Spiced Plum Butter from My Berlin Kitchen

September 18, 2012(updated on October 18, 2023)

This oven roasted spiced plum butter is a delicious way to preserve early autumn plums. Also known as pflaumenmus, it’s a traditional German preserve that is very much worth making.

My Berlin Kitchen

I first discovered The Wednesday Chef sometime in early 2006. I had become an avid reader of blogs about a year before (they were a great way to keep my mind off my terrible day job) and was always on the hunt for new sites to add to my list of bookmarks. Luisa’s voice and perspective on food resonated with me immediately. I spent a morning engrossed in her archives and once caught up, tried never to miss a new post.

My Berlin Kitchen spine

In fact, it’s fairly safe to say that I’ve read nearly everything that Luisa Weiss has ever posted to the internet (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a stalker. I swear, I’m just a fan). And, when an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchen arrived just before the mini-vacation that Scott and I took few weeks back, I tucked it into my travel bag and proceeded to read it in a single, giant gulp.

dog ears

As I read, I dog-eared recipes I wanted to remember. I marked the Pizza Siciliana and the Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns. I’m hoping to make the Yeasted Plum Cake before their season is entirely gone and, come Christmas, I’m definitely planning on making the Fruit Bread on page 161. It sounds dense and divine.

Pflaumenmus

As I read, there was one recipe that jumped out at me more insistently than the rest and cried out to be made immediately. The Pflaumenmus or Spiced Plum Butter on page 237 had my name written all over it (particularly since I had the necessary four pounds of Italian prune plums at home, thanks to the Washington State Fruit Commission and their Canbassador program).

Italian prune plums

Of course, I’ve made plum butters before, but never with this particular technique. Luisa has you quarter the plums, stir them together with a bit of sugar, a cinnamon stick, and a couple cloves and let them sit overnight. The next day, once they’re nice and juicy, you pop the pan into the oven and bake them them at moderate heat.

After their time in the heat, the plums are incredibly tender and fragrant. The liquid has thickened a great deal and the slumping fruit just smells incredible.

post roasting

Once pureed, she has you funnel the prepared butter into sterilized jars and use the inversion method to seal. This is the only place where I diverged from the recipe as written and I chose to run my jars through a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Because this is a relatively low sugar preserve, I wanted to ensure that all bacteria was killed and the best way to do that is with a hot water bath.

Now, just a note about the yield. The recipe says that it makes four to five jars, but doesn’t specify the sizes of those jars. I found that after pureeing, I had exactly enough butter to fill three pint jars. I imagine the jars Luisa used were a bit smaller than a standard pint and so figure my yield was just about right (I did the math and found that had I used the 1/5 L Weck jars, I’d have filled exactly five jars).

finished butter

I plan on applying this same overnight maceration and oven roasting to other fruits, because it made for such a nice finished product and filled my apartment with the most delicious smells.

Disclosure: Viking sent me an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchen and are providing the copy for this giveaway. However, I’ve not been paid to host this giveaway and my opinions are entirely my own.
5 from 1 vote

Spiced Plum Butter

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Italian prune plums
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves

Instructions

  • Pit and quarter the plums and put them in a heavy 4-quart pot. Add the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the cloves. Stir well and let sit overnight or four 8 hours.
  • The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the pot, unlidded, into the oven and cook for 2 hours, stirring the mixture occasionally.
  • Sterilize the glass jar and lids in boiling water.
  • When the plums have broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick jam, remove pot from the oven and fish out the cinnamon stick (if you can find the cloves, fish them out too).
  • Puree the jam with an immersion blender until it resembles a fruit butter, and then fill the sterilized jars with the hot puree, screw on tops and immediately turn the jars upside down. If you prefer a jam with discernible chunks of fruit, however, don’t puree the jam; simply ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars.
  • Let the jars cool complete before turning the right side up again and labeling them. The jam will keep for at least a year.

(Marisa’s note: You can also process the jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes if you’d prefer to do it the American way.)

Recipe from My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss, published by Viking, 2012.

