The second question people ask when I serve them this pie is, "What's your recipe?" It comes right after their first question: "May I have another slice?" I like sewing and quilting, gardening…and canning the surplus! —Lauretha Rowe, Scranton, Kansas
After tasting it at a bake sale, I got the recipe for this pie from a friend, then adapted it. I make it for family gatherings—it's everyone's favorite treat—and also for when company comes by.
Our children—6 and 3—"help" me with baking. They've learned many of their measurement in the kitchen!
Although it's my husband who's the cook at our house, I enjoy baking. A good friend passed along this recipe to me. The pie was an instant hit with my family, and I've been giving the recipe to other friends ever since. —Janet Morgan-Cavallaro, Pincourt, Quebec
I have a passion for cooking, and it's probably my grandmother I can thank for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar.
All the same, I've had my share of trial and error over the years. Shortly after we were married, my husband and I were invited to a family picnic. I made the prettiest potato salad you'd ever hope to seen. There was only one problem with that dish I was so proud of—I hadn't cooked the potatoes!
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.
Years ago, my in-laws had three pear trees on their acreage and gave us all the fruit that we wanted to pick. So I canned plenty of pears. Then a neighbor passed along this favorite recipe. I've given many jars of this jam as gifts. Day to day, we enjoy it on toast with ham and eggs or on hot rolls with a meat. —Karen Bockelman, Portland, Oregon
August is the busiest month of the year on our small farm—that's when we're harvesting sweet corn, pumpkins and pickling cucumbers for our stand. But I always make time to put up this jelly. The apples come from our old-fashioned orchard, while the blackberries grow wild along our creek...and the jelly's usually gone by January! —Liz Endacott, Matsqui, British Columbia
To be honest, I don't especially like cooking. My husband, however, loves it!
Now that he's retired, Bob's taken up making jelly. I help him with the pouring and skimming for this one—my own personal favorite. It's nice as both a breakfast spread and a topping for pork or other meat.
Bob and I have two grown daughters an also a grandson.
My mother-in-law and I dreamed up this jam after we'd been picking blueberries one day. She wondered if blueberries, raspberries and strawberries would taste good together. So she made a test batch—and we quickly learned that they definitely did! Then I came up with my own version of the jam. I preserve everything from our garden! —Karen Maerkle, Baltic, Connecticut
The thing I like best about this jam is the way the plums stretch the flavor of the raspberries. I make it when plums are in season, and we enjoy it all winter long on toast or homemade bread.
For a few years, my husband and I had a small acreage with chickens, rabbits and sheep. Although we now live in town, our hearts still belong in the country! We have six children—three of them grown, two teenagers plus a girl who's 10—and two grandchildren.