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…

Enchantingly Easy Easter Eggs with Flora, Fauna and Family

These eggs fit in perfectly with our decorating style that pays homage to our family tree
As many of you know, I've been on hiatus from blogging for much of this year due to my commitments teaching high school culinary arts.  Well, the school year is nearly over.  Hello SUMMER!  I'm picking up my graduation gown today, and prepping some desserts for a graduation party.  But before I do, I wanted to share a little creative something that my girls and I did a few weeks back for Easter.


Being an uber-busy working mom, decorating Easter eggs wasn't in the forefront of my mind (until the day before Easter).  My girls are getting older, and I fear it won't be long before they'd rather be out with their friends than dyeing eggs with Mom.  So, I came up with a last minute way to decorate eggs that is definitely out-of-the-store-bought-box, very inexpensive, and yet chic and sophisticated.  My girls loved them, and we ended up keeping them on display through April.

A nod to all the lovebirds in our family history

From around the house I rummaged up food coloring, vinegar, eggs and hot water.  On a quick trip to the craft store, I found these fabulous stickers from Violette Stickers (this is not a paid endorsement -- I found the stickers on my own).  These high-quality stickers feature vintage-inspired images from Victorianna.  They gave our simple eggs a very heirloom look.

Our own personal menagerie of Edwardian Era Animalia

Instructions?  Simple!  Create your dye by combining some white vinegar, warm water and food coloring.  Next time, I'll probably use less food color and bathe the eggs a shorter amount of time for softer pastels, but my girls really liked them this way.  Once the submerged eggs have attained the level of color you desire, set them aside to dry.  When dry, affix the stickers.  We found that using a small pair of sharp scissors to make a few slits around the edges of each sticker helped them adhere and lie flat on the curved surface of the egg.  That's it!

(We we even found a few birds that reminded us of our grandfather and great-grandfather)

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