Sharing is caring!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




492 thoughts on "Spiced Plum Butter from My Berlin Kitchen"

  • My earliest food memory probably dates back to when I was 3-4 years old. After spending the night at my grandparents’ , my grandpa and I would wake earlier than the rest of the house, go into the kitchen and make toasted cinnamon bread. The smell of cinnamon still brings me back to that happy memory. The weird thing is that my second food memory is toasting English muffins with my other grandparents. It’s no wonder that I love all toasted things.

  • My mother was born and raised in Berlin. This has her name written all over it. Thanks for letting me know about Luissa. I will be adding her to my blog reading!!

  • My favorite food memory is watching my mother making the dough for apple strudel when we lived in Austria. It was always my favorite dessert.

  • There are lots of food memories but a nice recent one for me was taking my kids to a sushi bar and having want some of everything including my favorite – broiled eel nigiri. I love that they are such omnivores.

  • On our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a small olive oil shop in Grenada, Spain for a 13 course meal featuring different types of olive oil. It was several hours long including amazing food, plenty of wine, and the most amazing conversations. We will still talk about that meal to this day and it has never been topped.

  • While I couldn’t necessarily pick out my absolute favorite food memory (so many to choose from!), I suppose my most nostalgic one is from when I was a kid and my siblings and I would go out to the garden patch where my family had red raspberry canes. We would go through the rows and pick only the ripest, most sun-warmed berries and gorge ourselves until our mouths were stained red. Even our dog would join us, peeling back his lips like he was going to growl and then using only his teeth to pluck off a juicy berry.

  • My Favorite food memory is learning to can with my grandmother. We make apricot jam and at the end of it all we sat together and ate biscuits with jam on top. It was so good! Ever since them we still make time to get together every year to pick and can apricots and treat ourselves afterwards.

  • Mixing dough in the stand mixer with grandma, playing “this is snow!” with the sugar and “dust storm” with the cocoa….you get the idea!

  • Favorite food memory??? Wow, my life is filled with them but the ones I probably look back on the fondest would be shopping at the outdoor markets in Germany when I was a child. I loved the sights, sounds, and smells but to a child the best part was probably all the “treats” given out by the vendors.

  • My favorite food memory is of my Papa (grandfather). Each year at Christmas we would have a huge family gathering at his and Mama’s house. It lasted all day. And it would start with opening stockings and eating a HUGE southern-style breakfast. Mama did all the food except for one thing: The grits. Papa would get out a 10 quart stock pot and pounds of butter and cornmeal. He cooked it for what seemed like hours. And it is the gold standard for all other grits that I have ever eaten. It has to be buttery yellow, smooth and creamy and not remind me of dried grain in any way, shape or form.

  • One of my favorite food memories is my Hungarian great grandmother coming to visit. She would make all our favorite Hungarian pastries that we didn’t get very often. Now I am trying to record all the recipes to pass down to my daughter and niece so they aren’t lost. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • One of my favorite food memories is canning with my mom and my sister. I love it. They live in Nebraska so the produce is garden-fresh.

  • Favorite food memory? That’s a tough one! I’ll go with this:

    The first summer my mom and I made jam is such a wonderful memory for me. We used the plums that grew in our yard – my brothers helped pick the fruit, but after that it was just me and my darling mumsey. She is gone now but every batch of jam that I make reminds me of her…

  • one of my favorite food memories is the holidays at my grandmas house… specifically christmas eve dinner when my family would cook several fish dishes…. i remember going with my grandma to arthur ave in the bronx to buy everything on christmas eve morning… then spending all day preparing dinner for the whole family… it is still one of my favorite meals to prepare..

  • Hmm, my favorite food memory? I think that would have to be decorating Christmas cookies with my mom when I was a kid. If you knew my family that would be a funny memory. My mom does not cook. She somewhat cooked when we were little out of necessity, but since we were old enough to fend for ourselves, she largely quit cooking. But she liked to bake and we would make sugar cookies and decorate them with different colors of vanilla icing and various sprinkles. It was always a lot of fun even if they didn’t look much like the beautiful sugar cookies people make these days. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  • Favorite food recipe… oh my goodness….

