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Cabbage Soup

A bountiful vegetable garden produces a lot of produce. Here’s a recipe for simple goodness in a pot. You can use whatever vegetables you have in abundance except turnips. Turnips are good in the soup the first day, but after day 1, the soup takes on an unpleasant ammonia smell and taste. Not good.


In a large soup pot, saute in 2 Tbsp EVOO:

  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 6 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 8 carrots, sliced

Add remaining ingredients and cover with purified water, with about 1″ of water on top.

  • ½ head green cabbage, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • ½ head red cabbage, aleo chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Corn removed from 3 cobs
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • ¼ cup Bragg liquid amines, to taste
  • 1 or 2 tsp. Himalayan pink or Hawaiian red sea salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • dash cayenne
  • 6 Roma or 3 beefsteak tomatoes, diced, or 1 can diced tomatoes with juice

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover and let sit for an hour. Before serving, bring back to a boil and cook until all the veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and top with chopped cilantro and parsley.

This soup has fewer calories in it than it takes to digest it. Very full of vitamins too. Enjoy!

My Crispy Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 6 lbs thinly sliced, unpeeled, unwaxed cucumbers (about 40 pickle sized Kirby cukes, will make about 4 quarts. The thinner they’re sliced, the more you will pack into each quart. Large English cucumbers will work too if Kirbys aren’t in season.)
  • 3 thinly sliced large white onions (1-1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 7 large garlic cloves, sliced (or to taste, at least 2 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 quarts ice cubes
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp. celery seed
  • 3 c. white vinegar

In a very large bowl, mix cucumber slices with onion, garlic, and salt.  Cover with ice cubes and let stand for 3 hours.

Run empty jars and lids through double dishwashing cycle, using a little detergent only on the first wash.

Combine remaining ingredients in large pot.  This won’t look like enough pickling liquid, but the cucumbers will slump down while brining.) Bring to boil.  Drain, than add cucumbers garlic and onions.  Return to boil.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking. Put the jars on a large sheet pan. Fill clean jars with hot pickles and juice.  Wipe off jar threads with clean damp paper towels. Cap and turn upside down for 15 minutes to ensure that all interior surfaces of jars are sterile.  After 15 minutes, turn upright and store.

These are ready to eat after a few days, and the longer they sit, the better they get.




  • Cuban Bread or French bread with thin crispy crust. Even Ciabatta will work on these.
  • Crispy Bread and Butter Pickles (recipe above.)
  • Smoked ham, thinly sliced
  • Roast pork, thinly sliced
  • Swiss cheese
  • Yellow mustard


Spread both sides of bread with yellow mustard.

Layer:  Swiss cheese, roast pork,  smoked ham, pickles (enough for every bite) and another layer of cheese. Grill on a panini press, Forman grill, or grill pan with a weight on top. (another pan with several large cans of tomatoes works, or a brick.)

Grill until cheese melts on both side, smashing the sandwich until it’s as flat as possible. Enjoy!

It’s Gotta Be God

Every year, as I sit in my garden tending to the plants, singing with the mockingbirds, I am reminded that I merely plant and water. It is truly God who gives the increase. These growing vegetables that I started from seed are now bearing fruit because they have been properly nourished, succored, weeded, and protected from predators. I have done my best to be God’s husbandman. This is fruit bearing time up north and I’m sure all of your tended gardens are just brimming with the fruit that’s beginning to mature.

I think about how remarkable it is when my cherry tomato plants are just covered with tiny little tomatoes, getting ready for that first blush of orange. I love watching the tiny little cucumbers, eggplants, squash, and tomatoes begin to grow bigger and bigger. My yard long beans sseem to burst forth overnight. It’s all because that’s how God set it in order when He put life in the seed. It’s all rarin’ to go, ready to bless us with food and beauty.

Don’t forget to thank Him for your garden, for the privilege it is to tend His crops. Be blessed and thankful.

Happy Gardening.


The corn is knee high up north now , my summer bounty is sweet potatoes.

Recipe – Berry Muffins

Berries are in season, and my garden is full of them, as are the grocery stores. I can’t resist their luscious color and texture, but often I find myself wondering what to do with them besides just putting them on cereal or mixing with yogurt. Here’s a good simple recipe. It takes about 10 minutes to put it together, requires no mixer, and the results are light and full of fruit. You can put the batter in greased muffin tins or in a greased 9×14 pan. Either way the results are wonderful. These muffins disappeared in about an hour. My hubby loved them.

