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Life

May 26, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS Hader Heating and Cooling

For being named Medal of Excellence Winner by Bryant Heating and Cooling Systems

ny a m e h to t l u f e t n’s gra a i s t i a r n e ncin Had i C f o ns st o i u t r t a r r e i n e th ge d e c a l e. ep l v p a o h e o p wh nd a s t c u ue rod n p i t s n t i o in ll c i w y n pa e” m c o n c e l e l h e c T “Ex h t i w e s, v y r a e s w l a o t as , s e s i o t m ” o s r e p k ta t and i r e v e g t n a i l h o w o “ c d n a to do g n i eat h e h t ti. meet a n n i c Cin f o s d nee ms e t s , y y l S e g Sincer ating & Coolin He Bryant

The ‘berry’ thing you were craving

We finally got most of the garden in, except for pickling cucumbers, more summer squash and pumpkins. Our corn is up a couple of inches, and the bachelor buttons that I transplanted from volunteer seeds (they overwintered in the garden) have turned into a 20-foot row of bobbing pink and blue flowers. They make a nice border next to the early greens. And if Mother Nature cooperates, we’ll soon be picking strawberries and gathering in my kitchen to make homemade jams. We like the cooked jam and the recipe is always included in the box of pectin that you buy.

Sugar-free strawberry jam

Try this with other berries and gelatin, as well. 2 cups strawberries 1 cup cold water 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin, sugar free Crush berries in saucepan. Add water and gelatin and mix well. Over medium heat, bring mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer a few minutes. Pour into jars, let set until cool, and then cover. Store in the refrigerator for a week or frozen up to a month or so.

Homemade gourmet strawberry syrup

Try this over ice cream, pancakes or even as a flavoring for sodas and shakes. Pour some into some carbonated water or lemon soda and crushed ice for an impromptu spritzer. Again, any type of good, ripe berry can be used. Minimum cooking time is the key to freshness. You’ll get about 3 cups.

Rita Heikenfeld Rita’s kitchen

4 generous cups ripe strawberries, c a p s removed 1 cup water Sugar R e d food colori n g (optional)

Line colander or strainer with double layer of damp cheesecloth. Set over bowl. Combine berries and water and bring slowly to boiling point. Reduce heat and cook very slowly for 10 minutes. Pour into lined colander/strainer and let stand, without squeezing, until juice has dripped into bowl. Then gently squeeze pulp to get remaining juice. Measure juice into saucepan. For every cup of juice, add 1 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and syrup comes to a boil. Boil two minutes. Remove from heat, skim off foam and put a few drops of coloring in if you want. Pour into clean jars and cool. Cover and refrigerate up to two months or freeze up to a year. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Speed scratch strawberry crisp

Or should I call it strawberry “dump” cake? This uses the same technique for the popular “dump” cakes, where you just “dump” ingredients in a pan, layering as you go. Make this with 2 pounds frozen, unsweetened berries if you can’t get fresh. Try raspberries in here, too. 7-8 cups strawberries, caps removed 1 box, 18.25 oz, plain

yellow cake mix 2 sticks butter or margarine, cut into little pieces Whipped cream for garnish Toasted slivered almonds for garnish (optional but good)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put berries in bottom of sprayed 13-by-9 baking pan. Cover with half of dry cake mix. Sprinkle half of butter over mix. Cover with rest of mix and sprinkle rest of butter pieces of top. Bake 1 hour or so until golden and crisp on top. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and a sprinkling of the toasted nuts.

Can you help?

Like Frisch’s tartar sauce: For Eileen Coon, an Erlanger reader. “I’d like a homemade recipe with no preservatives,” she said.

Tips from readers

Cottage cheese pie: This is one popular pie. Most readers, including Joan Daugherty, who baked “Pie No. 3,” said it took a lot longer to bake, up to 11⁄2 hours, though it was delicious. Some of you wanted to know what kind of canned milk is in Mrs. Bauer’s recipe. My thinking is it is evaporated, not condensed. Darker sauerbraten gravy: I’m still getting tips about this, and most, including Marge Thomas of Western Hills, said to either brown it in a dry skillet on top of the stove, or put it in an ovenproof skillet and brown slowly in the oven, stirring occasionally. Rita Nader Heikenfeld is a herbalist, educator and author. E-mail columns@community press.com with “Rita’s kitchen” in the subject line. Call 513-2487130, ext. 356.

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