SWEET APPLE TEMPTATIONS

sweet apple temptations ebook coverSweet Apple Temptations opens the gate to dessert heaven by offering over 200 apple dessert recipes. Biting into a crisp, juicy apple is a satisfying pleasure, but this book combines the queen-of-the-orchard with sweetness and baking spices to create apple desserts that taste as though they’ve been kissed by angels.

Apples are an amazingly versatile fruit that is demonstrated in this unique apple dessert collection. At your next dinner party serve the decadence of Sinful Chocolate Applesauce Tiramisu or Swedish Applesauce Meringue Cake. When temperatures rise, cool your guests with Frozen Apple Cranberry Dessert or Pineapple Plantation Apple Crisp. And, for kids of every age, there’s Snicker Apple Doodle Cookies and Tart Apple S’mores that’ll delight their lips with fruit-filled goodness.

 

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CB’s Oven-Barbequed Brisket

It was in New Mexico that I discovered the deliciousness of the brisket dinner. A fellow in the Carlsbad Sheriff’s Posse, which in recent years is a group of volunteers who do cowboy style fundraising dinners. He gave me his recipe and tips for making brisket in the oven, and I’ve been making it ever since. He, by the way, used an 8′ long smoker that he toted around on a trailer. His secret ingredient is the Dr. Pepper (oops, the secret slipped out), and his tip is using oven roasting bags.

We’re in Texas now and the availability of brisket abounds. It’s sold in every meat case and kept warm and ready-to-serve at most restaurants; some fast food or casual dining places offer brisket sandwiches. All those years living in the Pacific Northwest I’d never heard of brisket, now I can’t imagine not preparing a brisket dinner when company’s comin’ to town. It must be a southern thing!

oven barbequed brisket

CB’s Oven-Barbequed Brisket

1 8-pound brisket, fully-trimmed and “bendable”
McCormick Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak seasoning
2 1-gallon covered plastic marinating containers (8.5x13x3″type)
1 large baking pan (bottom only of a large roaster works good)

Marinade
1 19-ounce bottle Jack Daniel’s Original No. 7 Recipe Barbecue Sauce
1 8-ounce bottle regular Dr. Pepper (don’t use diet)
1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, and paprika
1/2 teaspoon each ground black pepper, liquid smoke, hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 large turkey size oven roasting bag

Choose a trimmed brisket that can easily be bent or folded in the middle to ensure against excess fat deep inside the meat. Most briskets today are pre-packaged in heavy plastic, which makes them easy to bend or fold. Remove brisket from package and cut into two large pieces. Sprinkle both sides of each piece generously with steak seasoning. Place seasoned briskets in the marinating containers; set aside to make marinade.

Whisk together in a medium-large bowl the barbeque sauce, Dr. Pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, paprika, black pepper, liquid smoke, hot pepper sauce and mustard. Divide the marinade and pour over the briskets; turn to coat and cover tightly. Marinate in refrigerator for 3 to 6 days turning once every day.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Prepare the roasting bag as directed. Place both pieces of brisket side-by-side (don’t stack) in the bag; gently pour marinade over the briskets, cut slits into top of bag as directed and seal with provided twist-tie.

Using a baster, carefully reach through one of the holes in top of bag and baste the meat every 1 to 1 1/2 hours. About 4 hours into the roasting process begin testing the meat for doneness by pressing a small sharp knife through the bag slits and into the meat. It will take approximately 6 to7 hours to fully cook the brisket; when the small knife easily slices into the meat it is done.

When brisket has reached the desired doneness, remove the meat from its sauce and allow it to rest on a cutting board for 10 to 15 minutes. At this point, check the sauce to see how much fat has accumulated. Generally there will be too much fat although tastes vary.

Use whatever method that works well for you to remove excess fat but the sauce should be de-fatted and strained. What I do is: 1) strain the sauce through a mesh sieve into a gravy separator, 2) pour sauce into a saucepan and 3) place saucepan on a burner at medium heat without a lid to reduce it and to keep it warm. Sometimes sauce that’s reduced on the stove without a thickener will become quite salty tasting.

