Prayer for Jacob

Jacob at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga.
Our Father I offer today a prayer of intercession for Jacob.  He is raging this morning since 8:30 AM.  He has been returned to ICU.  Please cast Your Heavenly Blessings upon him this day.  I ask that You end his turmoil and suffering and raise him up and out of this affliction.  I know it is but Your thought or glance that can heal him in a moment and I ask for this giving You all of the Glory, Praise, and Thanksgiving for your wonders.  I stand with many in this request and we thank you too for all of them.

We believe You when You tell us we are the head and not the tail.  We believe for this healing.  We believe that Jacob will be healed and his family returned home.  All praise and thanks be to You in heaven and here on Earth.  In Jesus name we pray, not my will but Thine be done.  A-men

Sister Sheree (JACOB's Mother) in the foreground and sister Linda in the rear.
Baxter, Jacob's Dad and his Grandma Burress peeking in the foreground.
Note: Jacob Bolling is a senior at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Hamilton County in Indiana and an Eagle Scout.  He was injured in a one car accident during a severe thunderstorm on his way to school when his vehicle hydroplaned and hit a tree.  He is the youngest son of my sister Sheree Bolling and her husband Baxter.  He is currently a patient at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga.

Thank you for your prayers.


Orange and Blueberry Muffins with Orange Glaze

Blueberries are so good for you and I am on the lookout for more blueberry recipes.  I have always made blueberry pie and plain muffins so this sounded good as I love anything with any flavor of citrus fruit.  I have adapted this recipe from one in the 12/90 revision of the Lazarus, From Our Kitchen Cookbook. 

Blueberry Muffin Ingredients:

1 C. buttermilk
1 extra large egg
1/2 C. butter melted and cooled
3/4 c. sugar
1 medium orange grated
1 C. chopped pecans
2 1/4 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
2 C. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and prepare large muffin tins with papers or butter and flour (makes 12 large muffins).

Note:  If you use frozen blueberries do not allow them to thaw.

Beat together the buttermilk, egg, butter,and sugar.  Grate the whole orange in a food processor and stir into the batter.  Add the pecans and stir.

Using a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder whisking well.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter stirring just long enough to blend.  Do not over mix.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  A cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. 

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan to a cooling rack.  Glaze when cold with glaze.

Orange Glaze:

2 T. orange juice
1 T. grated orange zest
1/2 C powdered sugar

Stir together until well blended. 


Spring Soup of Fresh Vegetables & Beans After a Visit to Joe Engelbrecht's 4th Generation Orchard

By rights this should probably have been a minestrone but I kept going and adding more and more to the kettle!! I drove up to Joe Engelbrecht's Fourth Generation Orchard this morning to gather our portion of the share we had purchased and came away with a treasure trove!! (Exit 18,  South ST. Rd. 57 if you are going North on I-164 or it is Exit 19  if you are driving South on I-164 from above the exit for Haubstadt, In.  Go to the light and turn left then turn right at the first road you come to and you will see his sign less than a quarter of a mile down the road. )

He had scads of fresh tomatoes from his very own hot house so I filched onto a box of seconds left from the weekend and thought a fresh kettle of soup might be a nice way to use them.  I had more tomatoes in my share box as well as fresh zucchini and spinach and a box of fat juicy blueberries.  How neat to have a surprise as to what is in the share box each week.
Joe Engelbrecht

Spring Soup  Ingredients:

2 1/2  quarts chicken stock
8 fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 extra large onion diced
3 stalks celery sliced
2 cloves garlic diced
1 can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium zucchini quartered and sliced 1/4"
3 potatoes peeled and diced
2 C. torn fresh spinach leaves
1 pound sliced smoked sausage (optional)
6 oz. small pasta cooked al dente
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese or the saved rinds of cheese
2 T.  fresh basil or 1 T. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. sugar
1 t. Salt
1/2  t. Pepper
additional shredded cheese for serving

Combine all ingredients except the spinach, pasta, and sausage,  then simmer 1 1/2 hours, taste and correct seasonings.  About 10 minutes before serving add the cooked pasta, spinach, and sausage and heat through.

