Food and Wine Recipes

Recipe Type

Blackberry Wine

This recipe makes one gallon of blackberry wine.


  • 4 pounds of blackberries
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 7 pints of water
  • Red wine yeast (fruit wine yeast)
  • Optional: yeast nutrient/yeast energizer/lipid enhancer


  • Polyurethane pale from a home brewing store (OR A CLEAN BUCKET)
  • A glass carboy from a brewing store (Or a gallon glass jug that apple juice is often packaged in. The organic juice form my co-op is anyways)
  • An airlock from a brewing store (or a balloon or some cotton wool.)
  • A siphon from a brewing store (or five feet of clear plastic tubing from a hardware store)
  • Later: wine bottles, corks, a hand corker
  • Optional: SODIUM BISULFITE (purifying fresh juices) and Star San Sanitizer (brewing equipment acidic sanitizer)

Equipment purchased from a “home brew” store is ideal, and doesn’t cost much. BUT if you have no brew supply store, then just use the alternatives.


  1. Gather your blackberries
  2. Crush the berries by hand in your bucket or pale and then pour on one quart of boiled water that has cooled. Mix it well.
  3. SODIUM BISULFITE will kill any unwanted yeast. If you do want to use it, just dissolve in a little bit of warm water and mix with the fruit.
  4. Leave the mixture alone for a couple hours. No worries if bleaching takes place.
  5. WHILE you are waiting for those 2 hours to pass… take one third of the sugar and boil it for one minute in 3 pints of water (that’s 48 ounces). Allow this to cool to room temperature.
  6. WHEN IT HAS COOLED… take a packet of the yeast and empty it into 4 ounces of warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Pour the syrup (sugar water) into the mash.
  8. Pour in the yeast. If you do not wait for the syrup to cool first, you will KILL the yeast. It is ALIVE.
  9. Cover this with a clean cloth.
  10. Let it sit for 7 days in a warm place.

A note on cleaning equipment… Star San Sanitizer is an acid based no rinse sanitizer that is used in many commercial breweries. It is odorless and tasteless and is safe with most materials except soft metals.


  1. Strain the pulp though a fine muslin or other material and wring it out dry.
  2. TIP: Compost the mash!!!
  3. Put the strained wine into your gallon jug.
  4. Boil another 1/3 of the sugar in ONE PINT (16 oz.) of water. LET IT COOL.
  5. When it cools, add it to the rest. If you do not wait for it to cool, then you’ll KILL your yeast.
  6. Plug the top of the jug with an airlock or some cotton wool. Airlocks are cheap and clean (put a bit of water in it so the bobber can go up an down). You could also place a balloon over it. NOTE: Since the balloon will trap the carbon dioxide gas, you should first place a few tiny pin holes in the balloon prior to inflation.
  7. Let this sit for 10 days…


  1. Siphon out your wine into a spare jar or pot. Make sure you are keeping your equipment clean. To siphon, put you spare jar LOWER than your wine. Put the siphon on the wine and direct the bottom to the jar. With your head lower than the wine, suck hard on the tube making sure you do not drink the wine. The wine will flow into the tube and into your jar. Let the wine flow and leave the sediment in your jug. It should be obvious what to do.
  2. Clean out your jug you used. Sterilize it, then return your wine to the jug you used before.
  3. Boil the remaining one third of the sugar in the remaining pint of water. LET IT COOL.
  4. Add it to the wine, plug the jug back up like you did before.
  5. Leave it in a warm place until FERMENTATION STOPS! You’ll know cuz it will stop bubbling.


  1. Siphon into another spare jar leaving sediment behind.
  2. Get your bottles, clean them and sanitize them. Wine can still go bad if put in tainted bottles.
  3. Put a funnel in the bottle, and fill each bottle to the neck.
  4. Cork each bottle.
  5. DRINK!


The wine will get better with age, but berry wine is good only for a few years.


