Summer gardens provide the main ingredients -- tomatoes and peppers -- for these recipes.
Lisa Ayris of Baltimore requested a red-pepper jelly "which you eat with cream cheese on crackers," she wrote.
Carl J. Baker of Walla Walla, Wash., answered the request, declaring he craves red bell-pepper jelly on a bagel with cream cheese. "I have a friend in Billings, Mont., who sent me a jar of this jelly for Christmas, but she would not give out her recipe. So I wrote to the MCP Pectin Co. and received from them a recipe, which is good for green or red bell peppers, pimento and even the red chilies and jalapenos." Here it is.
Baker's Pepper Jelly
Makes 6 (8-ounce) jars
2 cups pepper pulp, about 5 to 7 peppers, more if small peppers
1 cup liquid (juice from ground peppers plus added water)
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 package MCP pectin
1/4 teaspoon margarine, butter or oil
Slice peppers and discard seeds and white pulp dividers. Grind fine in chopper and stir well. Grind enough peppers to make 2 cups pulp. Drain slightly and reserve juice. Mix juice with water to make 1 cup liquid.
Measure sugar in a bowl and set aside. Put pepper pulp, water-juice mix and vinegar into an 8-quart pan or kettle. Add MCP pectin and stir well. Place over high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, mix well, bring to a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down) and add margarine. Boil exactly 4 minutes, stirring often. Skim off foam. Pour into clean, heated glasses or jars, and seal. Turn jars upside down as they cool to give pulp a chance to mix with the clear jelly.
Similar recipes called for 2 (3-ounce) packages liquid fruit pectin or 1 (6-ounce) bottle liquid pectin.
Tomato jam was the request of Flossie Trotter of Longmont, Colo., who writes that she lost her recipe during a move. Mrs. Krieg Close of Auburn, N.Y., responded. "We enjoy this recipe year round. It uses what's left from the garden such as red, green or yellow tomatoes. While it is tomato jam, I use it with ham and call it ham glaze."
Close's Tomato Jam
Makes about 4 pints
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
6 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple, drained
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 (6-ounce) bottle Certo or 2 (3-ounce) pouches
Simmer tomatoes in their own juice for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add pineapple, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the Certo. Pour into clean glass jars and seal.
Mrs. Close recommends that when sealing, cooks should place "the metal sealing lids in warm water before putting them on the filled jars, because they seal better when warm. Then screw on the rings and it is sealed perfectly."
* Joan Wellein of Baltimore writes that she is looking for a Bohemian rye roll like the ones made in a Highlandtown bakery that has been closed about 12 years. "They were the talk of our family and no other bakery can come close to the taste of these rolls, which were almost square and you could eat them plain they were so good."
* Melinda L. Day of Owensboro, Ky., is seeking a recipe she had while in Chicago, last year. "We had mushroom and wild rice soup at the Moonraker, a small, quaint restaurant, and it was absolutely great."
* Beth Hunter of Timonium has an unusual-sounding request. "I am looking for recipes that can be prepared in the dishwasher. It sounds strange, but I read directions for poaching fish this way, run, of course without detergent," she wrote.
* Mary Beth Bowen of Baltimore wants to make a cake for her husband's birthday. "It is a chocolate cake and when it is taken from the oven, you form holes in the top and fill them with sweetened condensed milk and caramel ice cream topping. Then top it off with whipped cream and crushed Heath bars."
* Barbara A. Gore of Whiteville, N.C., wants recipes for a chocolate banana pudding that is made from scratch and one from an instant mix. She also would like a recipe for peach sauce, "which the children would rather eat than cranberry sauce during the holidays."
* Lola M. Hazlett of Baltimore would like to know "how to make cucumber pickles, sweet or sour, which stay crisp. Every year I make them from a different recipe and every year they turn out soft. I don't like defeat," she writes.
Chef Gilles Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.