Note:  I used my frozen stock and it is well seasoned.  You may need to adjust seasonings up a bit.  Serve pipping hot topped with additional shredded cheese.  Yield 16 servings.


Tarragon Chicken Salad, Pineapple Waldorf Salad, Macaroni Salad, Egg Salad, and Kidney Bean Salad Stock My Coolers for Memorial Day Weekend.

The temperatures are forecast to soar this holiday weekend, up to 100 Degrees here in Newburgh, Indiana.  I plan to stock the refrigerator and coolers should we decide to travel with a cool array of salads that can be pulled out on a moments notice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I also pulled, cleaned, and chilled a nice tray of radishes from the garden.

Egg Salad:

8 hard cooked eggs peeled and diced
1/2 C. Miracle Whip
1/2 t. yellow mustard
1 T. sweet pickle relish
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. celery salt
1-2 t. sweet pickle juice

Combine everything except the sweet pickle juice and stir well.  (The sweet pickle juice is our families secret ingredient.)  Taste to correct seasoning and add the pickle juice a few droplets at a time until the desired consistency and flavor is reached.   Cover and refrigerate until serving time.  Great for breakfast spread on toast or served in toast cups.  Terrific for lunch or a light supper served over a tomato as a salad or in a sandwich.  Serves 4.

Kidney Bean Salad:  This recipe is also an old family favorite and was previously posted  on 8/18/11.

Tarragon Chicken Salad:

2 1/2 pounds cooked white chicken cut into medium large chunks
3 C. diced celery
1 1/4 C. Hellmann's Mayonnaise
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 T. Tarragon leaves

Steam or poach chicken until tender.  Cool and cut into bite sized pieces.  Fold in the celery.  Blend the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice,salt, pepper, and tarragon leaves together.   Add to the chicken and toss lightly.  Serve chilled.  Serves 5-6.   Adapted from Selected Lazarus Recipes 1981.

Pineapple Waldorf Salad:

1 1/2 pounds apples, diced do not peel (6-7)
1 C. diced celery
1/2 C. toasted pecans
1 pound can of pineapple tidbits drained or 1 1/2 C. fresh pineapple cut into tidbits
3/4 C. celery seed dressing  (Use bottled or recipe from tropical chicken salad or the one that follows here.)

Combine the ingredients and toss with dressing.  To prevent the apples from browning cut them into the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon.

Celery Seed Dressing:

1 1/2 T. pureed onion
1/4 C. lemon juice
3 1/3 C. sugar
1 1/2 t. dry mustard
1 1/2 t. salt
1 C. cider vinegar
2 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. celery seeds

Puree onion in the blender with the lemon juice.  Set aside.

Combine in a double boiler sugar, dry mustard, salt, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute.  Cool to lukewarm, then blend on low with electric mixer for 5 minutes.

Add oil, onion mixture and celery seeds and blend at medium speed for 10 minutes. 

Bottle and refrigerate.  Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from Selected Lazarus Recipes 1981.

Macaroni Salad:

2 C, uncooked pasta, cook per pkg. directions
4 hard cooked eggs chopped
1/3 C. sweet pickles chopped
1/3 C. sweet onion chopped
2 large stalks of celery chopped
1 t. yellow mustard
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
optional:  garnish with cherry tomatoes or stir into the salad

Using a large bowl combine the cooked and chilled pasta, eggs, and vegetables.  Combine the mustard, mayo, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to make the dressing.  Pour the dressing onto the pasta and veggies and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve well chilled.   Yield 6 servings.

Last but not least I must confess to having stirred up a batch of Devil's Food Cupcakes topped with Fudge frosting and sprinkles!!  I am ready!!


Beef Grades

A few months ago I was in our nicest local grocery and asked the man dressed in white behind the meat case stocking the meat case what grade of meat beef they sold.  He looked up at me and answered Angus.  I was shocked.

Angus is not the correct answer.  Angus is a breed not a USDA Grade of beef.  Any breed could probably be any grade as the grade system is based on quality.  What you feed the cattle and how they are tended to will determine  the amount of fat, marbling, and quality of the meat.

