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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!! Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008. Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved. Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.
[Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection] [Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]
(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·->Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Issue 29<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯)
June 12, 2002
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection
Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site, so you are getting a "sneak peek" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes. Spike's comments are in Brackets.
Spike the Grate & Jamie the Webmistress
 Look at that thermometer! In many parts of the world, it is the season for fruit to ripen and to be canned and/or made into jams, jellies, and preserves. Of course, one must choose the hottest day of the year to do the preserving of food, because it is the hottest job there is. Well, no, I guess it is probably hotter in those places where they do stuff to iron ore to turn it into steel. Anyway, that boiling cauldron (hereinafter referred to as “canner”) does an excellent job of heating the kitchen to an incredibly high temperature. As soon as you take out the last rack of jars and turn off the canner, some person will enter the room and ask, “What’s for dinner?” Legal defense for a murder charge is extremely expensive, so don’t do it! 
CLASSIC STRAWBERRY PRESERVES
(No Added Pectin)
Makes about 5 half pints Author Helen Witty encourages preservers not to feel overwhelmed by the steps involved in this recipe. Don't be tempted to double the size of the batch being cooked since the briefest possible cooking is essential for a successful preserve.
Also, she warns that after the berries have been left to stand with the sugar (Step 1), it will appear that all is lost -- there is a frightful amount of syrup and the berries appear shriveled. However, the remainder of the process plumps them up wonderfully, and by the time they are sealed in jars, they are perfect.
At the end of the recipe, you'll also find instructions for making the preserves with frozen strawberries (frozen without sugar).
2 1-quart baskets small, firm, ripe strawberries (about 8 cups)
6 cups granulated sugar
Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons (about 6 tablespoons)
Sort, hull, rinse and drain the berries; use only those that are perfect, discarding any with either soft or unripened spots. Layer them with the sugar in a ceramic or other non-aluminum bowl, then fold the fruit and sugar gently together with a rubber spatula. Let the berries stand at room temperature for 12 hours, covered, stirring them gently a few times; the idea is to allow all the sugar to dissolve before proceeding. Scrape the berries and syrup into a preserving pan or a very large (12-inch) sauté pan. Add the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring it occasionally, and boil it briskly for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool uncovered. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it stand overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Drain all the syrup from the berries and return syrup to the preserving pan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil it hard until the mixture has reached the jelly stage (220 degrees F up to 1,000 feet; 216 degrees at 2,000 feet; 214 degrees at 3,000 feet; 212 degrees at 4,000 feet; 211 degrees at 5,000 feet; 209 degrees at 6,000 feet; 207 degrees at 7,000 feet; 205 degrees at 8,000 feet). Return the berries and any accumulated syrup to the pan and again bring the preserves to a boil, stirring gently with a spatula to prevent sticking; be careful not to break the fruit. Boil the preserves until the berries are translucent and the syrup again passes the jelly test. Depending on the original juiciness of the strawberries, this will take from 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Skim off any foam and stir the preserves from time to time for 5 minutes (this is to keep the fruit from floating).
Ladle the preserves into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving a 1/4-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).
Preserves made with frozen strawberries:
For preserving, you'll want strawberries that have been frozen loose, without sugar. If you do your own, spread them on baking sheets and freeze them, then place into freezer bags and seal them airtight. It will save time later if you weigh them and mark the bag with the weight and the date. Try to make the preserves before the berries have been held in the freezer too long; 6 months' storage is about the limit for the best flavor, although frozen berries will remain edible at least twice as long. To make the preserves, follow the directions in the recipe above, using a pound (2 cups) of sugar for each pound (about 3 cups) of berries and adding lemon juice as described. There is no need to thaw the berries before stirring them with the sugar; dissolving the sugar will take longer, that's all.
-- From "Fancy Pantry" by Helen Witty
 This French fry recipe looks really interesting. You’ll have to have some help in preparing the rest of the meal, however, as this looks as though it will take your full attention. It’s worth the effort. 
FRENCH FRIES FOR THE HOME COOK
Makes 4 servings
Peel 2 pounds of medium white potatoes (about 6). Cut into 3/8-inch-thick sticks or to a uniform size of your liking. Pour 21/2 cups of peanut oil into a 12-inch skillet. Add the potatoes to the cold oil. They should be packed tightly into a single layer, with a few sitting on top. The oil should almost cover them. (As potatoes fry and their moisture evaporates, they will eventually fit in a pan in a single layer.)
Turn heat to medium and fry until potatoes just start to turn pale golden. Jiggle the pan and move the potatoes around in the first 10 minutes of cooking, but then do not disturb them for the next 10 to 15 minutes because they are too fragile.
