Category Archives: Sauces. Jams. and Spreads

Jack Bac Jam for Holiday Gift Giving

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Jack Bac Jam
Jack Bac Jam

Buckle up and hold on because this meat sauce recipe is going to take you over mounds of bacon and onions and right down sugar-lane filled with sweet maple syrup and a beautifully rich balsamic vinegar!

vanilla box bulbLast year at this time I suggested DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract as a lovely gift-giving idea.   Vanilla is still a wonderful gift idea, but it is best started around the first of November to be ready in December. You can still get vanilla started and just let recipients know it will be ready to use in January!

This year I am cranking it up a notch with Jack Bac Jam.  This rich and luscious jam tops your favorite steak, chicken, pork, fish or even brats!  It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks making it another spectacular and creative do-it-yourself gift.
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Apple Bread Pudding With Luscious Vanilla Sauce

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Bread Pudding With Vanilla Sauce
Bread Pudding With Vanilla Sauce

When my sous chef dish-washing mom made Overnight Egg and Cheese Casserole for her Bible study group, we had a half loaf of white bread left over.  We are not big white bread eaters but we are big lovers of bread pudding.  I also had a few whole wheat hot dog buns also leftover from a lunchtime splurge of “dogs on the grill.”

I like making Paula Deen’s Bread Pudding but I live by the thought bread pudding“so many recipes so little time” plus I still have a few apples left from the fall harvest.  That sent me searching for an apple bread pudding recipe.  I asked my sous-chef dish-washing mom if she would make the bread pudding from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com.  This is an adaptation of Gramma’s Apple Bread Pudding.

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My New Butter Bell Crock … Got Butter?

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On a recent trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, I wandered into a Paula Deen Family Kitchen Shop. I’ve never seen one of these shops before. I won’t go all buttery ya’ll, but honestly it is a beautiful shop!

Paula Deen Kitchen Shop, Gatlinburg, TN
Paula Deen Kitchen Shop, Gatlinburg, TN

The very first display I see is for Butter Bell Crocks.  Since I leave a small dish of butter on my counter for quick spreadable butter I was drawn to the sign “Enjoy Soft Spreadable Butter Without Refrigeration.”

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Throw Back Soup and Crispy Slaw for Sandwiches

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Today I was preparing to write this blog post while staying with a friend.  When she passed by me she said “I won’t be a moment” to which I replied, “no worries, I am happy as a clam.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth I thought, where did that come from? Are clams happy?

I couldn’t leave it alone and here is what I found from a quick Google of The Phrase Finder.

“Why would clams be happy? It has been suggested that open clams give the appearance of smiling. The derivation is more likely to come from the fuller version of the phrase, now rarely heard – ‘as happy as a clam at high water’. Hide tide is when clams are free from the attentions of predators; surely the happiest of times in the bivalve mollusc world. The phrase originated in the north-eastern states of the USA in the early 19th century. The earliest citation that I can find is from a frontier memoir The Harpe’s Head – A Legend of Kentucky, 1833:

“It never occurred to him to be discontented… He was as happy as a clam.”

The first record that I can find of the ‘high water’ version is from the Pennsylvania newspaper The Adams Sentinel, August 1844:

“Crispin was soon hammering and whistling away as happy as a clam at high water.””

I love like the part … “it never occurred to him to be discontented.”  This is how I want to live my days.  Even in rough times, we don’t have to be discontented because we can take all our cares to the LORD.  Aren’t we blessed?  Yes.

Cream of Maitake
Cream of Maitake

Speaking of blessed, the Hen of the Woods mushrooms that made up this soup came from our friends who picked them fresh while on a walk through their woods.  This recipe has had  9,152+  views since I wrote it.

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