After that I started paying a lot more attention to the newspaper ads and the advertising.   Generally I only buy meat from our local butcher, Randy Pearson of Rivertown Butcher Shop in Newburgh, Indiana.  He carries only the top two USDA grades of beef, Prime and Choice.  Although the Japanese Cobe Beef is considered to be above our grading system.  Those cattle are not allowed to roam and form muscle but rather are massaged daily and fed a special diet.

There are 5 USDA Beef Grades and they are top to bottom as follows:  Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, and Institutional Grade.  The quality becomes less as you descend in the lineup.

The reason I am spending my time and attention on this is that as this recession we are not having any more drags on and our grocery dollars shrink I want you to know what you are paying for.  Then you can spend more wisely. 

For example in recent weeks as the temperature warms and people cook out more steaks are being advertised.  In the small print the word Select was noted.  You are getting farther than I want to go down in the grading scale depending on the cut of meat specifically.   So that price may not be such a great deal.  It certainly is not if you are comparing a select steak to choice or prime cuts.

If I was having a special dinner and wanted really good steaks I would be asking for Choice for sure.  Depending on my budget I might even go Prime!!

On the other hand if I was in a money pinch I might consider buying fillet as you might be able to get away with select just because of how very tender the beef is going to be in that cut. 

It pays to do a bit of research and find out about about meat grades if you intend to get the best for your food dollars.  It also pays to learn how to cook the less tender but very flavorful cuts too!


Make Stock to Freeze & Clean Out Your Freezer!!

Diane my best friend always has said I can make a dollar go further than anyone she has ever known.  Part of this is that I am about 9 maybe 10 years older than she and it was a different time.  Part of it was I was raised by farm people gone to outside of a  small town with enough ground and enough connection to it to continue the old ways.  She was from a professional family and had long been in the city.  It is because I have always done things like this.

Well anyway......I need to make room in the freezer for some strawberries I intend to slice and freeze today.  I had made 5 batches of freezer jam last week from strawberries and they took up a bit of my available room.  So when I need room I take stock of what I have and often am able to use the saved items for a big batch of stock.  There was the turkey carcass I bagged and froze and the packages of backs, necks, and wing tips I had saved and froze.   These will made a beautiful stock to cook and freeze.

Added note:  I always find things I forgot I had and either use them or pitch them!! So it is a good thing to do this every couple of months lest it get too far ahead of you.

Often I buy large beef roasts, cut or grind them myself and keep the trimmings and bones to cook up for a batch of beef stock.  I also use large steak bones from round or porterhouse if I have them to throw into the pot!  My Mother used to use boiling beef for this and that is how I was inspired with this plan. 

So I set out with a really large stock pot for the poultry pieces and a smaller one for the beef. How much I yield is determined to how much I have in the kettle as you want to just cover everything with  water.

Here are the ingredients I used today for each pot:

1 large onion washed bit not peeled
3-4 cloves garlic washed but not peeled
4-6 carrots washed and broken into 3-4" pieces
4 stalks celery washed and broken into 4-5 " pieces, include leaves
1/2 t. whole black peppercorns
1 T. kosher salt
3-4 sprigs fresh summer savory
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
fresh water to cover all

Next I partially covered the pans and set them to come to a boil.  Then turn back the fire to a slow simmer.  I really like to leave this for 24 hours.  I don't have a problem leaving it all night as I am up to check it several times as I am a very light sleeper and don't require  much.

Lastly I strain the luxurious liquid into containers and freeze for another day. Today's yield was 10 quarts.  3 of beef stock and 7 poultry.

By the way the stock and the post was started yesterday, Monday morning and was finished Tuesday, (today) afternoon.

Gardening today and I have pictures and radishes to prove it!

First Radishes
We had rain Sunday and Monday so I have waited to get out into our little garden and spray the Sevin we use for bugs.  Today there is no foreseeable rain and it is a beautiful morning so I dressed for gardening and headed out with the hoe and bug spray in hand and I had the good sense to take the camera with me and got a few lovely shots of our first crops. 

 First Tomato 
First Pepper
After hoeing up the weeds that I could and spraying I pulled a half dozen cherry bell radishes but it looks as though the French breakfast radishes won't make anything.  Funny how they are just next to each other and one does nicely as the other is all stems.  If there is an explanation for this or even a theory I would love to know it!!

