time the blender will have moving the ingredients on top through to the blades on the bottom.  This will cause uneven chopping.  

For my 4-pack of 8oz. Ball jars, I made a 5X batch.  I whisked all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then, used a 1-cup scoop to portion the right amount into the blender.  Once the rosemary was broken up finely, I poured the salt directly into the mason jar.  I repeated this with the remaining 4 cups (one cup at a time).  The whole process took around 5-minutes.

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