Instead of reducing the sauce on the stove, thicken it with 2 heaping teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to hot sauce and stir over medium heat until thickened, repeat if needed to get sauce to desired texture.

Slice the brisket across the grain into 1/2″ thick pieces (an electric knife is the perfect tool for this); cover and return to the oven for a few minutes to re-heat, if needed. Serve with generous amounts of mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, ranch beans, cornbread or coleslaw. Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Cook’s Note: Some folks like their brisket shredded but I prefer the brisket to be cut into distinct slices and served with sauce on the side. If I’m cooking for a crowd, I sometimes slice the entire brisket and put it back into the pan with the de-fatted, strained marinade. Then I re-heat it to serve dinner style, for barbeque brisket sandwiches or to make brisket dip style sandwiches.

Partial briskets can of course be cooked but I feel making a full-size brisket is a wiser use of my time. One brisket can be served in a variety of ways i.e., serve it at two meals, slice part of it for sandwiches and store some in the freezer to be served at a later date. However, to suit your family’s size, this recipe can easily be cut in half, which will yield 4 to 6 servings.

Grilling Brisket: Except for one step the directions above still apply. Remove the brisket from the marinade (which is reserved) and basically sear the brisket on the grill over a low flame. Grill brisket on both sides until the meat is brown, caramelized and sizzling. At this point, go back to the recipe directions and put the brisket into the roasting bag with the marinade. Roast it in the oven and continue with above instructions. Keep in mind your full cooking time might be reduced by approximately 1 hour.

grilled brisket

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Tips for Cooking with Eggs

With Easter just around the corner, my thoughts, of course, turned to the Easter Bunny, and eggs! Below are a few egg-cooking tips I’ve learned through the years. I’ve also included a link for my favorite Baked Egg recipe, which is standard Sunday dinner fare at the Briggs house all year round. Happy Easter!

Easter eggs in straw

BOILED EGG COOKING TIME: Boil eggs for 3 to 6 minutes for a very runny yolk, 7 to 9 minutes for a soft yolk and 11 to 13 minutes for a hard yolk.

KEEP PEELED boiled eggs from getting slimy or rubbery by placing a paper towel in the refrigerator container with the boiled eggs. Store the eggs in the refrigerator for fresh-peeled texture up to 4 days.

GOT MIXED UP EGGS? A boiled egg will spin like a top on the counter, where an un-boiled (raw) egg will wobble lazily.

EGGS STAY fresh longer if they’re stored with the wide end up.

A FRESH EGG will be firm with a yolk that stands up on the white; an old egg will have a flat yolk that’s more flush with the white.

TO TELL IF EGGS are fresh, immerse the whole egg (in its shell) in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will drop to the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.

 

EGG PRODUCERS recommend we leave eggs in their original carton from the store, and always store eggs in the back area of the refrigerator where it’s cooler.

DEVILED EGGS: An easy way to fill deviled eggs is by placing the egg yolk mixture in a pastry bag and squeeze away. Alternatively, fill a small plastic bag with egg yolk mixture, snip off one tip at bottom of bag and squeeze mixture into whites.

TWO CHICKEN EGGS equal 1 duck egg, and 5 quail eggs equal 1 chicken egg.

WHIP EGG WHITES at room temperature to get as much as 4 times the volume compared to using chilled egg whites.

BOILED EGGS won’t crack as easily when they’re started at room temperature rather than cold from the refrigerator.

HARD BOILED eggs peel easier if they’re thoroughly chilled before peeling.

HARD BOILED eggs peel easier if they’re not too fresh. Leave eggs in refrigerator for at least a week before boiling.

FOR EASY PEEL boiled eggs, boil eggs for only 10 minutes, pour off water and then chill thoroughly before peeling.

ADD 1-TEASPOON BAKING SODA or 1-teaspoon white vinegar to the water when boiling eggs so the shells will easily peel away.

CENTERED EGG YOLKS: To center egg yolks, gently twirl the eggs while they’re cooking. This places the yolk in the center of the white, which helps avoid tearing while peeling the egg, and the eggs look prettier with the yolks centered nicely in the center of each deviled eggs.