Here’s the recipe. Preheat oven to 375

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar

You’ll need about 1/2 cup of brown sugar for topping.

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat wet ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Mix dry ingredients with a whisk to combine. Add wet to dry, stir well. If mixture is too thick, thin with a little more milk. add 2 cups berries, any kind. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all work well with this recipe. Pour into muffin tins or baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning muffins out onto a plate. Let cool. Enjoy.

Recipe – Red Beans and Rice

Ever since I lived in New Orleans, I have loved real  New Orleans style red beans. When I first moved there, I was a waitress at Lenfants Restaurant, where their lunch special was a big plate with red beans on one side, rice on the other side, and a big hunk of grilled smoked sausage in the middle. Like eveything there, it was served with a crusty Po-Boy roll. Their red beans are so easy, and have such a distinctive taste. Here’s my take on how they do it:

1 lb. red beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into smell pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 7 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Zatarain’s Crab Boil if available
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt to taste, at least 2 tsp.
  • 1 package smoked sausage, kielbasa, or andouille sausage

Render the bacon in a little olive oil, along with 1/2 of the sausage cut into a 1/2″ dice. Add onions and other veggies and saute until veggies are beginning to soften. Add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the beans, bay leaves, thyme, and pepper flakes and cover with water.

Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer and cook, severed for 2 hours. Uncover, add the rest of the sausage cut into slices, and stirring frequently, cook for another hour until it thickens. Add salt to taste. Serve over steaming white rice and top with Tabasco sauce.

Pickled Vegetables


431932_4982639079422_239510934_nThis is Linda Campbell Melton’s post from Facebook. Looks good to me!

Fresh Cucumber Salad…stays in the frig up to 2 months!

7-cups unpeeled pickling cucumbers sliced thin (about 7 large dills)
1-cup sliced onions
1-cup sliced green peppers
… 1-tbsp salt
1-cup white vinegar
2-cups sugar
1-tsp celery seed
1-tsp mustard seed

We used red pepper

Mix cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt; set a side
Put vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard seed in a pot and bring to a boil
Remove from heat and let cool for one hour
Pour mixture over cucumbers
Put in jars and store in refrigerator
Will keep up to 2 months

Makes 2 quart jars

How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

Tomatoes are blushing on the vine, string beans are blossoming, and I’d love to see YOUR garden photos..  Send them to me at and the top photos will be posted here. Go ahead and brag about your garden! We’d all love to hear about it and see some pix.

Happy Gardening!

Root Vegetables

root vegetablesRoot vegetables are fun and easy to grow. I always love the surprise of finding out how big the veggies are when I finally get to pull them. Carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, sweet poratoes, regular potatoes are all fun and easy to tend.

Radishes can be sown very close together. I generally divide a square foot into 36 squares and drop a seed into each square Cover with finely crumbled soil and water well. In about a month they’re ready to pull.

Carrots can be sown just as closely, but take 3 months to maturity. I find that seed tape is the way to go with carrots, and I make my own. See my previous blog on making your own seed tape. (Search in the upper left hand search box.)

Beets, turnips, rugabagas all do well in raised beds. Think about how big the mature fruit will be and plant the seeds far enough apart to accommodate them. These root vegies all require daily watering. Onions require regular weeding and watering. It takes way too long to grow onions from seeds, so I buy onion sets. They’re little baby onion bulbs and easily grow into mature onions in a few months. The growing “spring” onions are delicious as well.

Raised beds are the best! Happy gardening!

Almost Ready Tomatoes

brandywine tomatoes 7-17-07I just love the smell of tomato plants and green tomatoes. These are getting ready to be eaten. How do your tomatoes look? Send me some pics and I’ll post them.

I’ve written before that the real reason to grow a veggie garden is for the tomatoes. Other produce you can get at the grocery or market, but warm from the sun fresh beefsteak tomatoes are a garden reward, like fresh 10 minute old sweet corn. My mouth is watering for some, but like you, I have to wait!

Happy Gardening

Recipe – Lilikoi Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 small bottle Cattleman’s Carolina style tangy BBQ sauce
  • 1 c. catsup
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. worcestershire sauce
  • 4 oz. block Guava paste, cubed
  • 6 oz. Passion Fruit puree
  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 4 Tbsp Maggi chicken bouillon powder
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried gigner
  • 1/4 c. pineapple vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 rsp. black pepper

Combine guava paste in blender with passion fruit, catsup, and barbecue sauce. Blend on high until pureed. Remove to a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients. Store in fridge.