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Crevolyn Wiley: Cool your heels with fresh produce, slow cooker
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Slow Cooker Blackberry Pork Tenderloin

1 2-pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary (or to taste)
1 16-ounce jar seedless blackberry jam
¼ cup and 2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons plus ½ cup cooking wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup fresh blackberries

Season the pork tenderloin on all sides with salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary. Place the tenderloin into a slow cooker, and spoon the blackberry jam, ¼ cup honey, and 2 tablespoons of cooking wine over the pork. Set the cooker to low and cook until very tender, 4 to 5 hours. About 15 minutes before serving time, pour 2 tablespoons honey, ½ cup wine and the fresh blackberries into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and some of the berries burst, about 15 minutes. To serve, slice the tenderloin and spoon blackberry sauce over slices.

All the Fruit Salad

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks (with unsweetened juice)
1 15-ounce can sliced peaches (with unsweetened juice)
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3 medium firm bananas, sliced
1 cup green grapes, halved
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 ¾-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix

Drain pineapple and peaches, reserving juices; set aside. Combine the fruit in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine fruit juices with pudding; mix well. Pour over fruit and toss to coat. Chill before serving.

We are officially in the heat of the summer when all we can think about is how to cool off, whether it be at the lake, at the pool or sitting on the porch drinking a glass of sweet tea. One thing for sure we can’t think about the heat index and the 150 percent southern humidity. I saw a sign recently that said, “You don’t know what humidity is until you’ve spent a July down South.” Truth.

I think we can all agree spending time over a hot stove is more than we can stand some days. Fortunately, this is the time of year that fruits and vegetables are a-plenty and prep is usually minimal. Shucking corn, snapping beans and peeling peaches is as difficult as it gets. Is it just me or are those tasks somewhat therapeutic? I love that I can prep straight out of the garden for supper.

With that in mind, I’ve got a couple of recipes with easy prep but full of great taste. The first one lets the slow cooker do the work using fresh blackberries. The second is one of my all-time favorite fruit salad recipes. Using the juices of the canned fruit with the pudding mix makes for a wonderful dressing with the fruit. A tip when making this fruit salad is to put your canned fruit in the refrigerator instead of the pantry so that when you are ready to create the salad, all of your fruit will be chilled.

Happy summer and stay cool out there, my friends.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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