Once the potatoes have developed a pale gold shell, increase the heat to medium-high and fry, constantly moving them around to ensure even browning. When they are golden brown, transfer them to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. -- From "CookSmart" by Pam Anderson
RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY PUREE
Makes about 4 cups
You'll find plenty of recipes for rhubarb puree. But this is one is perfected. Not too sweet, not too tart, it has a velvety texture and tastes marvelous over ice cream, under pound-cake and layered in parfaits.
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb chunks, cut into 1-inch pieces (for 6 cups)
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and coarsely mashed or sliced (for
about 2 cups
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and pineapple juice in a large non-aluminum pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 25 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Let mixture cool, then puree in batches in food processor until very smooth. Spoon into freezer containers and freeze, allowing about 1-inch head space.
OLDER ISN'T WISER
WHEN IT COMES TO CANNING
06/04/02, Portland Oregonian FOODday
With local strawberries in season, can cucumbers, corn, beans and peaches be far behind? If you plan to make pickles, can vegetables or make jam, it's time to take stock of canning supplies and update your preserving information.
Home canning is not complicated. It's a simple procedure of applying heat to food in a closed jar to interrupt the natural decaying that would otherwise take place. Unless you're making freezer jam, this requires heat processing.
Before you get started, check out your canning information. If it predates 1988, the year the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its home-canning guidelines based on safety and quality, it's likely outdated.
Call or visit your county's State University Extension Service for canning, freezing and pickling bulletins, which are available for a small fee.
The 32nd edition of Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing and Dehydration has the latest USDA recommendations. It's available at selected stores or at Bi-Mart, or you can order online at www.homecanning.com . You can also get a copy by calling 800-392-2575 from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $5.95, which includes shipping and handling.
Supplies: If you have pectin left over from last year, check the expiration date. If it's past the date, your jams or jellies may not set up.
Inspect the jars you have on hand. They should have no cracks or nicks in the rims, which can cause food to spoil because the jars won't seal properly. Also, be sure you have enough jars for the task, and enough screw bands that are rust-free. Screw bands can be reused, but the flat lids cannot. If you have leftover lids, don't use them if they are stuck together because some of the sealing compound may have come off. Before every use, check the rack, weights, vents and gasket on the canner. Make sure the vents are clear and the gasket is in place.
Dial gauge testing: The USDA recommends testing dial gauges on pressure canners before each year's use. They should be replaced if they read high by more than 1 pound at 5, 10 or 15 pounds of pressure. Low readings cause over-processing and may indicate that the accuracy of the gauge is unpredictable.
Check with your county extension service for places to have your gauge checked.
 Spike notes: It has come to my attention that many of our fruits have been hybridized so much that they no longer have the acid content that they used to have. That acid content is needed in canning with boiling water bath, and for making jams, jellies, and preserves. I buy lemons (not Meyer lemons, which have little acid) and put lemon juice into almost everything. Lemon juice that is sufficiently acidic can be purchased at the supermarket, and it does not require the juicing effort. A tablespoonful to a quart is enough. I use it when canning tomatoes and applesauce, as well. 
Preserving questions: Hours of operation are listed in Pacific Daylight Time; phone lines are open Monday through Friday unless otherwise noted.
Certo, Sure-Jell, MCP and Slim Set: 800-437-3284; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; www.kraftfoods.com liquid and powdered pectin (Kraft Foods)
Ball and Kerr Consumer Line: 800-240-3340; 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; www.homecanning.com lids and jars, fruit pectin, pickle-making products, salsa mix and Fruit Fresh.
Again, the county extension service of your State University will have advice
In Portland, Oregon, the FOODday Hot Line: 503-221-8544; 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
 Here’s a lovely dessert to make the day before you do the canning and pre-serving, so you can give yourself (and your family) a treat when it is finished.
Matter of fact, it would be a good idea to make your entire dinner for the canning day and have it in the fridge to be nuked at the right time for dinner. 
1 cup Graham-cracker crumbs,
3 tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbsp Butter
3 pkg Cream cheese (8oz)each, at room temperature
2 tsp Grated fresh lemon peel
5 large Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Sour cream
2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 can Cherry pie filling
CRUST: Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Mix crumbs, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add butter, stir until blended. Press evenly over bottom and 2 inches up the sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
FILLING: Heat oven to 350'F. Beat cream cheese and lemon peel in large bowl of electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, sugar and salt and beat until blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Once blended, beat 10 minutes or until mixture is smooth, creamy and pale. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes or until cake is set and top feels firm. Remove from oven and let stand in pan on wire rack 20 minutes (cake will continue to set and top may crack during cooling).
CREAMY TOPPING: With a wooden spoon beat sour cream, sugar and vanilla about 1 minute until smooth. Pour over cake and spread gently over surface.
Return to oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes until set. Cool in pan on wire rack, then refrigerate until cold or up to 2 days. TO SERVE: Run knife around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Cake can be frozen ( leave on pan bottom), well wrapped, up to 1 month. Just before serving spoon pie filling over top.
Makes 18 servings.
Shalom, from Spike and Jamie
SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE
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