    Probably making and subsequently devouring the stuffed artichokes that my grandmother lovingly makes.

  • One of my earliest food memories is bottled home-made root beer, fermenting in the shelves of the wood-working shop in the back yard. We loved root beer, esp with popcorn, and it was so hard to wait for it. It was strong but sweet and full of bubbles, and the most delicious root beer I’ve ever had.

  • my favorite food memory is my grandmother making a huge pot of Italian sauce (aka: gravy) for Sunday dinner. She would always allow me to dip the freshest softest sliced bread in that pot. the sauce was so thick and my mouth literally waters at the thought of that first bite! yum!

  • My favorite food memory is of the homemade 2-layer birthday cakes that my mother made, and hand-decorated, for us when we were kids.

  • My grandmother always made her food way in advance and froze it. So when she died, my grandfather had all of this food already made in the freezer that lasted him for a few months. But the specific meal that she had made was Rosh Hashana dinner, and she died a few days before the holiday (not this year). So she had already cooked the meat, and there wasn’t time to get new meat anyway between the funeral, shiva, the butcher being closed for Saturday, and the holiday starting. So we wound up just eating the meal that she had already made. To this day (actually exactly today, since we had brisket for Rosh Hashana), we refer to that meal as her “memorial brisket”.

  • My favorite food memory is a family story rather than an actual memory of mine. When I was about a year old my grandfather gave me a chicken leg bone which had been cleared of all meet and gristle. I can see myself gnawing on that bone in my high chair.

    After re-reading that memory it sounds a little strange, but believe me in my head its a great memory.

  • My favorite food memory is making Spritz Cookies for Christmas with my mom and brother using a cookie press. They were my favorite cookie and so much fun to decorate.

  • One of my favorite food memories has to be when I was 3 or 4 years old – I was in Disneyland with my family and my Dad bought me one of the giant pickles on Tom Sawyer Island. It was almost as tall as my face! I have had a deep-rooted love of pickles ever since!

  • Just one favorite memory…it is too hard to pick just one as my favorites always revolve around those whom I love. My father making waffles before church, my brother and me eating hot rice with milk and honey for breakfast, or my mother making plum blackberry jelly in the summers.

  • My grandma always had a candy dish and a nut dish, but best of all, she kept in stock, especially for me, a little crock full of what she called “stinky cheese” (bleu cheese).
    She would rave to her friends how, even as a toddler, I would prefer the stinky cheese to the sweets! As an adult with wee babies I lived 7 hours away from her, but when she came to visit, she always brought me that little crock of stinky cheese and a homemade lasagne and a beer cake! I miss my Grandma!

  • So lovely!

    My favorite food memory is the last Thanksgiving when my grandma was alive. We did it at her house (it’s almost as if we knew it would be her last one) and she was so happy to have everyone in her house. She was beaming with love. What a great memory.

  • My favorite food memory is making Christmas cookies with my family. Every year we gat together and make a giant batch of sugar cookies, them frost and decorate them. Everyone gets to take some home and Grandma keeps the rest at her place for visitors.

  • Most of my food memories stem from hanging out at my parents’ restaurants over the years. I still remember the smell of pizza in the oven while sitting at a booth with a coloring book and crayola.

  • Food is such an important part of so many fun memories! I think my favorite is from the yr My husband & I were married. We had a rare southern snow that was a few inches deep but in the south enough to shut everything down. My midwestern husband was thrilled. He packed us a picnic, took me to the top of a nearby mountain overlooking the city & laid it out on a large flat tree stump. We had hot soup with crackers, fresh sandwiches & hot chocolate. I remember being so cold, laughing & enjoying the gorgeous winter views. We’ve shared a lot of meals together since then that have been just as special.

  • My favorite food memory is making seven apple pies with my mother over the course of a weekend in an attempt to use up the bounty of our trees that were perfectly ripe. Our house smelled delicious for days!

  • my favorite food memory is my mothers bread pudding. We would eat it warm with half and half. Yum !! My mother was killed in a car accident 12 yrs ago and I have tried making it – it is good -but never as good as hers !!