Also took a few shots of some of the blooms this morning.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!


Tropical Steak & Chicken Salad, Teriyaki Marinade, & Orange-Celery Seed Dressing.

This is a drop dead delicious dinner salad that I have made several times using only chicken for different groups of people and each time it was very well received.  I love it and look forward to making it every time I do!

Tonight we are upping the ante with the addition of grilling porterhouse steak in addition to the chicken.  The inspiration for this recipe is one of my Lazarus Recipes Cookbooks from the Lazarus Restaurant.  It has no date so I have no idea how old this one is.  At any rate it is a great little cookbook!

Tropical Chicken Salad for 1 large serving:   (I am making enough for 6 servings.)

1 C. romaine torn bite size
1 C. spinach torn bite size
1 T. shredded carrots
1/4 C. shredded red cabbage
1 T. coconut
1 T. pecans, toasted and cooled
9 sections mandarin orange drained
5 ripe fresh strawberries halved
1/2 slice fresh pineapple 1/8" thick
1 round slice of fresh orange 1/8" thick
1/2 marinaded and grilled chicken breast skin removed and sliced (4-6 ounces)
3 Oz. warm Orange-Celery Seed Dressing

Toss together the salad greens, carrots, and red cabbage.  Grill or broil the marinaded chicken breast and cut into julienne strips.  Place the chicken on top of the greens.  Sprinkle the coconut along side the chicken.  Top with the almonds.  Arrange the fruit in clusters around the plate.  Ladle the warm dressing over the salad just before serving.

Teriyaki Marinade:

1/2  C. teriyaki sauce
1/2  C. honey
1/2  C. water

Combine all ingredients and marinade boneless skinless chicken breasts for 2 hours before grilling or broiling.

Orange-Celery Seed Dressing:

2 T. onion
1/4  C. lemon juice
3 1/3 C. sugar
3 3/4 t. dry mustard
1 1/2 t. salt
1 C. cider vinegar
2 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. celery seeds
1/4 C. fresh orange (peel and pulp finely chopped)

Puree the onion in the processor with the lemon juice.  Set aside.  Combine sugar, dry mustard, salt, and vinegar in a heavy bottomed pan .  Bring to a boil over medium heat for 1 minute.  Cool to lukewarm, then blend on low speed with a mixer for 5 minutes.  Add the oil, onion mixture, celery seeds, and chopped orange and blend at medium speed with the mixer for 10 minutes.

Bottle and store in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.  Yield 3 pints.

The steak:

1 large porterhouse steak (about 2 pounds)
1 T. safflower oil or peanut oil
1 T. Tariyaki sauce
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. garlic powder

Set the steak out about 20 minutes prior to cooking.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Mix the spices together and generously season both sides of the steak.  Drizzle with the oil and teriyaki sauce and massage it with the seasonings into the meat.  Grill to the desired doneness.

Let the meat rest for about 15 minutes covered in a warm place.  Remove from the bone and slice thinly.  Pile a 4-6 ounce portion (about the size of a fist) onto the salad  greens when assembling beside or instead of the chicken.

We are having 6 for dinner so I will assemble the vegetables on large plates at each place setting and pass the balance of the ingredients family style for each person to assemble their own salad.

FOOTNOTE,  Our son Mike said this one needs to go in the record books.  He just loved it!!  Made me smile.  

Fresh Cherry Pie

If I am lucky each spring I come across fresh sour pie cherries and make a pie.  This year Joe Engelbrecht has them at his Fourth Generation Family Orchard in Elberfeld, In. and I got some!  Our family will be delighted this evening when we cut into it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to adorn it!

