NOT ALL JAR GIFTS ARE EDIBLE
DEAR MELBA: I would like recipes for Vegetable Soup Mix in a Jar and M&M Cookies in a Jar.
— LILLIAN BREJDA, Oklahoma City
This request put me in the “searching the archives” mode, and I found directions for making Christmas Odor Punch shared in 1985 by Lillian Anderson, of Guthrie. It's not edible, but you'll love the way it makes your house smell.
Christmas Odor Punch
1 fresh ginger root, split
3 pieces stick cinnamon
12 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1-to-2 tablespoons pickling spices
• Place ingredients in a 1-quart jar. Cover and store any place. Attach a gift card with the following directions: To use, mix in saucepan with 1-quart water. Bring to simmer, and reheat as often as you wish. Between uses, it should be cooled, covered and kept refrigerated. Remember, this is only for odor — not for drinking.
DEAR MELBA: Thought you might like to share this Sweet Potato Bread in a Jar with readers.
Sweet Potato Bread In A Jar
You'll need 8 wide-mouth pint jars and 8 lids with rings. Wash and rinse jars. Do not use any other size. Let dry. Grease insides of jars with shortening or nonstick cooking spray; or you could grease the insides with shortening and spray the bottom. Place lids and rings in boiling water. Reduce heat and leave in hot water until ready to use.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 1/2 cups chopped golden raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (can use canned)
2/3 cup water
• Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Stir in raisins and pecans.
In large bowl of electric mixer, blend sugar, oil, eggs. Beat well and add sweet potatoes and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until blended.
• Pour 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon batter into each of the prepared jars. Wipe off any batter that might be on the edge of the jar. Place jars on cookie sheet and bake 45 to 55 minutes. Test with long cake tester for doneness.
• When done, remove jars from oven at once, one at a time and seal. You will need padded potholder gloves to handle the hot jars while you put on the lids. If bread has risen above jar's edge, just cut off the excess, wipe edge of jar clean and seal with the scalded lid and ring. Let jars sit until they seal. You'll hear the pop. Turn upside down and cool.
• Bread will come loose from sides and bottom. The shelf life is up to a year, but the jars never last that long. Everyone is so impressed with the bread in the jar, they usually eat it pretty quickly.
• I use pinking shears and cut circles out of Christmas material and put it on the flat and screw the lid on. Can also put the material on after the lid is screwed on and tie it with a ribbon.
— CAROLINE MEDLINGER, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: Suggest to readers that when they get out their Christmas decorations, they might find some of their taper candles have developed curves. Don't just toss them. They should lay the candles down horizontally, and use their hair dryer to warm them while gently rolling them until they are straight.
— DON KILLIAN JR., Oklahoma City
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.