  • I love your website and check it every day! I can a little here and there, but would like to do more and love your concept of canning in small amounts. I am interested in trying some of your plum canning recipes and the idea of cooking down the fruit in the oven would allow me to do other things at the same time – like take care of our four daughters.

  • My favorite food memory isn’t so much as a memory as a continuing tradition. My Oma makes plum jam, pretty much exactly like your recipe, every year. We eat it all year long. On New Year’s Eve she makes what we call pummelschens. They are yeast donuts (without the hole) filled with her plum jam. They get fried to a golden brown and rolled in granular sugar. We have them on New Year’s Day. The last several years my sisters and I have helped make the pummelschens. We want to carry on the tradition.

  • My grandmothers and their friends would get together during the holidays for ‘cookie exchanges’. I remember baking all kinds of different treats for these parties and we brought home even more than we took. I miss those days. Just to have the time…..

  • Having made many jars of plum butter, preserves, sauce and syrup in August, I have to agree that it is a wonderful treat now and will be even more so this winter. I would really enjoy reading the book now that my canning evenings are slowing. Thank you for all of your insights and help.

  • So many in mind, but plum cake is one of them. I had been
    trolling the web for the perfect recipe that matched the one
    my Mom made growing up. Luisa’s looks amazing and is on
    my to do list.

  • My grandparents would hang long sweet red peppers in their garage until they dried out and then would fry them in olive oil until crispy. Then we would put a ton of salt on them and eat them with eggs. They were one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life and have never been able to duplicate them.

  • My favorite food memory is when at christmas time we would have fresh polish kielbasa, and love the cheese pierogi what a treat. and all bake goods of course!

  • My favorite food memory – just 2 weeks ago I taught my daughter how to make peach butter. Since I had it in the crock pot overnight the whole house filled with the fragrance of peaches and cinnamon. She woke up the biggest smile on her face that I had ever seen. Much better than waking the kids to the smell of bacon!

  • one of my favorite food memories is my dad letting me pick out the pickle from the enormous barrel at the deli. he’d slice it when we got home and we’d eat all of it with our sandwhiches. happy birthday dad! i miss you.

  • When I was a little girl, my grandmother worked at a small German bakery. My mom used to take my brother and I there to see “where Gramma worked” and we would get to “help” put pastries in the oven and of course we always got a chance to sample the yummy treats. My favorite was the sour cream kuchen and the apple cinnamon filled donuts they made in the fall. Yum.

  • I love to read and cook, winning this would be awesome.
    My favorite memory was cooking fried chicken with my grandmother.

  • my favorite food memory is cooking with my grandmother. she is an amazing cook and i hope to pass on her recipes to my kids someday 🙂

  • I grow up in the 50’s on a farm in Nebraska and as soon as school was out, we began canning, preserving, freezing. My favorite smell was that of the dill blossom and stuffing cucumbers into huge jars. And then there were times when my mom found a choke cherry tree and so there was jelly. And wild strawberries along the back roads. And chickens to butcher and put up in the freezer. The best day of the year was when our Saturday dinner came from our garden and the chicken coop. Good times.

  • My favorite food memory is of my whole family making tons and tons of cookies for christmas. We’d give plates away to teachers, the bus driver, dad’s barber, the mail man, and neighbors.

  • Honestly, I think my favourite food memory is the first time I had dinner at my now-husband’s place. He’d promised to cook me dinner, and I was expecting something a la Rice-a-Roni, like every other boyfriend I’d had. Instead, he cooked a four course feast, all the recipes were from the Caribbean (May 2005) issue of Bon Appetit. I knew right then that he was the one for me.

  • A lovely plum cake my German grandmother made. She’s been gone for many years, but I still make the cake every plum season.

  • My favorite food memory is watching my grandfather slice corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. He made the best corned beef and I got to steal the loose pieces!

  • I remember being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother as a very young child – maybe 3. They were chatting and making cream of wheat for me. I looked up and saw the cream of wheat box and now every time I see that box it takes me back to that moment and I feel safe and content.

