Thanksgiving/Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

The garden is empty now except for the sweet potatoes hiding underneath the dirt. After washing and baking them in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees I let them cool just long enough to pull off the potato peel without getting burned.  Then I sliced them, put a lot of butter slices on them and added brown sugar and a kiss of cinnamon. Because some people at the table don’t like nuts I only add them to half the baking dish. Cover with foil and baked until all is melted and warm. Perfect for any Thanksgiving dinner.

Summer Sandwiches/Pineapple, English Cheese and Fried Green Tomato

Last summer when I went to my son-in-laws’ family reunion,  I was never so surprised to see pineapple sandwiches. The white bread is cut to match the pineapple rings, and of course, since it’s the South, you spread mayonnaise or salad dressing on the bread. Don’t knock it till you try it because I was delightfully surprised.

Then on a trip to England several years ago my husband and I found in all the travel stops what we thought was pimento cheese. But it was without the pimento, just shredded cheese and mayonnaise mixed, then topped with thinly sliced tomatoes and sometimes a little lettuce. I was keeping foster children at the time and when I made it for them, they loved it. A lot of kids don’t like pimento so this is perfect. I called it an English cheese sandwich.

Now this next sandwich is perfect if you have ADHD like I do. When the tomatoes start growing  and you don’t want to wait any longer for them to turn red, just pull them, slice them thin and lightly roll them in flour with a little salt. Fry and drain. Use a good bread so it won’t fall apart while you’re eating it. Add bacon and lettuce. A fried green tomato sandwich! I love this one too.

 

The Garden Is Growing Swiss Chard

img_5082Just planted this Swiss chard a few weeks ago and look how it has grown! My brother and good friends Joy and Gary Limbach are the only people I ever knew who grew it and they were in Ohio. It was very good but I didn’t get it very often. So this year my brother and I decided to plant some. We  did and the results are amazing. I think this is now one of my favorite vegetables. I like greens; turnip, mustard and spinach with a little vinegar but Swiss chard is sweeter and when boiled just a little it’s perfect with butter and salt and pepper. Bacon grease is always good to put in the boiling water. Since the stalks are as good as the leaves put them in first for about five minutes then add the leaves and continue to boil another five minutes or until they are soft.image

Relax !! And eat fried potatoes and ham

imageThis cabin in the woods has brought the best part of us out. We can head up at a moments notice now that we keep coffee and extra clothes here. We find the time to read sitting by the fire and playing board games we haven’t done in years. Our grandchildren will find us a  challenge next time they play with us!  With winter coming to an end we may find ourselves hiking more and taking advantage of all the things there are to do up here but for now we just enjoy the fireplace and the porch view. So since I usually have potatoes on hand and ham in the freezer,  I fry them up and we eat and just relax. Of course we go out to eat anytime we want and have all the choices you can imagine. This weekend we brought my brother and since he’s such an outdoors person we decided we should get up early and watch the sunrise. We set the alarm for 6:30, made the coffee and out to the porch we went. Back in for more blankets and refills on coffee and still no sun! Growing up in Ohio and now living in a flat area of Georgia I now understand what mom always talked about when she mentioned the twilight you have with mountains. She grew up the West Virginia surrounded by mountains. The sun slowly creeps up and you have light way before you see the sun. We could have slept in another hour,  but then we would have missed drinking hot coffee bundled up with blankets hearing the mountains awake.image

Here’s What I’ve Learned About Gardening So Far….

  At my age,  I am learning as fast as I can about vegetable gardening! Lucky for me I have two very good teachers. The first is my brother,  Jonathan, who sits with me in the mornings through the week and we have our devotions and coffee on the front porch where we can feel the weather of the new day starting, whether it be the sun or the rain and some wind on most days.  Just listening to him talk about “our little garden” he tells me way more things than I’ve ever heard of. Plants are living things to him and he communicates that in every sentence he speaks. For example, one morning we were looking up to see if rain was going to come soon because he said you’re not to water until the plants bow their heads and ask because it’s good for the roots to grow deep in search of water and that makes them stronger. Then we walked to the garden and saw some dead leaves at the bottom of the plants and he said it’s better to cut them so not to disturb the ground by pulling which might bother the roots. And  throw the dead leaves outside the garden so if they have disease on them it won’t get on other leaves. On another morning when we were watering because the rain wasn’t coming for several days I started to pull a few dead leaves when he said ” stop” and he continued to tell me that when the leaves are wet from rain or watering and you touch them with your hands you could get bacteria on the plant from your hands. Who would have thought!! And he talks all the time of the importance of the sun. The more sun the more vegetables and the better tasting they are. That’s why when planting he is so particular as to where the garden is planted to make sure shadows from the house or tall trees don’t fall on it so to allow the most sun available during the day.

Then I have my beloved brother in law, David Yaussy. Through the years I have watched him  grow all kinds of things in between rocks and in drain spouts. In yards and places you wouldn’t even think possible. He’s never afraid to try. He’ll talk to me about ideas for hours and has spent time sending me emails with detailed lists of what I need to buy or build. So this year my son, Adam built our above ground garden using his math mind to calculate the proportions and it’s perfect! No bending over to hurt our backs and with the right soil combination the vegetables are growing crazy.

Thank you, to these important men in my life!!  And I’ll have to say thank you to my husband ahead of time because when I’m gone to see my sister in California this summer  he’ll have to water and collect all this wonderful bounty!!