Food & Dining

Recipes for Strawberry Jam, Frozen Strawberries, Strawberry Lemonade, Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam and More

by JR Coffey, author of Country Canning and Country Canning II

Preserved Strawberries 1
Cap, wash and weight strawberries. For every pound of strawberries, use one pound of sugar. It is best to cook one quart at a time. Combine berries and sugar. Let stand
several hours, then bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Skim as needed. Remove from fire and plump overnight. Pour hot preserves in a shallow pan and allow to cool.
Shake pan occasionally. Cover with plastic wrap when cool. This makes the strawberries plump up and absorb the syrup. Next morning, pack cold preserves into jars.
Wipe jar rims, seal and process at 180 to 190 for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not allow water to boil or berries will shrink considerably.

Preserved Strawberries 2
Use firm, ripe whole berries. Scald 2 full heaping quarts, leaving them in boiling water 2
minutes. Drain and add 4C. sugar. Boil 2 minutes, counting the time after the entire
contents of pan are bubbling. Remove from fire and after bubbling has stopped, add 2
more C. sugar. Boil 5 minutes. Pour into shallow pans so preserves are not over 1 12"
deep. Let stand overnight. Cover with plastic wrap when cool. Shake the shallow pan
frequently so berries will plump and absorb the syrup. Can as directed in Recipe 1.
Makes 5 to 6 half pints.

How to Can Asparagus

by James R. Coffey

Enjoy Spring Asparagus throughout the year! More recipes are available from my two books, Country Canning and Country Canning II.

Remove scales from stalks and wash. Cut in jar length pieces. You can process cut asparagus pieces separately. Do not can the tough bottom part of the spear. Pack jar, add salt and water to fill jar. One most vegetables and meats I use 1/2 t. canning salt to each pint or 1 t. canning salt to each quart. Wipe jar rims, seal and process by one of the methods below:

Water Bath: 2 1/2 hours (pints and quarts)
Pressure Canner: pints: 25 minutes; quarts: 35 minutes at 10 to 11 pounds pressure Some do pints 2 hours, quarts 3 hours in water bath or pints 30 minutes, quarts 40 minutes in a pressure canner. Both methods work and keep well.

Pickled Asparagus by the Jar (Dill Type)
Remove tough ends and scales. Wash asparagus. Prepare jars and lids. It will take 1 to 2 pounds of asparagus for each jar. Use pints or quarts. Cut asparagus to fit jar. Leave 1" headspace. To each jar, add as directed below:

Confessions of a Kitchen Snob

By Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Ok, I admit it – I’m a kitchen critic. I dislike cutesy, new-fangled or gimmicky when it comes to my culinary tools. I’d rather have several solid items that serve me well than drawers full of single use items.  Seriously – an egg slicer? Chicken-shaped measuring cups?  A special plate for holding deviled eggs? 

Unfortunately, my dislike for tools with poor or single function does NOTHING to dissuade me from trying new gadgets in my Holy Grail search for the ULTIMATE KITCHEN TOOLS & APPLIANCES.   Here’s a few that have NOT lived up to criteria:

Champion Juicer – expensive and considered one of the best in the world, especially beneficial for Cancer patients (I’m told) – I find it annoying to clean and dislike BAGS of pulp byproduct – seems wasteful. 

Large Cuisinart Food Processor – also expensive – and works very well.  Was great for making scone dough, in addition to chopping. But – annoying to clean. (especially now that we have no dishwasher)

Kitchenaid Mixer – the next to highest model – but not powerful enough to handle double & triple batches of dough – which is what I make. 

So, now that I’ve dissed some of the largest names in the world of food preparation – what DO I like?


Get free shipping when you order a Vita-Mix!Well, my new favorite kitchen tool (and the reason I’m selling the juicer and food processor) is the Vita-Mix.  I’d vaguely heard of it when I was intrigued by a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer commercial, and started searching online. Turns out THAT juicer/blender didn’t do too well in the reviews – everyone swore by the Vita-Mix, instead.   A couple of months later I was fortunate enough to attend a Vita-Mix demonstration – and I was sold.

I’m now the Smoothie Queen of the neighborhood – and we’re all enjoying a LOT more fruits and vegetables! Even when I make fruit smoothies I add some cabbage to the mix – it’s instantly emulsified and adds only sweetness and nutrients to the overall taste!  On slow, the Vita-Mix is also a food processor, chopping whole onions into manageable bits!

