It’s hot and going to get hotter as summer has finally hit eastern North Carolina with a hot and humid vengeance. Though I had to work yesterday, our community celebrated Fossil Festival. The festival is usually held the weekend of Memorial Day but due to high winds it was postponed to this weekend. I missed it, again. I took off the weekend of Memorial Day to finally have a chance to enjoy the festival again but things did not work out well. Do you enjoy going to summer festivals? We have several local festivals and I used to try to go to a couple each year but with work and age, I’ve gone to less and less of them. My son made sure I got to enjoy one part of the festival, he brought me a funnel cake. Do you love fair and festival food? What do you look forward to getting when you go to a festival or fair?
One festival I remember going to had ice cold watermelon you could buy by the slice. It was so cold and sweet and refreshing after a day of wandering through booths and playing games. What is one of your favorite summertime treats? Do you eat salt on your watermelon?
When I lived in Louisiana, I went to a strawberry festival and had a daiquiri right on the street. That wouldn’t have happened back in North Carolina, at least not then. I love a frozen drink in the summer whether it’s a slushy from the convenience store or a frozen tropical adult beverage, summertime is just made for frozen drinks. Do you have a favorite frozen drink?
When I was a kid we used to make Pepsi floats. When I’d go to wedding or baby showers they had sherbert punch with ginger ale and pineapple juice. I loved that stuff. When I married my husband, we started drinking root beer floats. I still love a good ice cream or sherbert float, milk shake or a blizzard. Do you have a favorite?
The trick to making a really good ice cream float is to put a little soda in your glass before you add your ice cream or sherbert. Float your ice cream on top of your soda, add a little more soda and another scoop of ice cream, repeat until glass is almost full. Top with soda and whipped cream. I think I need to run to the store for ice cream.
Daquiris are best when made from fresh fruit but put your fruit in the freezer for a couple of hours, add fruit into blender until nearly full, add two to three shots of rum, make a lime sugar water with juice from one lime, 1/4 cup of sugar (or less) add two cups of warm water to dilute sugar. If fruit isn’t completely frozen add ice and less water.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few delicious desserts, drinks or special meals. What are your holiday favorites? Do you cook them or look forward to a family member or friend bringing them to you? Do you give food gifts for Christmas? I’m listing some of my favorites linked to special memories, but they are in no way all of them. At close to sixty I’ve had a lot of Christmas treats and some are more about the person who is no longer with us than the food itself but remembering is a way of keeping them with us and when we eat or drink that special treat, we get to have them with us for just a little while, even if only in our thoughts.
My grandmother wasn’t a domesticated lady. In another time or situation, she’d have been a businesswoman, possibly a world traveler but instead she was the wife of a sharecropper. For any familiar with the term, you know they were poor. But in truth, I never realized they were poor. I knew grandma wore her house clothes until they were threadbare but when she went off, she dressed nice. I also enjoyed culinary delights that I couldn’t find anywhere else, when I was at my grandma’s house. She had homemade jam, sweet cream, biscuits and molasses. For Christmas she made sugar cookies, candy confections with pecans and coconut dipped in chocolate, peanut brittle that would yank all your fillings out and icebox fruitcake and applesauce cake.
I look forward to our local community holiday craft fair every Christmas because a local lady, Ms. Mary Jo makes peanut brittle even better than my grandmother’s. Sorry Granny. Hers melts on your tongue with just the right amount of sweetness.
When my children where little, I enjoyed baking sugar cookies with them using Granny’s recipe.
I still bake the applesauce cake every year because it’s not too sweet and it’s just the right amount of fruit and nuts and holiday spirit.
Grandma’s icebox fruit cake is another story. No one seems to be able to recreate hers exactly even using her recipe. Not sure what she did differently but ours are always too dry or too sticky, not enough raisins and pecans…something. Maybe we’re just lacking the love Granny put into everything she made.
Grandma told me once that she learned to do a lot of things not because she wanted to but because there was no other choice. As an adult raising six children, I came to understand that. We learned to do in order to make things better for those we love.
