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Dear Joyce: Here’s an idea for using chokecherry syrup that’s good and easy.

Chokecherry frappe

Fill a glass with vanilla ice cream; add 1/4 cup chokecherry syrup and 1/2 cup ginger ale. Stir and enjoy. This is a recipe from the “Montana Cookbook.” — Donna Smith, Grey Cliff.

Dear Donna: Thank you for finding another delicious use for chokecherry syrup.

Dear Joyce: Here are some more uses for chokecherries that a reader asked for.

Chokecherry bounce

1 half gallon vodka

4 cups sugar

Chokecherries to fill gallon jug

Pour vodka into gallon jug; add sugar. Shake to dissolve sugar. Add chokecherries to fill. Shake occasionally. Ready in 6 to 8 weeks.

For the bounce, my husband adds mixed orange juice or 7-Up for a drink.

Chokecherry schnapps

4 cups chokecherry juice, heated to warm

1 cup sugar

1 cup Everclear (190 proof neutral-grain spirits)

Heat chokecherry juice to warm, but not hot, temperature to ready the juice for the fermentation process. Add sugar to warmed juice and stir until dissolved. Add Everclear. Stir, bottle, cool and enjoy.

This schnapps recipe was from a Billings Gazette article.

Frozen chokecherry daiquiri

1 cup juice

1 cup sugar

Cook until sugar is dissolved.

4 cups ice (fill blender)

1 cup dark rum

2/3 cup chokecherry syrup

3/4 cup sweet and sour mix (Mr T) — Olivia Hickey, Hardin.

Dear Olivia: Thank you for some great recipes for chokecherry drinks. It would seem most of the experimenting with chokecherries were for recipes to make it drinkable.

Any recipes experimenting to make it edible in cakes, candies, cookies or bars? In yogurt?


Dear Joyce: This is a family favorite.

Tater Tot pizza


1 pound ground beef

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (11-1/8 oz.) can condensed Italian tomato soup, undiluted

1 (4-1/2 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 (32 oz.) pkg frozen Tater Tots

Cook beef, pepper and onion in skillet until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Add soup and mushrooms.

Transfer to greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Top with cheese and potatoes. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings. Billings reader.

Dear reader: Kids will love this, but kids aren’t the only ones who love Tater Tots. Thank you.

Dear Joyce: This makes super good snacks.

Sweet-sour chicken dippers

You can chop all ingredients the night before, then it can be ready in about 30 minutes.

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1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 (14-1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped green peppers

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbsp. cornstarch


1 cup flour

1 cup cornstarch

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp. sugar

1-1/3 cups cold water

Oil for deep-fat frying

1-1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

Drain pineapple, save juice. Combine sugar, tomatoes, vinegar, green pepper, soy sauce, onion, ginger and pineapple in saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Add to tomato mixture. Bring to boil, boil and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; set aside.

Batter: combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda, sugar and water until smooth.

In deep fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Dip chicken pieces in batter; drop into oil and fry until golden brown and juices run clear, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with sweet-sour sauce. Makes 4 dozen appetizers. Amy Lynn, Miles City.

Dear Amy Lynn: This is an appetizer or snack that’s sure to be a winner. Thank you for sharing.