The number one best wine book is an OLD out of print wee little handbook called Successful Wine Making at Home, by H.E. Bravery. It has a GREAT blackberry wine recipe in it.

Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz covers all sorts of fermented foods, and has a simple wine section with an elderberry wine recipe.

Not wine related, but another good read: Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, by Stephen Buhner.


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Food Recipes

Blueberry Cobbler

This recipe fills a two quart casserole dish.


  • Preheat Oven To 325°


  • 4 cups frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup multi grain high fiber cereal
    (with oats and bran flakes, honey “clusters”, and “rocks and twigs”)
  • 1/3 cup margarine (or butter)


  1. Run cool water over frozen blueberries in a colander until thawed.
    (Place blueberries into preheated oven while preparing topping).
  2. In a medium saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Add blueberries and heat mixture for about a minute, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil.
  4. Pour into ungreased casserole dish and place into preheated oven.

  1. Mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cereal together.
  2. Cut margarine (or butter) into mixture until coarse and crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle mixture on top of blueberries.
  4. Heat until topping is brown and crunchy.

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Better Than Sex Cake

(This recipe was one of my Granny’s favorites. It’s easy, even for the baking challenged, VERY forgiving, even for the baking challenged, and looks and tastes like a gourmet-took-you-hours masterpiece!)


  • 1 chocolate box cake mix and ingredients to prepare according to package directions.
    (I like German chocolate).
  • 1 cup chocolate morsels.
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup.
  • 2 tbsp. margarine (not butter).
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping (or butterscotch).
  • 2 tbsp milk.
  • 1 medium container cool whip.
  • 4 Heath bars, or Skor bars, or Butterfinger bars.
    (or other candy bars that may be crumbled — Heath are my favorite).


  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Allow to cool.
  2. Poke holes in cake at intervals, about 20 holes.
    (End of a wooden spoon works well.)
  3. Mix ice cream topping and milk and spoon into holes in cake.
  4. Place choc. morsels, corn syrup, and marg. into microwavable bowl and microwave 1 minute.
  5. Stir quickly until spreadable and spread across top of cake.
    (If this spreads unevenly, has glumps, or tears the top of the cake DON’T WORRY, NO ONE WILL KNOW!)
  6. Place cake in ‘fridge until cool.
  7. Spread top of cake with cool whip.
  8. Crumble candy bars across top of cake.
    (Keeping them in the freezer until used makes this easier.)
  9. Keep cake chilled until served!
    (And afterward if any is left!)
  10. Accept all compliments to your cooking genius with a mysterious self-deprecatory shrug.


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Granny’s Cornbread

Fills a large Iron Skillet.
(If you don’t have an iron skillet a regular 9x9x2 pan will work).


  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Preheat large Iron Skillet


  • 2/3 cup cream style corn
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
    (optional makes a sweet cornbread which I don’t like)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup margarine (or butter) melted
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix just until moistened.
  2. Spray non stick oil into skillet or pan and pour in cornmeal.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


  • Buy a cornmeal mix and use this instead of the dry ingredients.
  • Mexican Cornmeal: Chop up a little hot pepper into the mix.

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Family Sized Potato Soup

Some description should go here.


  • 1 gallon milk
  • Two sticks butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 9 cups diced potatoes
    (I don’t peel them but you can and I use red potatoes)
  • 1 package sausage (I use Bob Evans spicy sausage)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ¼ cup diced green pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Cook diced potatoes (stove top or microwave, doesn’t matter) until tender. Set aside.
  2. Cook sausage in frying pan until browned. Set aside.
  3. In large pot (one that will eventually hold all ingredients), melt margarine.
  4. Sautée celery, onions, green pepper, carrots, and mushrooms until translucent.
  5. Add flour to sautéed vegetables (will be pasty).
  6. Add milk all at once and heat on high, stirring frequently.
    NOTE: Stirring is important! If not stirred the soup will scorch on the bottom which will give the soup a nasty flavor. Also, if not stirred, the soup will boil over and coat the entire stove top. Will certainly make a mess!
  7. When soup is thickened and bubbly, remove from heat.
  8. Add sausage, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir through and return to medium heat until heated through.