Grandma’s Ice Box Fruit Cake
1 box graham crackers crushed and pulverized
1 box raisins
2 cups pecans chopped
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Mix everything together if too dry add more milk, if too wet or sticky add more graham cracker crumbs.
Divide and roll into logs. Wrap in plastic and foil. Refrigerate until firm. Slice and eat.
I started using dried cranberries for a festive look and tart flavor.
Grandma’s Applesauce Cake
1 ½ cup self-rising flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon Allspice
½ teaspoon Cloves
½ teaspoon Ginger
1 can apple sauce
2 chopped apples
½ cup chopped pecans
1 stick of softened butter (if you use unsalted add a pinch of salt)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pans.
Mix dry ingredients first. Flour, sugar and spices. You can add your pecans too if you’d like. Flouring them keeps them in place.
Add eggs, softened butter, apple sauce, apple and vanilla.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until no longer wet in the middle when you insert a toothpick to test.
Remove from oven and let cool. Makes great gifts.
You can substitute cranberry sauce for the apple sauce for a holiday twist.
It is difficult to diet during December. Between holiday parties and food gifts, oh my. I look forward to the special treats some of my friends fix for the holidays. Ms. Peggy’s homemade heath bars, Tina’s drunken chocolate covered cherries, Robina’s pomegranate cupcakes, oh my. I think I gained five pounds just writing about it. I can’t forget Ms. Helen’s fudge and Ms. Hix’s cookie assortment and candied nuts. Now y’all understand why I’m fat. I haven’t even talked about the real food and the drinks.
I’d never had eggnog until my youngest son was a teenager. He insisted we try it. It’s good but a little too rich for my taste. Working at the ABC store, I decided to try the alcoholic version and it’s better but still way to sweet for me. I like one glass every two or three years or so.
I enjoy apple cider when I can find good cider. I buy the unpasteurized kind, add it to my crockpot with orange juice, ginger ale and cinnamon hard candies. It’s a family favorite. You could add a little apple ale to perk it up or a splash of cinnamon whiskey instead of the hard candies.
One of my favorite holiday treats is the peppermint mocha iced coffees. Forget your pumpkin spice, give me peppermint and chocolate. If you want to adult it, there’s a great already premixed just add cold coffee or hot if you prefer. You can also make your own with cream liquor, peppermint schnapps, chocolate liquor and coffee.
My daughters-in-law introduced me to chai tea and iced chai lattes. Oh my goodness, Christmas in a cup. It is so good and my new favorite holiday drink.
My traditional favorite for Christmas dinner is roasted turkey with all the trimmings. For Christmas morning we’ve done waffles and ice cream or left-over chicken. We’ve done monkey bread, all ooey gooey and loaded with cinnamon, but most recently we’ve started doing a French toast casserole because we have such a large crowd. It’s a very simple recipe and feeds the masses. We get bags of old bread crusts make an egg and milk custard with vanilla, sugar and cinnamon pour it over the bread and put it in a pan in a preheated oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, topped with butter.
My mother-in-law does something different every year for Christmas Eve. We’ve had Mexican with tamales, hand rolled and bought from a lovely Mexican lady. We’ve done assorted Italian dishes, soups and sandwiches, and even quiches.
I’m so excited to welcome my friend and fellow southern American writer, K.B. Davenport to my virtual café. Thanks for stopping by Creekside Café, K.B.
K.B.: Thanks for having me, Sherri! I’m really excited to chat with you.
Sherri: Is Magic in Autumn Springs your first published novel?
K.B.: Yes, it is! I released it in November 2020 through Kindle Direct Publishing. I thought about going the traditional route but ultimately decided to self-publish.
Sherri: I’m reading it right now and I’m enjoying it. It’s a slower pace for me but I adore the way you introduce the characters. Who was your favorite to craft? I’m a suspense writer and I often enjoy creating the villains.
K.B.: Thank you! Glad to hear it! I have to agree, villains are fun to write. They became some of my most emotionally complex and developed characters, now that I think about it. They have a lot to offer in terms of flaws and layers. But I also have talking animals in my story, so I have to say they’re my favorites. Marble the wise cat and Harlan the sassy pup. Harlan is a talking animal and a villain, so writing him was really the best of both worlds. And really, Autumn Springs is itself a crucial character. Creating this fictional place was a bit of a love letter to the town where I went to college and to the Natural State where I was born and raised. I wanted to be sure I created a world that represented how I felt about where I’ve grown up and lived within my life.