  • I grew up in Germany and my mother was an expert Pflaumenmuss maker though she did it on the stove top. My favorite use for Pflaumenmuss to this day is Rohrnudeln, a wonderful yeasted roll fill with Pflaumenmuss and baked in the oven and served warm with vanilla sauce. Heaven on a plate and certainly one of my fondest food memories. My mother would occasionally make this dish for dinner with a green salad on the side for good measure!

  • My favorite food memory: The dish wasn’t really anything special, it was just the first time I followed a recipe all on my own and came out with a result that actually kinda looked like the picture in the book. Victory!

  • A 17 year-old Palestine and Polish boy with carmel skin and blue eyes…
    A pottery studio…
    And my 16 year-old southern country girl self presented with Turkish Delight as a declaration of his love.

    He clearly didn’t know that a southern girl from Redneck-ville USA would have no idea what a treat this gooey-sugary delicacy is and I wasn’t about to tell him. I fell in love with food that day, probably more so than with him and began learning what a big place my the world is through my palate.

    I’ve enjoyed many food memories since then but the first taste of something beyond my comfort zone is still my favorite.

  • My favorite food memory is spending summers when I was 3-4 years old with my “Mommom” in her skinny city row home. I would spend hours helping her make crunchy, buttery chicken cutlets and hand rolled pierogies.

  • My favorite food memory is my grandmother’s blueberry cake. When I make it my house smells like hers and I feel like I am seven years old in Maine all over again.

    1. Tia, I would love you forever if you could share your grandmothers rabbit stew recipe. I have yet to find one that isn’t too sweet, too bland and makes me sad i wasted a rabbit on it.

  • My favorite food memory happened just last week- cooked for my parents, who are picky eaters and have never acknowledged my (growing) skills, and they finally complimented my meal with genuine enthusiasm. So nice to treat them after years of eating their food.

  • My favorite memory is “helping” my mother while she canned green beans. She always canned everything we grew and whatever anyone would give her. She was fast at getting the beans in the jars and keeping everything hot. When I was learning, I was slow, so she would let me help a little then finish herself so the beans and jars stayed hot. Now I cherish those memories and wish I had paid more attention to all the other vegetables and fruits she canned!

  • I think my favorite memory involves preparing peach cobbler with my Grandmother. (Using her canned peaches of course!) She never wrote down any of her recipes and I wanted to have them to make after she was gone. They way she taught me was by having me make it with her and her saying, add enough (insert food item) so it feels like this when you stir it. Cook it long enough so it looks like this, and so on. Although I would prefer to cook with a recipe, I have been able to re-create that peach cobbler by stirring it and cooking it just so.

  • This recipe sounds so easy and delicious! I love the deep purple!

    My favorite food memory was way back when I was about 4, I carved out a giant pumpkin (that I just about fit inside at the time) with my grandma and then we roasted the seeds and baked some pie pumpkins and winter squash that we made into a puree and used to layer over slices of apples and pears for the most amazing pies. I still make the pie ever year for Thanksgiving and add some maple syrup and toasted pecans to the top!

  • My favorite food memory is taking Home Ec (remember that class in junior high?) and already knowing how to cook the simple recipes they were teaching. Way to go Mom … you really were teaching me without either of us realizing it.

  • My favorite food memory is canning apricot jam with my mom when I was a kid. It set me up for all the canning I do now.

  • Favorite food memory is probably playing swords with dried spaghetti as my mom would cook dinner in the evening. A close second is the first time I made jam (for my (now) husband’s birthday) and my roommate and I sat in the family room waiting to hear the jars “pop.” We’d do a little happy dance each time we heard one!

  • My favorite food memory is making my first cake with my dad – I realize how he really is the person who showed me how much fun baking is!

  • In my family, the expression “just like Grandma used to make” is usually a cause to run the other way. One grandmother kept her cookie jar full of Fig Newtons and iced oatmeal cookies. I don’t know if she ever baked. At least she knew her limitations.