Pastry for a large double crust pie:

3 C. all purpose flour ( I use King Arthur Organic)
1 1/2 sticks ice cold butter cut into dice
3/4 C. shortening (I use Crisco butter flavor)
1 t. kosher salt
1 lg. egg
1 T. vinegar
5 T. ice water

Scoop the flour into a bowl and add the salt.  Add the shortening and butter and combine using a pastry cutter until it looks like peas.  Combine the water, egg, and vinegar and beat together with a fork.  Add to the flour mixture and quickly stir together forming a dough.  Knead a couple of times to form a rough ball and divide it into two equal pieces.  Pat into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before rolling.  This will keep longer, a few days or can be frozen until needed, 

Make the fresh cherry filling as follows:

5 C. pitted sour cherries
5 T. tapioca (instant)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 t. almond extract
2 T. soft butter
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. sugar to sprinkle optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.   Stir everything except the butter together and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.  Roll out the lower crust and line a large deep pie pan.  (I used a 9" Emile Henry.)  Rpll the top crust and cut into strips for lattice or leave as a round top but cut a decorative design in it to let the steam escape.  I also use a pie bird for a lot of the full crust fruit pies and they do cut way down on the overflow of the juices,

Pour the filling into the shell and dot with butter.  Place the top crust over the filling and flute the edges,  I like to sprinkle the top crust with a bit of sugar too.  Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes until brown and bubbling.  Cool and serve at room temperature.  Yield 6-8 servings.


Lime Meltaway Cookies

Lime Meltaway Cookies
For some reason I am all about strawberries and lime lately.  If you have been reading this blog for a while you know I have a serious Margarita "thing".  Not to mention lime in lots of other things and strawberries are early here this year and in fact may be gone early too.  Thus I made 5 batches of strawberry jam so far this week. 

It is cookie time,  Brian has been looking for them to no avail and since I make them instead of buying them it was time to get these going. 

Martha Stewart features in the June 2012 issue of the magazine carrying her name cookies that keep exceptionally well and are very suitable for shipping and this is on of them.  I was attracted to it because it keeps well for 2 weeks in a sealed container.  It ships well should I decide to make them and take them or send them someplace and I LOVE LIME.  Reason enough to get busy and so I have.


1 1/2 sticks soft butter
1 C. powdered sugar divided (1/3 C. in the cookies and the rest to shake them in after baking.)
Finley grated zest of 2 limes
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. plus 2 T. all purpose flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. coarse salt

Beat the butter and 1/3 C. powdered sugar ( I added an additional 1 T. because I like it a little sweeter.)
on medium speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Add the lime zest, juice, and vanilla and beat until fluffy.

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl.  Add to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until combined well. 

Divide the dough in half.  Place each half on a 8" x 12" piece of parchment paper.  (I marked with a led pencil then turned the paper over.  You can still see the lines just fine. )  Roll the dough using your clean hands into a 8" log 1 1/4 " in diameter.  Roll up in the parchment and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the paper from the logs and slice 1/4 " thick and place 1" apart on parchment lines or sil-pat baking mats.  Bake for 13 minutes.   Cool on a rack for 8 minutes then toss in a plastic bag with the remaining powdered sugar while they are still warm.  Then cool fully and store in an airtight container. 

These cookies melt in your mouth as the name implies and are slightly tart with a kiss of sweetness and are quite refreshing with the hint of lime.  Yield 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Note:  These cookies were recommended as great to send to members of the military because they resist mold, stay fresh, and pack well.


Freezer Strawberry Jam

I had never made freezer jam before and at the suggestion of my friend Mickey I gave it a try today! Boy, was I happy with the results!!  So easy and so good.

When you make freezer strawberry jam using Sure-Jell you do not cook the fruit like the traditional recipes call for you to do.  Instead you combine the Sure-Jell and 3/4 c. of water and bring it to a boil for 1 minute and stir this into the mashed fruit and sugar for about 3 minutes.  Next you fill the jars and let them sit for 24 hours then pop them into the freezer for up to a year.

The flavor was way more vibrant and fresh because it wasn't boiled to death!! The color was a bright red too and it was really really good.  Can you tell how excited I am to have made this discovery?

Here is the recipe for 2 pints of strawberries:

6 one cup or 3 two cup freezer containers with lids washed and dried.

2 pints of strawberries washed and stems discarded (Best to use firm ripe fruit.)

4 C. sugar

1 box Sure-Jell (pectin)

Set the containers and lids out on a clean kitchen towel in the area where you will fill the jars.  It is helpful if this is also the area where they can remain undisturbed for 24 hours before freezing. 

