This recipe came from my mother-in-law. It's very old-fashioned—in fact, the friend who gave it to her used to cook it up on an old wood stove.
With all the cherry orchards here in Bitterroot Valley, I make two batches of these preserves each summer. (I get the cherries from a nearby cannery by the gallons!) My family likes them on fresh bread, muffins, pancakes and even ice cream—the consistency's similar to a topping. I have to be careful, though, and ration the jars out or they'd be the first thing to disappear from the root cellar!
Both my husband and I serve as 4-H leaders. We have three children—girls 16 and 14 and a son who's 12.
This is a great topping for ice cream, and—since it's thicker than sweetened berries—it's nice over sponge cake or shortcake, too. My family especially enjoys spreading with sour cream and plain yogurt over waffles. In fact, no one ever asks for maple syrup anymore! —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
We enjoy this fiery pepper spread on crackers with cream cheese. It also makes a terrific holiday gift. For a milder flavor and different color, substitute a green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers for the habaneros and green food coloring.
After one taste of this delightfully sweet and simple jam, people will find it hard to believe that you didn't spend many long hours in a hot kitchen. Of course, you don't have to let them in on your "secret"!