Sherri: My town of Leeward is an homage to my hometown as well. I love Marble, she is an amazing character. Animals, like children present a unique perspective to the story. Getting into their minds and seeing the world through their eyes can change a reader as well as the writer.
This may have been your first published work, but you are not a novice writer. I can tell. You are too good for this to have been your first. How long have you been writing? Have you always been a writer?
K.B.: Thank you, I appreciate that! I’ve been writing poetry and fiction since I was a teenager, so almost 20 years now. I’ve written in academic and professional capacities over the last decade or so in my “real life” as well. Writing has always been more than a hobby for me. It’s like a sort of tether to reality. It keeps me grounded or lets me explore, whatever I need. I’ve been a storyteller since I was a kid, too, according to my mom. So, I guess the answer is yes, I’ve always been a writer!
Sherri: It shows. You describe yourself as a romantic at heart and there is a romance in your story, do you consider yourself a romance author? What is the difference between being a romance writer versus other genres?
K.B.: I have a hard time pinning myself to any one genre, but romance certainly plays a big part in many of my stories. Although it may not be in a way some readers are accustomed to. I’ve always been fascinated by Transcendentalist writers like Thoreau and Whitman. Romance has become intertwined and synonymous with nature and spirituality for me. That’s what I aimed to show in my book as well, a sense of longing and nostalgia that transcends companionship and gives reverence to the earth. Almost like being in love with the idea of the world itself. As for the second part of your question, I think being a romance writer requires a big heart and a passion for crafting vulnerable characters unlike any other genre. There is a certain level of pain and pleasure that goes into writing romance, and it takes just the right amount of both to create something truly spectacular.
Sherri: I always thought I was a romance writer but even though I want romance in my books, it often takes a secondary position. Sometimes I shy away from the hard stuff, especially the deeper emotions. My WIP has me crying a lot. I’m so ready to move onto the happier parts.
Is your partner a writer or reader? My husband doesn’t read much anymore but he does a lot of my research and helps me with some of my plot points. I enjoy discussing ideas with him because he gives me a different perspective.
K.B.: Definitely the same for me. Romance is one part of the larger picture. My partner isn’t a writer, but he does enjoy reading my work. He’s an idea man. He helps me work out plot points, too. Partners are great for that, aren’t they? They know you so well that they can connect dots even you may miss. Just don’t tell them that, or they may want their own writing credit!
Sherri: You have a serial you’re working on for Kindle Vella, it looks exciting. Tell us about it.
K.B.: Thanks! I’m excited about it. It’s a lot different from Autumn Springs, but I’m hopeful people will enjoy it. I’m calling it Game the Show. It’s a darkly comic look at Hollywood and the game show scene of the early 1980s. The characters are dramatic and flashy, and there are some steamy romantic moments. It centers around two rival game show hosts who vie for the same coveted time slot as well as the same love interest. A bit of a romantic triangle. There’s some bisexual and gay representation as well. I’m also using it as a platform to discuss some of the more sexist and phobic attitudes of the time. I’m a big fan of old game shows, but sometimes I cringe at the way they refer to women, people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community. So it’s a bit of a satire of that as well. Expect some uncomfortable but hopefully enlightening moments!
Sherri: I grew up watching the 70s and 80s television shows so I’m more aware of what you are talking about but how about younger readers, do you think they will be interested in this series? Who is your target audience? I have to ask myself this question often. When I wrote my Leeward Files series, I was hoping to attract a younger audience, but I’ve come to realize most of my readers are 40 and above even though my characters are mid to late twenties.