A PREHEATED PAN with preheated oil will help keep eggs from sticking.

PANINI PAN TO THE RESCUE: Use a panini press to flip an omelet, which will take the guesswork and the mess out of flipping it.

WHEN POACHING EGGS, drop each egg into a small sieve to let the excess moisture drain away before adding egg to simmering water.

ADD 1 TEASPOON softened, salted butter to scrambled eggs when they’ve started to dry out from cooking too long. The eggs are still overcooked but the butter tricks your tongue into thinking the eggs are silky smooth.

MAKE SCRAMBLED eggs in the microwave by whipping together the eggs and some milk; pour into a prepared bowl or cup and microwave for approximately 2 minutes or so depending on how many eggs are being cooked.

KEEP FRIED EGGS from running all over the pan by dropping egg into a large, fresh onion ring; then fry as usual.

USE BUTTERED BISCUIT or cookie cutters to cook eggs into perfectly round shapes. This is great for making homemade Egg Mc Muffins or bagel sandwiches.

TO SEPARATE yolks from whites without breaking the yolk, draw white away from yolk by using an empty plastic water bottle or a turkey baster.

WHEN SEPARATING eggs, yolks are less likely to break if eggs are closer to room temperature rather than refrigerator temperature.

THE FRESHER the egg, the easier it will separate without a broken yolk.

SEPARATE EGGS by dropping into a small funnel that’s been placed in a small dish. White will run through, yolk will remain in funnel.

IF A YOLK breaks when separating eggs for meringue, set it aside and use in another project. Bits of yolk that can’t be seen by the naked eye can ruin meringue.

BRUSH EGG wash onto bread or pastry before scoring surface to prevent egg wash from dripping down and sealing the scored area.

WHEN CLEANING up after a cooking project, rinse egg bowls with cold water. Rinsing with hot water causes the egg residue to stick to the bowl’s surface.

eggs in a basket

 

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Coffee!

Hey, you haven’t heard from me for a while. Well, I guess you might say, “I’m baaaaaaack” at least for now to introduce a special guest post by Remy Bernard – Owner and Editor at missmamiescupakes.com who is a baker, chef and writer.  Remy asked to do a guest post on one of my favorite drinks…coffee. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, it’s great information for a loved one who does enjoy a good cup o’ Joe. I think you’ll appreciate what Remy has to say. CB

 four cups of coffee

How to Keep Your Ground Coffee Fresh For as Long As Possible

There are two things in this world that I hold dear to my heart: coffee and getting the most value I can out of anything that I buy.  Coffee is good for your health (maybe not decaf, though), a great way to start your day, and has even been shown to be a powerful performance enhancer. That’s why as soon as I ground my precious coffee beans at home or supermarket, I’m immediately thinking about getting it into proper storage as quickly as possible. After all, the moment you grind your coffee beans and expose them to oxygen, you set in motion a cascade of events that will eventually destroy the flavor and ruin even the best coffee.

The good news is that keeping your coffee fresh is easy. Unfortunately, finding the best method to do so can be a bit more complicated. The problem is that although there is no shortage of recommendations on the Internet regarding the best way to store coffee, many of them are completely anecdotal and even contradictory. So I thought it would be good to put the question to rest once and for all. But first, we need to look at why coffee goes stale, and then we can figure out how to prevent it.

Why Does Coffee Go Stale in the First Place?

In the same way that iron forms rust when it’s exposed to air and oxidizes, the solubles in coffee which give it its wonderful flavor also begin to turn when they come in contact with oxygen. As soon as the bean is ground, the flavors begin to oxidize and degrade. This is why many roasters will ship their products in vacuum-sealed baggies that limit contact with oxygen. This means that when looking at keeping your coffee fresh for longer, limiting oxygen and moisture is your number one priority.