  • Serve with grated sharp yellow cheese, a dollop of sour cream, bacon bits, and/or chopped green onions.

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Garden Stuffed Bell Peppers

Some description should go here.


  • Preheat Oven To 350°


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (prepared per directions)
  • 6-8 firm green peppers
  • 1 tbsp. chopped hot pepper
    (if using peppers like our dad grows, a little goes a long way!)
  • 4-5 peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • ¼ cup diced mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped summer squash
  • ¼ cup chopped green or black olives


  1. Bring large pot of water (enough to hold all the green peppers) to boil.
  2. Core green peppers and remove seeds.
  3. Place green peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes.
    Peppers should be slightly softened but still hold firm when lifted out of water.
  4. Lightly salt inside of peppers (I use sea salt) and place in pan large enough to hold peppers upright.
    (I use a casserole dish or cake pan if making a larger amount of peppers.)
  5. Saute ground beef, onions, and hot peppers.  (Pour off grease).
  6. Add tomatoes and optional vegetables and heat through.
    (Empty excess juice from mixture).
  7. Add prepared rice and mix together.
  8. “Stuff” peppers, packing mixture down.
    (I never gauge my mixture to pepper ratio right, I always have extra mixture.  That’s okay, it can be frozen).
  9. Sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper.
  10. Place in oven and bake until cheese is browned and pepper mixture is bubbly.


  • Garden peppers can be frozen simply by washing them, drying them, and placing them whole and raw in a freezer bag.  When thawed, these peppers will already be soft enough and won’t require precooking in boiling water.  They will be ready to core, salt, and stuff!


Dad’s Microwave Nut Brittle

Hold on to your teeth fillings!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup clear corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanuts (or cashews or walnuts or pecans)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda


  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1 heaping tbsp. Peanut Butter


  1. Mix sugar with corn syrup.
  2. Microwave on high 4 minutes.
  3. Add nuts and mix well.
  4. Microwave an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Add butter and vanilla, and mix well.
  6. Microwave for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add baking soda and mix well (mixture will now foam).
  8. Spread in buttered foil pan or cookie sheet and cool completely.
  9. When cool break into pieces.


  • Store in refrigerator.

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Brother John’s Southern Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy

Recipe for 4 pieces: Large Breast, Thigh, Leg, and Wing.


  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika


  • Flour
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper (Optional)


  • Egg
  • Hot Sauce (Optional)

ROUX (For making Gravy):

  • Flour
  • Pan drippings from fried chicken
  • Cold milk


  1. Season chicken pieces well with Dry Rub.
  2. Dredge chicken pieces in flour coating (1st time).
  3. Dip pieces into egg wash.
  4. Dredge chicken pieces in flour coating (2nd time).
  5. Fry in hot oil (350°) until golden brown (30 to 45 minutes) turning once halfway through.
  6. Remove from pan, place on paper towels to drain.
  7. Keep in warm oven (175°) until ready to eat.


  1. Remove all but a few teaspoons of oil.
  2. Set heat to medium-low.
  3. Stir/whisk in equal amounts of flour to remaining oil.
  4. Stir constantly until flour turns golden brown.
    Consistency will be like plaster of Paris or cake frosting.
  5. Gradually and slowly add cold milk to flour mixture stirring constantly.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer when gravy becomes smooth and creamy.


  • Serve with Mashed Potatoes and a Veggie side.

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1 Comment

  1. Sylvia said,

    I love making stuffed peppers too! And I always have extra “filling”, but rather than freeze it, I make meat balls out of them, know as “porcupine balls” in my family (meat balls with rice). I just bake them along with the peppers tucked in here and there.

    The meat lovers (not me) in my family always appreciate the extra bites.

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