Lettuce, Lettuce and Lettuce Wraps

imageOk, the garden is planted from little plants the Gordon Lee High School agricultural class grew from seeds. I did this last year and I feel it helps them and I’m always happy with the results. We decided to concentrate on heirloom tomatoes and other good names like mortgage lifter and cherry tomatoes. Also a few Swiss chard plants and several kinds of hot peppers. I love cooking with herbs so we have thyme, basil, parsley and some oregano and mint that came up from last year. Well, since I’m not a real farmer you can imagine how surprised I am to still have this second generation lettuce growing. It’s growing everywhere. Lettuce from the raised beds have started growing even in the grass now. I was brought up never to waste anything so I’ve been very busy making salads, sandwiches and using big pieces of the beautiful green lettuce leaves under anything like chicken salad and pear salad and whatever else I can think of. So now I’m onto Asian lettuce wraps. Maybe I will double the leaves! This is a great recipe. Easy to make and fun to eat. Oh, and have plenty of napkins handy.image

It’s all in the broth/Turkey and kale soup

image.jpegIt doesn’t really matter what you put in your soup as long as the broth is fantastic. Of course, I really like my soups and stews to have plenty of juice. This is where the real taste comes from when all the meats and vegetables and spices blend while they simmer on the stove. The kitchen takes on the aromas and your nose knows what’s cooking. I think this is where so many memories come from too. I know if I’m making chicken noodle soup with fresh veggies, I think of my grandmother and all the garden vegetables she would use from her farm. If I’m making a Cajun soup it takes me to New Orleans where I got to work for a while and learned my appreciation for their hot spices. And if I’m fixing anything with seafood and creamy sauces I think of my sister, Rose Carol, and all the times we’ve spent in her kitchens in California. Since kale is now being pushed as a good health vegetable to eat and I have this turkey in my freezer, wrapped and bagged  very well so not to get freezer burned, I’m using it to make a healthful and delicious soup for the day. And yes, as it cooks and my kitchen again begins to absorb the flavors and smells, I think of my brother-in-law, David Yaussy and his band of merry men, Grady Atkinson, Brandon and Cameron and Dick Yaussy and my son, Adam as they fried this turkey in David’s outside turkey fryer he so willingly carried to Georgia from West Virginia just to help make our Christmas here even more exciting.image

Brain Foods/Blueberry Pancakes

img_4697 There is this funky place I like to go eat. Not many people want to go with me because it’s in an old house with tiny tables and bar stools and it’s very crowed. Like Yogi Berra always said ” no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded!” Anyway there are steps to climb and so much stuff on the wall it could give you a headache. But…. the food!! Their pancakes are thick and covered with fruit and powdered sugar. They have wonderful shrimp and grits too and omelets just to mention a few other items. Well, the last time I bribed someone to go with me I saw they had the pancake batter in a box for sale. I purchased one and have had it on the shelf for a long while. Pancakes have never been my forte.  I burn one side or the other and often they are still doughy inside. Not like my friend, Anne Underwood, who can make them all turn out just perfect. Well, today is state testing day for all of Georgia’s schools and for a week my son Adam and his two older children, Austin and Maddy have been sharing the knowledge of brain foods. Austin thought that an omelet with flaxseed and fish and nuts and blueberries would be just the thing. But I decided it was time to take this Aretha Frankenstein’s mix out of the closet and do my best. Pancakes with blueberries and a little flaxseed served with walnuts and blackberries on the side. Sausage for protein and milk to drink. My pancakes turned out delicious  just not as thick as the ones you buy there. Come visit and if you dare to go with me, I’ll drive!! Rachel Ray headed straight to Aretha Frankenstein’s on her visit to Chattanooga. And she showed us how much she loved these pancakes in her interviewimage.image.jpegA mess worth making!! Yum!!