Best of all – it’s SO easy to clean – just add some warm water & dish detergent and turn it ON for 10 seconds. (don’t add more than the 2 cups of water directed – or you’ll have a sudsy Mount Vesuvius on your countertop – NOT that I’d ever DO that, of course! {Grin!})

Downtown Dentons Farmers Market

                            Wednesdays  April 14th - October 13th

                             3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Courthouse Green, 100 Block of Market Street

Find farm-fresh local produce at Downtown Denton’s Farmers’ Market every Wednesday!  There will be live music every 3rd Wednesday.  FREE!  Contact: (410) 479-4315

Cecil County Farmers Market at Elkton

Corner Howard and Bow Streets at the Pavilion
Friday: 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. April 3 - October 30
Contact: Joanne Young 410-996-8469
WIC and Senior FMNP Checks Accepted

New Cookbook Introduces Healthy Persian Cooking

by Erin Mawn

I suppose every nationality takes immense pride in its food; each St. Patrick’s Day my father insisted on having a traditional Irish dinner complete with corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. As a self-described ‘foodie’, one of my joys in life in trying new foods. When I was young I visited Australia and actually tried shark meat, kangaroo meat (it’s equivalent to Americans eating venison) and the pride of the Aussies: Vegemite. In college I went to England, and I was more than happy to go out each night to a different pub and try the fare. However, rather than spending all the dough to travel to a foreign country every time I want to try a new food, I have learned to look for local venues that offer interesting dishes. My newest experience though, is a do-it-yourself one.

stuffed grape leavesPersian cuisine, or the cuisine of Iran, is deliciously diverse and also very health conscious. Many of the dishes use rice as a staple ingredient, and almost all of them have fruits and vegetables either as main ingredients or as sides. I realize that most people would have no idea how to begin cooking a Persian dish, and so to make the process easier, here is the book to lead the way: Simply Persian Cuisine. The book is presented in a very straight forward manner, so that anyone, even those whose free time is at a premium such as working mothers or college students, can pull together a healthy and delicious meal.

French Bistro take an Irish Twist

‘Master of Whisky’ helps French bistro take an Irish twist on St. Paddy’s weekend

“The Luck of the Irish” lands in downtown Cambridge on Friday, March 19 when Bistro Poplar welcomes “Master of Whisky” John Heffernan and rising-star chef Ian Campbell and his staff put their culinary talents to work creating a menu that complements a selection of fine libations from the Emerald Isle.

One of the evening’s highlights will be the presentations made by John Heffernan, the Washington, D.C.-based “Master of Whisky” for Diageo, the world’s leading distributor of premium drink brands. To earn his degree, Heffernan underwent years of training in the history, production, maturating and blending of premium whiskeys. Before that, he served 12 years as a Whisky Ambassador.

Heffernan now educates bartenders and restaurant owners about the nuances of Scotch and Irish whiskies. “There is nothing more exciting than teaching people about my two loves: history and whisky,” he says. “I always get excited to share with others and see their faces turn from puzzled to enlightened.”


EASTON—Talbot County, whose reputation as a dining destination has grown well beyond its Eastern Shore locale, is joining communities across the country by celebrating the popular culinary trend known as Restaurant Week.

More than 20 restaurants in Easton, Oxford, St. Michaels, Tilghman and Trappe have signed on to participate in the week-long event debuting in late March.

Restaurant Week began in the early 1990s in New York City and the concept—a cooperative effort among usually fierce competitors to provide gourmet dining experiences at bargain prices—caught on so quickly that it has been adopted by many areas as an annual “shoulder season” event.

Locally, Restaurant Week kicks off on Sunday, March 21, at The Oaks (formerly the Pasadena Inn) with “Celebrate Talbot! Sample, Sip & Savor,” a four-hour food- and wine-tasting of the best treats that chefs and vintners have to offer. “Celebrate Talbot!” is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and costs $35 per person. This event is sponsored by the Talbot County Office of Tourism in partnership with the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

Sample, Sip & Savor - Restaurant Week

March 21, 2010—3 PM until 7 PM

On March 21, 2010 a pantheon of food and beverage stars will exercise their considerable talent to enhance Talbot County’s culinary reputation. Only three hundred attendees will have the opportunity to sample exceptional dishes prepared by an acclaimed group of chefs from St. Michaels, Easton, Oxford, Tilghman Island and Trappe, along with select vintners.

Tickets are limited to 300 guests and are only $35 per person.

The setting is The Oaks, a country inn located on an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay just an hour from Annapolis and 90 minutes from Washington, DC and Baltimore.

Enjoy this historic waterfront estate, nestled on a secluded cove as you sample, sip and savor creations from the following Talbot County restaurants and caterers:

The Wine Coach? Partners Wine & Pasta at St. Michaels Winery

March 26, 6:30-8:30pm . . . Join Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach® and her husband, Chef Michael Forster, for “Great Partners: Wine & Pasta” on March 26 at the St. Michaels Winery. Learn pasta?making techniques and wine pairings with delicious selections from St. Michaels Winery. Tickets $49, includes three tastings of pasta, tasting of six wines, cooking lesson, and wine pairing instruction. Participants receive recipes to take home. Registration is limited, and advanced reservations are required.

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