K.B.: That’s a great question! It’s interesting to find out who actually reads your work once it’s out in the world. Finding a target audience can be tricky! As a millennial, it feels like I’m straddling generations in some ways. I have close relationships with friends and family who run the generational gamut. I want my work to reflect that. Game the Show may be set in the early 80s, but I think its subject matter will be relatable from contemporary perspectives, especially considering its modern take on problematic social issues. I love historical fiction and seeing behind the curtain, so to speak, so I wanted to incorporate some of that into this project. My hope is that it’ll resonate with early to mid-millennials in America who grew up in a much different political landscape than today, but I want people of all ages and cultures to feel included as well. We’ll see how it goes! I look at writing as an experiment. I love to try new things and see what lands.
Sherri: Do you have any plans for an Autumn Springs sequel or are you writing something different?
K.B.: Yes! I’m currently working on the second book in An Autumn Springs Anthology. I’m calling it Mystery in Autumn Springs. It’s about a young empath and amateur sleuth from up north who has ghostly adventures with her girlfriend during a family reunion in Autumn Springs. I’m also working on a book of southern gothic poetry that I’m really looking forward to sharing more details about soon!
Sherri: Did you say you recently visited New Orleans? I was born not far from there. I went back there after my oldest son was born. We lived about a half an hour from New Orleans. There’s something about New Orleans that you don’t find anywhere else. I bet you found a lot of inspiration for your gothic poetry.
K.B.: Yes, we just visited New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for the first time! That’s interesting you lived near there! You’re so right. It really is a different world there. I definitely feel inspired, so much so that I spent some time there writing in our hotel room. I couldn’t help myself. It’s such a historically rich and vibrant place. Even with all the trials the community has faced, they still thrive. It’s encouraging. We stayed at the edge of the French Quarter near Armstrong Park and the Treme, so we got a good mix of touristy things and local culture. I can’t wait to go back. We’re thinking about visiting again for Jazz Fest this fall. And, yes, I’m absolutely using the experience for my poetry! The architecture alone was the perfect inspiration for gothic romance and drama. I loved it.
Sherri: I hear you like to cook, are you a fancy chef or do you prepare family recipes. I raised six sons and worked in fast food, so, most of my cooking has always been get it out quick. With my sons grown and gone, I like to experiment. I’m an avid Food Network watcher but my husband is more of a meat and potatoes guy, but he’s reforming. Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share?
K.B.: That’s great! I think it’s fun to experiment and to try new things in the kitchen. I love to cook. I learned how to cook for my family when I was a teenager. My parents didn’t really care for cooking, so I took it on myself to save us from frozen meals and canned chili. I have to admit, I’m mostly a comfort cook. Fried chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes, tacos, stir fry, breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls. But my partner and I try new recipes fairly often. We recently made a tres leches cake that was delicious! One of our favorite meals to make is pizza from scratch. I roll a mean thin crust. I’ve made a lot of breads since the start of the pandemic, like most bored home cooks. Here’s a recipe for a citrus bread I made when I ran out of ingredients for banana bread!
Glazed Citrus Bread
For the batter:
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp water, more if needed
Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare a standard loaf pan with butter and flour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice, buttermilk and melted butter.
In the same bowl, mix in baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, beaten egg and vanilla.
Mix in flour until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix; the batter should be light so the bread stays soft snd fluffy.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Pour on glaze, making sure to cover all of the bread. Glaze should melt evenly and cover the sides of the bread as it cools snd separates from the pan. Cool for at least an hour. Enjoy!
Sherri: Do any of your hobbies, life experiences or acquaintances show up in your stories?
K.B.: Absolutely! While I’m not as much of a green thumb as Damian in Autumn Springs, I love gardens and being in nature. I grew up visiting a lot of watering holes and going on long drives through the Ozarks, so I love to use those scenic experiences in my writing. Hot Springs and Eureka Springs, Arkansas are two big influences in my work. I wanted to pay homage to their natural beauty. Also, I’m a TV buff. Game shows, sitcoms, live events—there’s always been something really fascinating about the way television operates to me. I figured I should put that to use in my writing, so that was sort of the genesis for Game the Show. In terms of people, I feel like most of my characters are composites of a lot of different people I’ve met. While I don’t want to use any one person as direct inspiration for a character, of course, I will pick certain aspects to infuse in my work. Really, I feel like every character I write has a little bit of myself included, too.