    On the other hand, my other grandmother was a big fan of TV dinners and instant foods (cup a soup was a big deal, as were canned potato pancakes- just slice and fry!). She couldn’t understand why, when making up a box of mac & cheese, nobody would eat it after she sprinkled the dry cheese powder onto the plain, cooked macaroni.

    So, most of my favorite food memories revolve around the humor of some cooking disasters, like the time my mom decided to pick the gorgeous purple grapes from the arbor in our yard, but produced a green grape jelly. She had peeled all of the grapes. Or, the now famous Thanksgiving when the turkey cooked all night at 450 degrees, resulting in a pan full of fat and drippings, and a dried out turkey carcass (it turned out that the temperature regulator on the oven was broken). And, my grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe? Take a pie shell (frozen, of course), open a can of sweet potatoes, mash them up, add a dash of cinnamon and stuff it into the pie shell. Bake it until it’s burnt around the edges. When I made a sweet potato pie a few years later (which was delicious, by the way), my brother, having been traumatized by tasting my gramma’s version, refused to try it at first.

    And so, we like to sit around the holiday table, after eating a delicious dinner (gramma is not allowed to cook, and mom sticks with what she knows), and laugh over the memories of culinary nightmares in the family history. And those laughs, shared by the entire family, are some of the best food memories ever.

  • My favorite food memory? My grandmother’s pot roast dinners, followed by her signature layer cake. Sheer heaven, and one that’s been missing from my life since 1985.

  • There are so many fond food memories. The best, however, is probably Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup, which myself and my siblings loved beyond reason. I once asked for the secret and found out she spiked it with extra chicken bouillon to enhance the flavor, but I think the real secret was the heap of parmesan cheese we ladled into it! Now that we are vegetarian she doesn’t make it for us any more, but I sort of wish she would.

    The runner up is making fudge. My great-Aunt Tubba (as a baby one of the cousins couldn’t pronounce “Ann” and ended up with Tubba — no lie) used to make fudge for every major family vacation. When she died I was 12 and my mother decided that I could carry forth the tradition, helping me make it for christmas boxes. When I moved to college, I decided to carry it on even when it required borrowing kitchens from friends while living in the dorms. The only thing I’ve changed is to take the walnuts out, which everyone has thanked me for!

  • My favorite food memory is my mom’s canned fruits and vegetables. We kept them in our basement (which was made of fieldstone and was pretty creepy to a young kid), in the old coal room (even creepier because it had black walls from the coal). In order to eat the wonderful pickles, tomatoes, pears, and currant, strawberry and other jellies and jams, I had to get up the nerve to go into the basement and into the coal room to get them. It was always worth it.

  • Since I usually just cook for myself some of the “bigger” meats (whole turkey) were a bit of a mystery. One Thanksgiving a group of friends organized a potluck, with the main course prepared in the church basement where we were celebrating the meal. There were enough of us that two whole turkeys were needed. I was reading the instructions on how to cook the turkey thoughtfully provided on the plastic turkey bag. Giblets bag? Couldn’t find it. I looked and looked. Asked my friend Greg, the other turkey chef. He said, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it, I didn’t find one either’. Proceeded to try to get the plastic leg binding thingy loose. It was an epic struggle and by the time I got it disengaged the turkey had been roughed up enough that the plastic bag of giblets fell out of …. the neck cavity? Who knew there was one? Greg had gotten his bird into the oven before I did. ‘The neck, they’re in the neck!!!’. Fortunately the plastic hadn’t melted yet and we retrieved them. If you need to hide something in a turkey, I know where….

  • my favorite memory is baking bread with my mom when I was little. I had my own kid sized pans for my breads. my mom said it was necessary because I had weird flavor combinations (i remember christmas cookie sprinkles in one…), but I loved standing at the counter with her mixing and kneading the bread.

  • My favorite food memory is of my grandmother going into the kitchen and telling her cooks what to do with the dishes. She would stand behind the stove and taste the dishes while telling the cook to add more of this or chop half of that. Although she had maids (she lived in the Philippines) to do the chopping and cleaning, she was the one who told them what to do and how to do it. And of course the she was the first taster!

