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Lemon Mint Tea

One hot summer evening my BFF in Nebr. offered this thirst quenching tea recipe.  She was aware that my gardens are host to a large amount of fresh mint, as many of yours are.  In summer I can never smell or taste enough mint so I enjoy making this and serving to family and guests.  Thanks RoxAnn!

Gather a large bundle of fresh mint, rinse well and bruise the leaves and stems by twisting them. 
Heat 4 c. of water, add mint and 1/2 c. sugar, steep 30-40 minutes.
Strain into a gallon pitcher.
Add:
1/3 c. instant tea.
1- 12oz can frozen lemonade
Stir to blend and serve over crushed ice.
(you can start with a gallon of brewed tea or sun tea of you don't use instant)

Pat’s Apple Butter

Perfect fall recipe, your house will smell heavenly. Anyone can do this. My friend Pat shared this recipe with me years ago. It’s so delicious and easy to prepare. You will want to keep a few jars around to take as hostess gifts. Your friends will think you are well experienced in making jam & jelly. Use any variety of apples, a mixture is the best. If using all Red Delicious add ¼ c. lemon juice.

About 4# of apples - wash, quarter, and core; do not peel. Pile apples in your crock pot heaping them above the rim.
Add: 2 c. sugar, 2 t. cinnamon, ½ t. ground cloves or ground allspice according to your taste (these amounts of sugar and spices are for the small 1 gallon crock pot)

Put the lid on top of the heaped up apples and cook overnight or 8 hrs. In the morning puree’ the entire mixture in a blender until smooth; ladling the hot apples into the blender in small batches. Return puree’ to crock pot, taste for sweetness and spices and adjust if necessary.
Cook on low for another 8 hrs. Leave the lid ajar so excess moisture can evaporate and you will have nice thick apple butter.

Scrape down sides a few times while cooking.
Ladle into clean canning jars, let cool and store in frig. Or hot water bath as a preserving practice.

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