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Pineapple-Apple slawAs much as I love to cook, I’m often stymied when asked to bring a dish to a pot luck. Everyone wants to bring the big bowl of magic that is empty by the end, where everyone asks for the recipe. But a lot of times, pot luck dishes are just not how I normally cook. Meatballs in a crock pot. Cans of “cream of XYZ” soup in a casserole. Yeah, not so much. Read the rest of this entry »

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Christmas. On the one hand, I understand the feeling of belonging, joy and contentment everyone is striving for, and at times, have experienced them myself. But the mish-mash of obligation, sentimentality, rampant consumerism, outright greed and a religious story I simply do not buy into (no offence meant to those who do) often leaves me understanding what Scrooge meant by “bah, humbug”.

What I DO love, of course, is the cooking. Nothing like a great pot of soup on the stove and cookies baking in the oven to make me feel all warm and snug and allow me to share my love with others in, what to me, is a genuine way. One of my favorite holiday traditions is drinking wassail, which really just means a hot mulled cider of some sort. Read the rest of this entry »

My habit of late is to get up around 7:30 am, make a cup of tea, check email and Facebook, and read any interesting blogs. This morning, I saw a recipe for grape chili-pepper jelly. I wasn’t interested, both because I think grape jelly is mostly for people under the age of 10, and more importantly, I didn’t have any grapes.

Some of these dried chilies are well past their expiration date, but how do you tell, really?

What I do have is loads of apples. I’ve made apple-plum sauce, apple sauce, apple butter, and a lot of apple crisp. But still the apples keep coming. We picked the last of the tree just before our first really hard frost a few days ago. Read the rest of this entry »

A tree full of these beauties makes me feel rich!

I am living in apple paradise. How many times have I moved with boxes collected from the local grocery store, only to see “Washington Apples” on the side? Greenbluff, less than 20 minutes from my house, has a great selection of apples. We drove through one of the major Washington apple growing regions, Yakima, a few weeks ago, and saw wooden boxes of apples the size of a small cabin.   Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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