Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Love Vegetables

Just read this on CNN's eatocracy food blog. The lady was answering the question, "Why do so many people hate vegetables?"

“I’d hate vegetables too if I ate frozen vegetables! I’d hate vegetables if I ate vegetables that are out of season! I think to fall in love with vegetables you need to eat seasonal vegetables and you need to eat them prepared very simply and they need to be homemade.” Jennifer Rubell

Gotta love it! Think of all the many different types of vegetables there are to choose from. Vary your intake from season to season lest you burn out. And if you don't know how to cook them, just slice and dice and throw them all together into one big salad. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain!

Thanking God for the much-needed rain to water the crop of greens Gary planted last week. We're no fools. We know that without God we can grow nothing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

To My Readers

A special shout out to all my readers! To date there have been 838 visits to this site. I know some of these are repeat visits from followers, and I thank you all. From time to time you guys tell me about having tried a recipe, or having learned something from the blog. When I hear your stories I am encouraged to keep blogging. Thanks, again, for your interest. Now, go tell 2 friends, so they can tell 2 friends, and they can tell 2 friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Raspberries Are In Town

Raspberries are available now at the market. Just like other berries they are loaded with vitamin C and potassium and are low in calories. Add them to vanilla yogurt, or breakfast cereal; or puree and use them as dessert topping; or just eat them like popcorn straight from the bowl.

Store fresh raspberries in the refrigerator and eat them as soon as possible. Raspberries can also be frozen. Simply lay them in a single layer on a tray and place in freezer for a few hours or just until fruit is firm. Then, package in freezer bags and use them within 6-8 months.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peas Are Like Sisters

Ever been a bit overwhelmed when shopping for peas, wondering the difference between the many varieties and which one tastes best?

Think about it this way. Peas are like sisters. They come from the same family. Even though they may look somewhat alike, they are different. Each one has her own personality, her own style, her own sense of humor. Likewise, each variety of pea has its own special flavor. Just like you would need to spend time with each sister to determine which one you liked more, you would need to try each variety of pea to decide which one you preferred.

Dixie Lee peas are a lot like the peas and snaps Grandma used to cook, and they are my personal favorite. Pink eyes are similar to black eyes, only smaller. Crowders are those yummy peas that cook up a red gravy. Six weeks tend to stay more green as they cook, but are equally tasty.

Peas can be cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, or water. Flavor them with a little salt. Bring them to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Let them simmer for about 30-40 minutes. The longer they slow cook the better, but be careful to not let them run out of water. Try a taste test. Leave comments. Which pea is your favorite?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Schools Going Local

Congratulations to Aversboro Elementary and Knightdale Elementary for going local!

These two schools have applied for and received a federal grant to fund a program that allows the school to purchase snacks for all the students, every day from September through May. Now get this, the snacks are fruits and vegetables purchased from local businesses approved by Child Nutrition Services for the Wake County schools. How cool is that! Maybe this will set a precedent for other schools and for our school lunch programs as well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole


Here's the sweet potato casserole I made last night. It was, by far, the best sweet potato casserole I've ever made. I don't know if it was because this year's sweet potatoes are really delicious, or if it was the recipe, or if I've been cooking so long that it can't go wrong (ha). Whatever, it was really sweet, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I dare you to try it!

You will need: 3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wash sweet potatoes and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in oven at 350 for 60-75 minutes until done. Cool, peel, mash, and measure 4 cups in mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth. Pour into casserole dish.

For Topping you will need: 1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 stick melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix sugar, flour, and butter. Then, add pecans.
Cover casserole with topping and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people over age 35. I'll get to the under-35 set in just a minute. First, if you're over 35 you either like to shell peas and butterbeans, or you hate it. Me? I'm in the "like it" group. Yes, it was hard on the thumb, tiring, and seemingly endless. But the alternative for me was to be in the field picking the peas. Now, if you know me at all, you will know that I am an indoor cat. So, shelling was my ONLY option. It really wasn't all that bad. I was able to sit outside under the great big pecan tree with the others left behind to shell. We would race to see who could finish shelling their panful of peas first. The winner was justly rewarded with yet another pan of peas and another race ahead. All in all, though, it was kind of therapeutic. Working with your hands, making progress, and having those yummy Dixie Lee peas for supper was the ultimate reward!

Now, back to the under-35 age group. For you, there are two kinds of people - those who have shelled peas and butterbeans, and those who have not!

Somewhere along the course of time someone came up with the bright idea to create and build a pea-shelling machine. It's like magic! Simply dump the baskets of peas in the tray on one side, turn on the switch, and voila! Out rolls freshly shelled peas on the screened tray on the other side! Amazing!

If you go to the market don't forget to visit Wise Farms and get your peas. Ours are already shelled...by that fancy machine, of course.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Subtle Change 8

Simplify! There's truth to the saying, "Less is more." This week's challenge is to simplify your surroundings. Remove clutter. Don't be afraid to throw things out. Your trash may be someone else's treasure.
Donate old magazines to the library. Somewhere there is a child who needs that magazine for pictures for a school project.
Donate those "already read, enjoyed, but don't know-what-to-do-with" inspirational books to the Hospice center at your local hospital. Someone there is grieving and needs an encouraging word.
Donate outgrown children's clothes to the school. Children have accidents and might need a change of clothes.
Just a few thoughts...anyone out there want to share other ways to simplify? Leave comments.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Winter Squash

As the summer ends, the fall harvest begins bringing a variety of winter squash to the market. Here's a picture taken in the early summer of a butternut squash growing at Wise Farms. No doubt this squash has since matured, harvested, and been served with someone's dinner.

Butternut squash, along with other winter squash, are tasty when baked in the oven and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, or brown sugar and a little butter. After cutting the squash in half lengthwise, scoop away the inner seeds (much like scooping away the innermost part of a cantaloupe). Then place in shallow roasting pan, and rub a little olive oil over top of squash. Add enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until tender and lightly browned.