Sherri: If you liked this interview with K.B. Davenport, follow him on social media and check out his book Magic in Autumn Springs.
An independent Southern American writer and designer, K.B. Davenport loves reading and reviewing books by other indie authors. He writes cozy supernatural tales and dramatic stories with LGBTQIA+ themes. K.B. also designs book covers and promotional graphics. He lives with his handsome partner, loves to travel and really wants a pet.
A picturesque small town. A budding romance. A mysterious grimoire.
Welcome to Autumn Springs, a woodsy southern hamlet full of charming folks and scenic beauty. Meet Damian Baxter, a self-professed homebody who works diligently as a librarian at Autumn Springs College. He spends his evenings in his cozy Victorian home on Starry Night Way reading and curling up with his cat, Marble.
After he unlocks his grandmother’s grimoire, Damian begins a magical journey he never could have imagined. With his trusty feline friend by his side, he trains for an incoming threat from a reclusive neighbor and the most powerful dark witch in town, Elias Robicheaux.
Will Damian be able to protect his uprooted life while managing his busy job and a new romance with Bartley O’Dowd, a handsome Irish transplant with a secret of his own? Come along for a moonlit hayride and discover the mystery and magic in Autumn Springs.
Today was a bit rough. We said goodbye to a dear friend. Between the rain and Covid restrictions, by the time I got home I was ready for a drink and some comfort food.
Sloppy Joes or Loose Meat Sandwiches are a family favorite. I have a dozen recipes which I vary according to what I have in the kitchen and what I’m in the mood for. Today’s recipe started with two pounds lean ground beef, a large garlic bulb left over from an earlier recipe, some leftover rosemary salt, jarred roasted red pepper, an ounce of mozzarella and two ounces of sharp cheddar cheese.
Brown ground beef, drain, add chopped garlic, salt and red peppers plus a little juice. Simmer until garlic is tender, add cheese heat until melted, stir. Spoon onto hamburger roll or if you’re being fancy, try a pretzel bun or Hawaiian roll.
For a relaxing drink, mix 1/2 ounce flavored bourbon with 1 teaspoon fruit jam and miniature ginger beer. I’m using strawberry Birddog, homemade strawberry jam made by my daughter-in-law, and ginger beer. Ginger beer has become my new favorite thing. I had never had it until a Northern friend told me about it. I love learning about new things, experimenting with new recipes.
Sometimes it is the simplest recipes that make the most impact. For me, tonight, this was the perfect meal and drink.
I don’t know if anyone else cooks as crazy as I do but I never fix things the same way twice. It’s not done on purpose and this probably explains why I’m not as good of a baker as I am a cook, baking has to be more precise. When you live far from a grocery store and have to depend on what you can pick up at the dollar stores or what is in your pantry or freezer, you sometimes have to make substitutions.
My Holiday Fruit Salad (correct version)
1 box red gelatin (I prefer strawberry but cherry or raspberry would also work)
1 cup hot water
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (you can use regular canned sauce or even homemade sauce)
*note: if you use homemade sauce be aware that you may need to cut back on liquids.
1 4-6 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1 12-16 ounce can pineapples (drained) or frozen pineapple
1 apple chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
In medium bowl (I use the same one I plan to serve in preferably glass) mix hot water and gelatin until completely dissolved. Add in cranberry sauce, mix well but don’t completely integrate. Stir in fruit and top with nuts. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
This year I wasn’t sure if we’d even be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner due to Covid exposure. I had half my planned groceries but not everything I usually purchase. So for my Holiday Fruit Salad I had to improvise.
I had strawberry gelatin but plain cranberry sauce. I had dried cherries but no celery. I thought I had pineapple in a can or frozen but no, I had frozen mango, so I tried it with mango. It was fantastic. I didn’t top with nuts this year but who knows what I’ll do for Christmas.
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe? Do you improvise or does it have to be made a certain way?
It’s a bit of work to make but if you do it in stages it’s not too bad. I start by cooking my pork chops, I double what I need so I can eat the chops one night and chop up the other for later. I sauté the pork chops in butter and Creole seasoning saving the cooking liquid.