Crush 1 cup of the cleaned hulled berries at a time and measure to obtain exactly 2 cups crushed strawberries.  Measure exactly 4 cups of sugar into another container.  Stir the sugar into the crushed fruit and stir well.  Let this sit stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

Stir 1 box of pectin and 3/4 cup of water together in a small clean pan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook stirring for 1 minute.  Stir the pectin mixture into the fruit and sugar mixture and stir until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared containers leaving 1/2" head space at the top of the containers. Cover with the prepared lids. 

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.  Refrigerate up to 3 weeks.  Otherwise store in the freezer for up to one year.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  My batch yielded 6 one cup jars of freezer jam.

I am going to make more of this one for sure!


Casserole of Pork Chops, Garlic, Potatoes, and Onions

I really do not make a lot of what I consider casseroles but do go for the one pot meals that are at least a first cousin I would venture to say!  It has cooled off here and only climbs to maybe 70 each day, cool enough to think turning on the oven is still a good idea without having to crank on the air conditioner.  I am funny about that I know.  Bet it doesn't cross most peoples minds.  Old school I am sure.

This is an easy recipe of meat and potatoes dressed up a bit with lovely onions and a bit of wine.  Laura Calder of French Cooking was the inspiration for this although I didn't see the whole recipe.  I really like her a lot and if I think of it will make an effort at least once a week to sit down and watch her program.  She has a fun personality and I just like her!  The dishes I have tried, especially her honey based cookies are really good.

Pork Chop Casserole Ingredients:

4 bone in pork chops cut on the thick side
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 large onion peeled and sliced
4-5 medium red potatoes  washed and sliced 1/4" thick ( any waxy potato will do but NOT a russet or baking variety)
1/2 C. stock (whatever you have on hand)
1/2 C. wine (whatever you like, I used a Merlot)
salt and pepper
1 T. oil
1 T. butter
flour for dredging

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sliver and slice the peeled garlic and cut slits into the thickness of the sides of the pork chops and stuff the garlic to roast and melt into the meat.

Using a dutch oven heat the oil and butter together in the bottom over medium high heat.  Season and dredge the chops in flour and brown them for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.  Remove them from the pan and set them aside and turn off the heat.

Add half of the onions to the bottom of the pan then layer half of the sliced potatoes. (These may be peeled or not to your liking.)  Season with salt and pepper and layer the browned chops,  Next lay the remaining onions atop the pork and lastly layer the rest of the potatoes.  Pour in half of the stock and half of the wine.

Season the vegetables and cut a round piece of parchment or you may use brown paper to fit over the top of the inside of the pan.  Cover tightly with the lid and place in the oven to cook.  The total cooking time is 90 minutes but you need to check one time half way through ad add the rest of the cooking liquid.

The result will be a melt in you mouth dish that is ready to serve with little muss and fuss.  Serve with a crisp salad and simple dessert and you meal is fit for a king !!  Yield 4 servings.


Herb Planting Day on the Patio

Left top Summer Savory, Thyme, Mexican Tarragon, Lower left Sweet Basil and Genovice Basil.  These are cuttings I took today as I planted.
It seems like I am late in doing this but it isn't Mother's Day yet and that has usually been my yardstick.  I try to get a good start before Mother's Day but after May 1 as that is generally considered the frost date here.  Actually it is just that we had no winter to speak of and it has been quite warn quite early this year.  Makes for me to be confused!!  No doubt the bugs will be a terror as I have already found a tick which totally creeps me out.

At any rate the garden is progressing but we need to replace at least 3 of the tomatoes as they were literally beaten to death by the recent wind and rain.  Today I planted 4 large pots of herbs for the patio in addition to the 2 varieties of basil I put in the garden a week and a half ago and the Rosemary , Chives, and Thyme that wintered over.  I was in hopes the Lemon Grass would make it but it didn't.  I am out scouting greenhouses to find some though.

Today I also took cuttings from the largest basil plants, about 4", and stuck the stems in water after stripping off the lower leaves.  It should root within a week or two and be ready to plant.  I think it is a terrific idea to keep cutting it back and starting new plants in succession for a long crop of it's wonderful culinary uses.  Heck I just love the smell!!!  Let alone the glorious results that happen when combined with fresh Indiana tomatoes!!

You can tell I am sure that I get all excited about playing in the dirt and the plants and herbs.  It is true.