The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Friendship bread

I am looking for the recipe for friendship bread. I need both the starter and cake recipe. It's different from any recipe that I am finding now. It takes 30 days to make. Every 10 days you add to the starter fruit cocktail, sugar, cherries and I think diced peaches. It was baked in four Bundt pans. Thank you for any help.

– Martha Phillips, Modesto

Culinary lavender

Does anyone know where I can buy culinary lavender? Thank you.

– Caroline Ghinassi, Newcastle

Soft pretzels

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Makes 12 pretzels

Patricia Chudzik of Rancho Cordova was looking for a recipe for homemade pretzels.

Joanne Ellis of Orangevale shares this easy recipe that she says is fun to make with the children.

Note: The prep time does not include the rise time for the dough.


One 1-pound loaf of frozen white bread, thawed

1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water

About 3 tablespoons coarse salt or caraway seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover the thawed dough and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a 16-inch rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

In a large skillet bring two inches of water to a boil. Slip the pretzels, a few at a time, into gently boiling water. Cook until pretzels rise to the surface, about 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Place pretzels on greased cookie sheets, two inches apart. Brush tops lightly with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with salt and/or caraway seeds. Do not let the pretzels rise. Bake immediately at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until browned.

Per pretzel: 100 cal.; 4 g pro.; 17 g carb.; 1 g fat; 0 mg chol.; 1,656 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 13 percent calories from fat.Olivia Rodriguez's sauce for tamales

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Makes enough for 8 tamales

Melinda Frost of Rancho Murieta was looking for a sauce recipe to serve over tamales. She's used enchilada sauce in the past, and now wants to try something different.

Sostenes Rodriguez of Modesto comes from a family of eight kids, now all grown with children of their own. They always get together on Christmas Eve and make tamales for Christmas day lunch. This is the recipe they used to top their tamales.


1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped into small dice

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 of an 8-ounce can tomato sauce, more if desired

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, optional (add if you prefer a thicker sauce)


Heat oil over medium heat in a 9 1/2-inch saucepan. Sauté onion in oil until soft and clear, stirring occasionally. Stir the flour into the onions until all the flour has been absorbed by the onions, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the water, stir. Add the half of an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and stir. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water, and cornstarch, if using, and stir. Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt and stir to blend everything together. Bring to a low rolling boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until it reaches desired thickness. Pour over tamales.

Per serving: 30 cal.; trace pro.; 3 g carb.; 2 g fat (0 sat., 2 monounsat., 0 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 148 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 52 percent calories from fat.

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