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October 18, 2008


Cop Car

The ginger + orange peal variation sounds particularly appetizing, Bogie. The cardamom sounds interesting. (The only way I've ever used cardamom is in biscuits!) The third variation: well, I'm very fond of almonds, but haven't succeeded in finding an almond flavoring that I cared for. But then, never tried the almond flavoring in a fruit butter. (Do you think that grinding a peach pit into the butter would give the same taste?)

Ah, your firethorn berries are beautiful. Too bad that you don't have the mild winters that we have-- our firethorns produced a bountiful crop of berries, this year. (Speaking of berries: there were 28 turkey in our back yard, a few minutes ago, vigorously gorging themselves on chokeberries--which I had not heard of until you introduced me to them about 20 years ago!)

New Hampshire cannot be beaten for colorful leaves. *sigh* I'm always envious at this time of year.


Cop Car - I wouldn't suggest grinding a peach pit into anything. If I remember correctly, peach pits are poisonous (contain cyanide?).

Almond flavoring actually smells like cherries to me, and I have found it to compliment strawberries nicely (we'll see how it does for the pear butter).

If my Firethorns ever have a bumper crop, I'll try firethorn jelly. Found a recipe in my "Putting Food By" book, and should be interesting to see what it tastes like. The book also says each plant will produce berries that are different (some sour, some sweeter), so you have to know which type of berries you picked to determine the sugar amount.

Cop Car

Correct, Bogie--peach pits contain hydrocyanic acid (HCN). However, the bitter almonds from which almond flavorings and extracts are produced, also contain cyanide--sometimes dangerous levels--and the almonds that we eat have a chemical (don't recall its name--not a common one) in them that produces cyanide when the nuts are crushed.

You've added to my education, however, by writing about Firethorn berries' being edible. I always knew they were beautiful (that's why I planted a slew of the bushes in Albuquerque) and that the birds dine on them; but, it would never have occurred to me to taste them. Are they edible, raw? (While you're at it: are chokeberries edible? Raw? I tasted the black ones, once, but didn't eat any.)

Just think: Firethorn (and chokeberry?) jams!

BTW: Interesting that you find almond flavoring to be cherry-like. I love the smell of cherries; but, the smell of almond extract (I don't know about other almond flavorings) and of the almond cookies that I've had at Oriental food shops have a bitter after-taste to me. (The cyanide?)


Chokeberries make good jam, but are almost inedible raw. Not that they are poisonous raw - just they are so bitter that no one would voluntarily eat one.

However, the developed cultivars (versus wild), such as Viking, are less tart and some people may find them, although tart, to their liking.

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