Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tomato Butter

5 quarts (20 cups) peeled, seeded tomatoes
3 medium onions
2 cups vinegar
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tbl salt

Grind tomatoes and onions.  Combine vinegar, sugars, spices, and salt in heavy stainless or enameled pan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugars dissolve.  Add tomatoes and onions and simmer over low heat until thick, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning.  Volume will reduce significantly as the mixture cooks and thickens.  Ladle into prepared canning jars, cap, and boiling water bathe for 20 minutes.  Makes about 5 pints.

Serve with the cracker of your choice; ours is Club Crackers.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Apricot Sauce (for meats)

A sweet and sour sauce to serve with rice over chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, or meatballs

Makes approximately six pints

10 cups fresh apricots, pitted and sliced or diced
¼ cup lemon juice
Juice of 1 lime (approx 1/8 cup)
½ can pineapple tidbits, or hand-sliced chunks
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
1 large onion, or 2 small to medium, diced or quartered and sliced
2 large, or 3 small, Roma tomatoes, diced
5 - 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbl chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 box regular pectin
1 cup brown sugar
4 to 5 cups granulated sugar (according to taste)
1 heaping tsp butter

(Note: Eliminate, increase, or decrease ingredients to suit your personal taste.)

Prepare canning jars.

No need to remove the tender skins of the apricots; pit and slice or dice.  Stir lemon and lime juices into the fruits to preserve color while you prepare the vegetables.  Place in stainless or enamel pot.

Add pineapple, jalapenos, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and cumin.  Stir 1/4 cup granulated sugar into pectin, then add the pectin mixture to the pot.  Stir well.  Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.

Add remainder of sugars, granulated and brown, and butter.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 3 minutes, continuing to stir.  Remove from range top.

Ladle into jars, cap, and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Candied Dill Pickles

1 quart dill pickles (hamburger sliced, or you-slice whole)
1 tbl pickling spice
2 cups sugar
¼ cup vinegar

Drain pickles (slice, if you're using whole), then cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes; drain again.

Put pickling spice in a triple layer of cheesecloth or a square of sturdy paper towel and bind with kitchen twine or a new rubber band.

Place pickles in a jar with a tight fitting lid, nestling the spice parcel in amongst them.  If you remove a few pickle slices (store separately for burgers), you can re-use the original jar.  You want enough space within the jar to allow for movement of the contents.

Pour sugar into the jar.  Pour vinegar over all.

Cap the jar and gently shake and roll to distribute the sugar and vinegar.

The sugar won't dissolve at this point, and there will be crystals stuck to the sides of the jar.  This is fine for now. 


At least once-a-day, gently shake and roll the jar to redistribute the undissolved sugar.  I recommend the shake-and-roll be done at least 3 times per day until all of the sugar is dissolved.  The original recipe for these candied dills suggests they are ready to eat on the 11th day, but we've eaten them on the 5th with no discernible difference.

Notes:  I usually make a double batch, because we're pickle pigs.  These photos result from using ¾ of a gallon of pickles, packed into two 2-quart pickle jars.  The original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar per batch, but I make it with 2 cups, and the only difference is in the amount of juice the pickles produce.  This requires that I do the shake-and-roll more than once daily, for a few pickle chips are above the liquid line, but saving a cup of sugar is, to me, worth the extra tending.  I use apple cider vinegar, because it's more healthful than white — not so much as to offset that dump truck full of sugar, but there you have it. Ü  These are no-fail pickles.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


4 eggs
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp
baking soda
2 tsps
anise extract

In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar until fluffy-light and thick, about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour, soda, and anise extract, blending well to form a stiff dough.

Roll out, a half at a time, to about 1/4" (or less) thick. Cut with cookie cutter.

Bake on greased cookie sheet, 15 minutes in 300º oven. Immediately and carefully remove to racks to cool.

Notes: This is Grandma Boo's recipe, slightly amended. Hers were white, wonderful, and authentic, as she had a springerle rolling pin. Just as tasty, though, with dough colored according to one's whim and cut with cookie cutters of choice. These don't spread much on the sheet, tending to rise more than spreading. The thicker you roll your dough, the softer will be the cookies at the end of the baking time. A toothpick or blade can be used to mark unbaked cookies (veins on leaves, faces on people-shapes, feathers on turkeys), and markings will remain during baking.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oatmeal Cake

1½ cups water
1 cup quick oats
½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

In large saucepan, bring water to boil. Remove from heat. Add oats and butter. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour thin batter into greased and floured 9-cup bundt pan or 9" tube pan. Bake at 350º for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out on serving plate.

Prick hot cake with fork and pour hot topping (recipe follows) over cake. Serve hot or cold.

Topping: ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup butter, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan; heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Pour over hot cake.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cabbage Salad

1 bag shredded cabbage and carrots (cole slaw mix)
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced (opt)
1 tomato, diced (opt)
1 can corn, drained (opt)
3/4 cup (approx) bottled Italian salad dressing
1/3 cup (approx) granulated sugar

Mix and refrigerate; stir well and serve. The sugar will pull moisture, so the measure of "dressing" will increase. [We serve this salad in ramikens, so the dressing won't run all over our plates. ºÜº]

Since this came out of my head and into a bowl one day, I've never measured ingredients, and it should lend itself well to whatever additions, deletions, or adjustments may sound good to you and yours.


Rat on a Stick

Marinate in teriyaki sauce for a few hours boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Thread each thigh lengthwise onto a water-soaked (so they won't catch fire), wooden skewer. Cook on the barbecue grill. Moist, tasty, tender and can be served and eaten on the skewer.

You can eliminate the skewers, in which case I guess they're just grilled rats.