This is a vintage post, but seasonally appropriate and lots of fun. Don’t spray toxins on your lawn… let those dandelions grow au naturel! The beautiful golden color and early summer fragrance of dandelions attracts bees, providing life sustaining nectar this time of year. Bees are HUNGRY in May and June, and if we want them around to pollinate our fruit orchards and vegetable gardens later in the season, we had better provide them with something to eat right now.
Yellow summer squash have taken over my garden – what a delightful problem! Alas, yellow summer squash doesn’t seem to freeze as well as zucchini. We need to enjoy these sunny little veggies fresh, or cook them into something delightful before freezing. This recipe for Summer Squash Fritters accomplishes both – you can enjoy these as Continue reading
Asparagus is at it’s lowest price of the entire year right now, at least where I live. I bought a few bundles and used some to make a pot of this amazing soup. If you’d like to stock up (this soup really is that good), simply follow the directions below and stop at Step 3. You can freeze the partially prepared soup well into autumn, then thaw and continue with the last few steps. So easy!
Ingredients (Serves 4) Continue reading
In my neck of the woods, sweet corn is in season. Hooray! The problem is, the season for fresh sweet corn seems to last about 5 minutes (OK, maybe 2 or 3 weeks) and then it’s all gone. 😦 Corn and Bacon Chowder freezes well, and is a great recipe for preserving the awesome flavor of fresh sweet corn to enjoy all winter long. I make BIG batches of this soup, based upon a recipe found in an old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, to stock my freezer. The recipe below makes a smaller quantity, but can be easily doubled. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Makes 8 servings)
8 ears of corn (or 4 cups corn kernels) Continue reading
Whether you favor hot dogs, bratwurst, or a classic American cheeseburger on the backyard grill, this Hot Pepper Relish is the perfect accompaniment. It has just enough ZING! to catch your attention, and is chock full of garden fresh flavor. To save time, you could prepare half the recipe below and simply store it in the refrigerator instead of canning. I’ve included canning directions as well, because Hot Pepper Relish makes a lovely and simple gift!
Ingredients (Makes 8 half-pint jars)
4 large green bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 4 cups)
5 large hot Hungarian peppers, seeded and diced (about 2 cups) Continue reading
My Grandpa Fred grew up enjoying this corn relish on the family dinner table. He remembers it fondly. I found his mother’s corn relish recipe in a treasure box of family recipes and, since my Grandpa is just about the coolest guy around, I’m happy to make a batch just for him whenever fresh sweet corn is available. I love you, Grandpa!
*Note: I’ve scaled this recipe down to a manageable size, as Great Grandma made a LOT of corn relish at once! Original quantities (which I occasionally prepare) are 3 times the quantities listed below.
Ingredients (Makes 8 pints)
8 ears of fresh sweet corn
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 teaspoon mustard seed
1/3 teaspoon celery seed
Step 1) Working carefully, use a sharp knife to slice the kernels from each ear of corn.
Step 2) Dice the onions and bell peppers.
Step 3) Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Done!
Step 4) Corn Relish may be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks, or may be canned in sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If canning, process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Canned Corn Relish will remain fresh for up to one year.
My apologies, friends. I’ve been playing in the garden, and haven’t offered up a new recipe for a few days now. What began a few weeks ago as a daily walk to the garden with a kitchen bowl has blossomed into a daily walk to the garden with a wheelbarrow. The harvest this year is amazing!
A few days ago, I pulled all of the beets in my beet patch. Oh my, what a job! The highlight of the morning was watching the kiddos gleefully spray a huge pile of freshly pulled beets with the garden hose. While most of the bounty found its way into jars of pickled beets, I saved a few for this Savory Garden Pie. With rich flavors of ricotta, walnuts, and earthy root vegetables, Savory Garden Pie makes a delightful dinner with a side salad and crusty bread. Bon Appetit!
Ingredients (Makes 1 pie, serves 6 – 8)
1 roll-out, refrigerated pie crust
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon seasoning mix, such as Wildtree Picnic Salad Blend*
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups sliced root vegetables (any combination of beets, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, or turnips would be delicious)
* Interested in Wildtree products? Feel free to email my favorite Wildtree consultant, Tricia, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1) (Optional) If you prefer your vegetables fork-tender instead of crisp, steam your sliced root vegetables in a steamer rack for 3 – 5 minutes.
Step 2) Roll out your refrigerated pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate.
Step 3) In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, seasoning mix, parmesan, and walnuts. Blend well. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the pie crust.
Step 4) Arrange sliced root vegetables on top of the ricotta mixture. If desired, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Step 5) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.