Keep Your Beans Airtight and the Temperature Low

In the battle for coffee freshness, your greatest enemies are oxygen, moisture, heat and light. In order to limit all of these, keep your freshly ground or roasted coffee beans in an opaque airtight container at room temperature. Even though you might be tempted to showcase that beautiful coffee in a clear container on your countertop, resist the urge, as exposing the coffee to that kind of light will do much more harm than good. Figure out the darkest, coolest location in your kitchen (not the freezer or fridge) and store them there. Avoid cabinets that might catch heat from the stove or an area of the countertop that gets afternoon sun. It might seem like a pain, but once you find your spot, you’ll be able to rely on it in the future.

Don’t Buy More than You Need

As we discussed earlier, coffee starts to go south almost immediately after grinding. There are two main strategies I implement to deal with this. The first is using a coffee maker that grinds the beans right before brewing. Not only is this extremely convenient, but also solves many of the problems we are talking about today. I personally use the Ninja coffee bar in my home, but any coffee maker that has this auto-grind feature will work. The second strategy is to buy smaller batches of coffee—enough for 1-2 weeks. This seems to be the perfect amount for my 1-2 cups of coffee per day, and I’m done with it before the flavor really starts to change. If you buy in bulk, this makes it difficult to use it all before it goes bad.

Do Not Freeze or Refrigerate Your Coffee

Somewhere along the way people decided that freezing coffee was a good idea. Well, it isn’t. Seriously, don’t do this. Coffee is sort of like bread. If you freeze it, and then thaw it out when you are ready to use it, it never tastes the same or close to as good as when you first bought it. The extra moisture will also push the oils to the surface and make it go stale faster. Additionally, the structure of the coffee bean is porous and will absorb the smells around it. This means that if you have anything with a strong odor in your fridge or freezer like onions or garlic, your coffee will take on that smell as well. I’m pretty sure that no one wants their morning coffee to taste like garlic and onions!

How to Use Stale Coffee

Remember how I said that I like to get the most value I can out of everything I buy? Well, this also means finding uses for things that others might throw away. The good news is that if your coffee has gone stale, it’s perfect for making cold brew coffee with. In fact, most coffee experts will tell you that making cold brew coffee with really expensive and fresh coffee is sort of a waste. This is because the cold water leaves all the acids and bitter taste behind. People are usually surprised to discover this and it’s one of my favorite tips!

I hope you learned something about keeping your coffee fresh and getting the most mileage out of your bean! I’ve tried most everything and after a lot of research the above were the methods that work best for me.

remy bernaard

Remy Bernard – Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes

A baker, chef and writer, Remy started missmamiescupakes.com as a way to deepen and spread her passion for making delicious food. She can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

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Zucchini Tomato Bake

Zucchini Tomato BakeZucchini abounds in gardens this time of year. Everywhere you go someone says, “Oh you can’t leave without taking some zucchini home with you.” I’ve been on the zucchini distribution and receiving side of the issue; so be honest, you were trying to sneak away without a big sack filled to the brim with zucchinis. Zucchini: The Hardiest Vegetable is a story I wrote a few years back that you might enjoy reading, it’s an especially relatable tale about the prolific green vegetable.

The recipe below is yet another delicious way to savor this season’s “zucs.”

Zucchini Tomato Bake

Ingredients
2-tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, partially peeled and chopped fine (about 3 medium)
1-can cannellini or white kidney beans (10 oz.) rinsed and drained
8 eggs
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried)
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 pound fresh, ripe garden tomatoes, sliced about 1/2″ thick (about 3 medium)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (metal is best).

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté chopped onions and zucchini until tender. Stir in red pepper flakes; season generously with salt and pepper.

Add beans; stir until well combined and heated throughout. Transfer vegetable mixture to baking pan and arrange top with sliced tomatoes.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, basil and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Pour mixture over the casserole ingredients. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Place in oven and bake 30 minutes in a conventional oven or 22 minutes in a convection oven, or until casserole is lightly browned and puffy. Remove from the oven and serve hot with toasted, garlic-butter baguettes. Yield: 8 servings

Zucchini Tomato Bake 2

Cook’s Note:  Consider using 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes in place of the large sliced tomatoes. Cut grape tomatoes into halves, mixed into the egg mixture and then poured over the vegetables. It’s scrumptious with both types of tomatoes, and this dish is perfect when re-heated the next day. We like it for lunch or a light dinner.

