Oreo Butter

The Kitchen Paper’s Oreo Butter

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Homemade Peanut Butter

Alton Brown’s Homemade Peanut Butter

The jar may say Wegman’s but this peanut butter is homemade.  The great thing about making your own nut butter is you can adjust the chunkiness and salty-sweetness just the way you like it.  I used agave instead of honey here; change up this recipe by experimenting with different nuts, oils, and seasoning (cocoa-almond butter anyone??)  You just have to process the crap out of it until it all comes together–use your Vitamix if you have one!

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Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam

Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam, from The Washington Post

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Peach-Blueberry Jam

Peach-Blueberry Jam

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Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

I was so pumped to try canning for the first time after my most recent blackberry picking excursion.  Buuuuut instead of picking the required 3 QUARTS of  berries needed for the full-scale canning operation I had planned, I had read the recipe too quickly and only had 6 CUPS left over to use.  So I figured making a quick pint of freezer jam with my too-few berries was better than nothing.

You do not need any special equipment or even that much time to make freezer jam (which you don’t even need to store in the freezer if you can eat it quickly enough.)  It’s just a puree of berries mixed with enough sugar to make it palatable, boiled down to the right jammy consistency.

I mashed 3 cups of blackberries, added 1 cup of sugar, and heated the mixture over medium heat, stirring gently, until the sugar dissolved.  I then raised the heat to medium-high and boiled the mixture about 10 minutes–the standard marker to know it is ready is when a drop mounds in a chilled dish.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind

Martha Stewart’s Pickled Watermelon Rind

No joke, I have eaten a whole watermelon every week this summer.  By myself.  I just love the stuff, and I am the only one in my house who cares for it, so what other option do I have during its fleeting season?

I never thought much about throwing away the copious watermelon rinds I carve off every week (note to self: get that composting operation off the ground for next summer’s garden), until I visited a lovely Southern institution in Atlanta that served picked watermelon rind.  And I knew I had to try making it.

Yes, I know it sounds gross.  But there is enough sugar in this recipe that it is definitely more of a sweet rather than a pucker-inducing condiment.  It works not only as a snack, but also as a garnish on…well, whatever food on which you could use pickles!

The pickled rinds floating in their sweet-tart suspension, studded with picking spices:

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