  • My favorite food memory is making peanut butter cookies with my grandma. I always marveled at the way the fork would make those perfect ridges. 🙂

  • My favorite food/cooking memory was the first time I followed a cookbook recipe (Fanny Farmer Cookbook) for pot roast. I was determined to make an adult dinner for my college friends and it took me an entire afternoon because I did a “dry run” first. I’m still hearing from friends who remember that dinner – linen tablecloth, candles, wine, matching china and silverware – salt AND pepper shakers, and the most incredible apple pie (also from Fanny). It did something to my self esteem as “a woman” – you see this was back in the mid-60’s and we were still going to college to get our “MRS” degrees. I lived in a small dorm and three married before graduation and one the day after graduation and four within a couple of years after that. And they all got a Fanny Farmer Cookbook from me at their showers!

  • Tastingeach kind of apple at the orchards, first with my mother, and later with my son, tochoose the best ones to brin g home.

  • Our small but mighty Italian family has a fantastic meat sauce recipe. I guess it’s what the rest of the world would call Italian Gravy. You simmer meatballs, sausage, and thin sliced pork chops all day in a seasoned tomato sauce. It’s amazing! My best memory of this sauce would be about ten years ago when I finally had the good sense to watch my mom make the sauce and write it all down. It’s a memory that I’ll forever treasure, writing and talking with my mom as she shared our family’s favorite meal. Now, I have a real recipe to pass down to the next generation. On a personal note, I made this sauce for my fiance on our second date, I guess it somewhat proves that the way to a man’s heart really could be through his stomach.

  • The holidays with my mom cooking – to this day she insists on doing it all herself, and the menu never changes, but there’s something very comforting in the preidictableness of it all.

  • Favorite food memory….that’s a tough one. I’m having fond memories of my grandmother’s macaroni salad, and fond memories of fresh-baked bread and fresh jam. Yum.

  • My favorite food related memory is fishing and gardening with my dad. He was so passionate about both. I wish he were alive now so I could enjoy both with him. He passed just when I really started getting into food, preserving, etc. I’ll bet he watches me from above and smiles 😉

  • My favorite food memory would be when I discovered that I could make amazing cranberry sauce that did not come out of a can!

  • In high school I attempted my dad’s favorite pie- lemon meringue. I buttered up with pie dish too thickly and the whole crust came sliding down during baking and I was unable to salvage it.

  • I don’t have one favorite, but a thing that has always been a joke in our family is that I love Thanksgiving dinner so much that I hurried out just in time. I was born on Thanksgiving day at 11:47 am and even the years when my birthday wasn’t on Thanksgiving I always wanted that meal. And the year we celebrated Thanksgiving early and spent the actual holiday in the rain roofing a garage I was a seriously upset girl. I remember we had pizza for lunch and lasagna for dinner and I’ve yet to forgive my mother for a Thanksgiving full of Italian food (which I normally love). And I still adore our traditional Thanksgiving feast!

  • My yiayia made a squash pita that is, to this day, the most delicious and comforting dessert I’ve ever eaten. Go into a Greek restaurant and ask for kolokithopita and they’ll laugh, shake their heads, and say that no one makes it any more. But they should.

  • Oh, so many! But the first one that came to mind was learning to make bread from a neighbor, then having fresh, warm bread with butter she had churned and honey her bees had made. Nothing will ever be quite so wonderful.

  • My favorite food memory is from the summer of 1976 when I sat in the dark of night with a friend eating a mango. We both had juices dripping down our faces and all the senses we had available were taste and touch and sound. The taste was fabulous.

  • What I think has become one of my most favorite food memories, is having an over-abundance of heirloom tomatoes from my own garden, searching the internet for what to do with them, stumbling across the Yellow Tomato with Smoked Paprika Jam recipe and canning for the first time in my life. That has been one of the most tastiest condiments I have ever tasted and every time I walk past my jars in the kitchen, I look at the beautiful jewel toned color with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I think that recipe alone has started a canning addiction I’m not quite sure will ever stop! I’ve been looking at every bit of fruit and vegetable since then and wondering what recipe I can use to can those too! Apple butter here I come…