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It's strawberry season

I love strawberry season. It reminds me of when I was a young girl and staying at Grandma's and Grandpa's farm and going out to the strawberry patch and eating freshly picked juicy strawberries. To enjoy strawberries all year round, hull and quarter the berries and gently toss with four parts strawberries to one part sugar. Then loosely pack them in a storage container and freeze them immediately. Use as you would fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Dip

8 ounces sour cream

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 pints fresh strawberries, unhulled

In a bowl, combine sour cream and brown sugar; stir until smooth. Chill until serving. Use as a dip for whole strawberries. Store in the refrigerator.

Sloppy Joes With Chicken Gumbo

1 pound lean ground beef

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (10 1/2 ounce) can chicken gumbo soup (undiluted)

4 hamburger buns, toasted

Crumble beef in two-quart microwave casserole dish. Cook on high power for three to five minutes, stirring to break up meat once or twice. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients except for the buns. Blend well and heat on high power for about three minutes, or until very hot and heated through. Spoon meat mixture onto buns and serve.

Chewy Brownies

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1-1/2 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

3 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup walnuts, chopped

Second Layer:

1 can Eagle Brand milk

2 cups coconut


1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

6 tablespoons milk

Mix the ingredients for the first layer and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes in a 9- by- 13-inch pan. Cool before adding second layer. Pour coconut mixture over baked and cooled layers. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Frosting: Combine sugar, butter, and milk. Boil one minute; add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Beat until spreadable. Frost on cooled brownies.

GARY'S TIP: To keep strawberries for up to a week, refrigerate unwashed and unstemmed berries in a loosely covered container.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: A good temperament is the chief ingredient of happiness.