Sunday, July 29, 2012


Yesterday I spent most of the day working in the Potager Garden. Two years ago I added a few vegetables to this garden, just to make it a true Potager Garden. Now I am loving having my own earth to table fare, so more flowers are being moved to make way for veggies!

I worked on lining the path, digging up the last of the radishes, mulching, and picking all the yummy Roma tomatoes. I really need to harvest the collard greens, they are beginning to suffer from the summer heat. So the search for collard greens recipes begins. Here is one I tried last night, It got a A plus rating from my husband. Enjoy!

Collard Greens with Bacon Recipe

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves,minced
2 tbsp sugar(I use Splenda)
1teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper( freshly ground)
Several dashes hot sauce
2 pounds collard greens ( stems removed, sliced into 3 inch wide strips)
1 cup chicken broth

1 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the bacon in the skillet until it just begins to brown around the edges, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and cook until they are soft. Just about 1 minute

2 Add the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and hot sauce. Cook until the garlic becomes
fragrant, about a minute. Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, stirring and scraping up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.

3 Add the collard greens and the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the temp to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally until the collards have wilted and have lost their brightness. Season with additional vinegar and hot sauce. Serve with some of the pan juices.

Recipe adapted from Chef Donald Link, of Herbsaint and Cochon in New Orleans

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Black Eyed Susan’s are so near and dear to my heart. Since I was a young child, I remember my Father marking in a “black book” when the first Black Eyed Susan would bloom. He took great pride in transplanting the native Rudbeckia hirta all over are 300 + acres in Brown County Indiana. In addition to that all six of us were called upon to cut the dead flower heads, containing the seed, and placing them in areas my Father thought they might possibly grow.

When we moved from Indiana to Kentucky some 30 years ago, I brought Black Eyed Susan’s. Since then I have planted them everywhere I thought they would grow on my 20 acres. My neighbors all have been given this ambitious grower as well as I have begun keeping my own “black book” and marking when the first bloom appears.

Rudbeckia hirta can reach a height of 1m. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 10-18 cm long, covered by course hair. These can be somewhat itchy when messing with the plant and cause a rash. It flowers from June to August. The bloom usually measure 5-8 cm in diameter with yellow ray florets surrounding a brown, domed center.

Personally I love the happy yellow faces of this flower. A big bunch picked and put in a vase, to me just smiles!!! When my daughter was home recently, for a short weekend, she picked a huge bunch of Black Eyed Susan’s to journey home with her.

So the love continues….. Every time I see the yellow beauty, I know Dad is smiling at me from heaven.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Radishes, Radishes, Radishes and More Radishes

I have an abundance of  radishes this year so I am trying lots of creative ways to use the veggies!!!

This was a new approach for me but it was delicious....Give it a try!

Grilled Radishes
20 ounces radishes, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 cube ice
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the grill for high heat

Place the radishes, garlic, butter, and ice cube on a double layer of aluminium foil large enough to wrap up the contents. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly seal foil around contents.

Place foil packet on the grill, and cook 20 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.

This is really good for someone who is avoiding carbs.  It mocks potatoes.

Thanks to

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Soup from the Garden

This has been the year to restore the gardens or give up. I have worked harder and longer in my gardens this year than I have in a very very long time. I now am gearing up to move plants. This Fall I am going to regroup.....

But for now I am enjoying the "veggies of my labor". I am trying use up my greens before they bolt. I found this great soup.  It was wonderful!!

Gabrielle Hamilton's Minestrone Soup

1 cup virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 inner celery stalks, leaves and stalks thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, cut into thirds and smashed
2 small fennel bulbs, bottom trimmed  and thinly sliced
4 small yellow squash, seeds removed and medium dice
2 medium zucchini, seeds removed and medium diced
Kosher salt
1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into 3/4 florets
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch Kale
1 bunch spinach
1/2 head escarole(I used a collection of Greens from my garden)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and the butter in a large pot with a tight fitting lid over medium heat until the butter foams. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soften. Add the yellow squash and the zucchini, season with salt and cook stirring occasionally until soften. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by 1 inch and bring to a boil.

Heat the cauliflower and green beans and stir to combine. Add the kale, spinach and the greens until they all start to wilt and return a boil. Add more water as needed to cover the vegetables by about an inch of liquid. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the vegetables start to soften, about 20 minutes.  Add the remaining olive oil and the bouillon cubes and stir until they have dissolved.

Cover and continue cooking until the vegetables are completely soften, the soup thickens slightly and the flavors have melded, about an hour. Taste and season with additional bouillon cubes as needed.

 Adapted from the following source.Source:


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