Chop up pork chops and add cut up chicken breast to slow cooker with left over cooking liquid, tomatoes, Creole seasoning and picante or salsa. You can serve this over rice one night or go ahead and make the pasta-laya.
Boil pasta in salty water, when cooked, strain. Save some of the salted pasta water and set aside. In a separate pot, melt four tablespoons of butter add flour making a roux. Stir in milk, add in soup from slow cooker until flour roux is loosened. Stir until smooth. Add in meat once it is well incorporated you can add in pasta. If needed add a little pasta water to loosen.
I keep trying to tell myself that I’ve only been a published author for three years and like any infant I must learn to crawl before I can run. It is difficult not to compare myself to other writers. Like the baby demanding it’s bottle, I want it now. I want to make the sales, to get my name out there, to get a movie deal and retire, but the fruit is sweeter after the climb.
Remembering things my grandmother told me has always given me strength and courage to persevere. She didn’t have an easy life. As a farmer’s wife, a share-cropper’s wife, she knew the hard scrabble of getting by, doing without and learning to make things herself. From her blackberry jam that was both tart and sweet with the taste of summer to selling ladies’ products out of her car down backroads all over eastern North Carolina, my grandmother knew if she wanted a better life, she had to do it herself. My grandfather worked hard. He paid the bills, but anything extra came from what my grandmother could do.
My grandmother led the way for my mother and me. She taught us that we could dream our dreams and make them come true, but no one was going to hand them to us. We had to work for them. I’m proud to come from a long line of hardworking women.
It is sometimes difficult for me to toot my own horn. I grew up believing a true southern lady (which I’ve never been able to be) was humble and quiet. Most people who know me as an adult know I’m a loudmouth with a wicked laugh and sense of humor equal to that of a teenaged boy. But I wasn’t always so vocal. It has taken me years to find my voice. It is often difficult to promote my own books and believe in myself.
Raising six boys taught me to be a little stronger, a little braver, a bit bolder but it has only been in the past few years that I’ve come to believe I might have something worth saying.
When you are promoting your books, you have to first promote yourself. It’s been scary but in the past few months I’ve started a newsletter increasing my readership from the seven original subscribers to 97 in the past four months. I’ve joined a few groups: AllAuthor and Bookfunnel and using their platforms began doing promos for my books. I’ve also bought a couple of ads from Bargain Booksy and joined a couple of free online groups on social media to help promote myself and my books. It’s a lot of work and sometimes a lot of money but I’m hoping that it’ll pay off. I can see steady traffic and that’s a good sign. As my dad would say “scared money don’t make money.” I’m trying to be brave and I’m thankful to all of you who have supported my efforts.
I now have six books out and I’m working on number seven. I’m hoping to finish a novella for an upcoming anthology.
The pandemic has made public appearances difficult. I’d just taken books around to the Brown Library, Riverwalk Art Gallery and The Next Chapter Books and Art Store when the pandemic first hit. I had a book signing at The Next Chapter but there was little traffic in the store that morning. I’m hoping to go back once Janie’s Secrets finally arrives. Covid-19 has messed up a lot of people’s plans but we’re still making progress slowly but surely.
As July ends and August begins, I can’t help but think about grandma’s blackberry jam. It was a lot of hot work to make a few jars but that first taste of sweet, tart jam reminded you that it was worth the effort. Looking at the past 30 days sales and subscribers it may not seem like a lot to someone with thousands of followers but I’m celebrating. Each sale, each new reader, each new subscriber is a blessing and a positive step forward.
Thank you to all of you who repost my promos and try to help me sell my books. Thank you to all of you who leave reviews. Your efforts make a huge difference and I cannot thank you enough. Wishing you all a happy August.
Grandma’s Blackberry Jam with my own twist
4 cups blackberries raw
1 cup sugar, white granulated
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Mash blackberries in saucepan with potato masher. Stir in sugar until becomes juicy. Take out a little juice and mix with cornstarch in a small bowl, return to blackberries and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir often until thickened. Approximately 15 minutes. Stir in spices and lemon juice. Remove from heat and let cool. Put into a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold. Fill jars to save.
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