A friend sent me this recipe and she thought it might be from 12tomatoes.com. 12tomatoes.com is a terrific site that has hundreds of healthy and delicious recipes to offer.

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Garlic Lime Chicken

Chicken, Garlic Lime, Grilled on SkewersGarlic Lime Chicken is a recipe that says goodbye to winter and hello to warm weather and sunshine.

My friend, Peggy, who now lives in Idaho, sent me this recipe. When Peggy and I lived near each other in Carlsbad, NM, we often shared in the festive cheer of a margarita (or two). Although we’re now separated by many miles we still enjoy our mutual love of fresh, juicy limes by making this zesty dish. We prepare it year-round using chicken breasts, chicken kabobs, or raw shrimp.

Peggy and I both consider this recipe a “keeper” because, not only is it scrumptious to eat, it also uses ingredients we always have on hand, and thankfully, our hubbies are always ready to fire-up the grill whether the sun is shining in Houston or the snow is a foot deep in Idaho.

GARLIC LIME CHICKEN

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh limejuice
1-tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 boneless (1 pound), skinless chicken breasts (or chicken cut into cubes for kabobs, as shown) or 1 pound raw peeled shrimp

In a marinating bag, combine first six ingredients. Add chicken breasts to marinade then seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the marinade and discard (marinade is especially good when cooked and used as a sauce). Place chicken on upper grill and slow cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 6 minutes before serving (grill for less time if making kabobs or shrimp).

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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Tomatoes are in Season: Don’t Miss Them!

Tomatoes, on the vine“Bob, slow down! Now get ready to pull over! There’s a stand around the next corner. We can’t miss it!” Mom chirped at Dad in the front seat of our 1961 Pontiac, Bonneville.

“Oh hell! Don’t you already have enough tomatoes to keep you canning for a week?” Dad grumbled. It was their usual tomato season banter. Dad took it all in his stride never loosing the momentum of puffing on his pipe, something he’d mastered so well.

My brother and I whined from a dusty back seat while we were zigzagging over curvy country roads in search of Beefsteaks, Romas and Early Girls. Each sign that read FRUIT in bold red letters brought renewed hope of finding the juiciest, freshest, plumpest, and the lowest-priced tomatoes. Tomatoes seemed to be Mom’s weakness or her passion, I never really figured out which was the case.

When Mom couldn’t persuade Dad to go fruit stand hopping with her, she’d round up my grandmother and I and we’d once again wind through the valley roads. I began enjoying the outings by the time I reached my preteen years, and later as a young adult I looked forward to the yearly event.

In looking back I think it may have been the Norman Rockwell atmosphere of the road-side fruit stands that called out to Mom. Perhaps the rustic sheds that popped-up at the end of long dirt driveways recaptured a slice of yesterday that Mom longed to preserve. Sadly the lazy, down-home ambiance of small, family-owned fruit and vegetable farms are becoming a ghost of the past.

Thoughts of our tomato hunting adventures came back to me last week when the Heatwave and Big Boy tomato plants just outside my kitchen door began producing a bumper crop of the juicy jumbos. This year I planted an assortment of tomatoes plants mostly as an experiment to see what types of tomatoes produce well in my area of the Southwest. To my delight the experiment was a success.

Once again I’m enjoying the simple pleasure of having fresh tomatoes at my doorstep. The days of putting up pints of home-canned tomato sauce and ketchup are behind me, but I took full advantage of these red beauties by making CB’s Marinated Tomatoes. It’s a recipe I’ve made for years, which originates from the kitchen of Lucille Edwards, Auburn, Washington. It’s sure to make your taste buds sing, but only if home-grown or heirloom tomatoes are used – anything else just won’t cut it.

Tomatoes are in season from now until the end of September or until the first frost. They’re available at most roadside vegetable stands. But remember, “Slow down, you don’t want to miss ‘em!”

Tomatoes, in a box

CB’s Marinated Tomatoes

6 large homegrown or heirloom tomatoes, washed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Marinade
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 sprig fresh marjoram, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons scallions or green onions with some green stem, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Combine marinade ingredients in a shaker. Pour over sliced tomatoes; gently stir so all tomatoes are coated with marinade. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve as a side dish garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, or with dollops of cottage cheese and seasoned croutons as a light lunch. Yum!

Cook’s Note: If fresh herbs aren’t available, they may be replaced with dried herbs. Use less herbs when using dried and let the tomatoes marinate at least 3 hours before serving.

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Homeade Frozen Corn

A sweet remembrance of summer with garden corn on the table in fall and winter garnished with crisp bacon crumbles.

garden corn w bacon crumbles

Every summer we cordoned off a portion of our garden for sweet corn. It was a fun food for us to grow, especially the kids. After the seeds were planted, they patrolled the garden for birds, shooing them away so they wouldn’t steel the newly planted seeds. Once the crop was taking shape and looking like there’d be fresh corn for the table, the kids would sometimes build a scarecrow to help with the job of keeping the more determined birds away. In looking back, I think the bird patrol added to the anticipation of fresh, buttery corn on the cob, and believe me, there’s nothing you can buy in the store that will begin to compare.

ears of fresh corn

Most years I used the recipe below to fill the freezer with sweet corn for winter. It’s a standard recipe one might find anywhere but I consider it vintage because it was given to me many years ago by an elderly Norwegian lady who lived on an adjoining farm. Whether you freeze or pressure can the corn it’s wise to use the young ears (as pictured) and choosing the yellow and white corn mix makes for a naturally sweeter blend.

Pressure canning is another method of preserving the corn but to me it just seemed faster, easier and tastier when it came from the freezer instead of a jar. For me, it’s a feeling of accomplishment to see the containers stacked in the freezer waiting to wow family and guests with “something from the garden” when they least expect it. Enjoy!

Preserving Fresh Garden Corn

  • 10-cups corn, cut off the cob and not cut too close
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-level tablespoon salt
  • Scrape the corn “milk” extract and pulp from the stripped cobs into a separate bowl; set aside

Cook corn, sugar and salt in a large pan on top of stove for 10 minutes using medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

Cool quickly and thoroughly (see note below), and then stir in corn “milk” and mix thoroughly. Place mixture in freezer containers of your choice being sure to distribute corn “milk” evenly between packages.

bags of frozen homemade corn

To serve, add a bit of water if needed and simmer on stove top for 5 minutes. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with crisp, crumbled bacon for an added flavor, if desired.

Yield: Five 2-cup family size servings

Note: To cool corn quickly, place hot corn in a large metal bowl that’s set in a larger container of ice; stir corn until cooled and package for freezing. Corn will keep in the freezer for 6-months and up to 1-year if double bagged.

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Bing Cherry Jam

My recipe below for Bing cherry jam bursts with a full fruity flavor that captures the sweetness of summer cherries. Its pleasing hint of almond, cloves and cinnamon makes it nothing less than spectacular. When placed on the pantry shelf, the jars glint like sunlit stained glass, which sparked thoughts of those shiny dark cherry clusters that teased me from a high limb as a child.

These jewels are perfect for gift giving. Just make sure you save at least one jar of “summer memories” to pile high on hot buttered corn meal muffins.

bing cherry jam

Bing Cherry Jam

4 cups ripe Bing cherries, pitted and chopped
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered pectin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1-fluid ounce bottle almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups granulated sugar
6 pint jars with 6 lids and 6 bands, sterilized

Except for the 4-cups granulated sugar, place all ingredients in a 6-quart kettle. Bring fruit mixture to a full rolling boil on high-medium heat; immediately add sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and skim foam from mixture using a large metal spoon.

Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch space. Add lids and screw bands on tightly. Process jam for 10 minutes in a water bath canner or cool overnight and then place in freezer until ready to serve. Yield: 5 to 6 half-pints

Cook’s Note: This recipe is also delicious when tart “pie” cherries are used in place of the sweet Bing cherries. Consider increasing the granulated sugar by at least 1-cup possibly more when using the tart cherries.

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