• Planting By The Signs

    Foxfire Book

    This book piqued my curiosity about Planting by the Signs.  (This is Foxfire Book #1, by the way.  Published in 1972.  My copy is the 27th printing.) 

    The chapter on Planting by the Signs opens with the Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, which Pete Seeger adapted and The Byrds recorded, resulting in one of the most recognizable songs of the ‘60s.  The actual words from the verse are:  “…a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” [Turn, turn, turn.  This song was recorded long before David Crosby started fretting about almost cutting his hair, of course.] 

    A lot of people find the notion of planting by the signs to be complete hogwash, if they’ve even heard of it (including the other person who writes on this blog).  I have an affinity for things that connect human beings to the land, old ways and folklore.  So I’m not willing to call it hogwash until I try it. [Read More…]

  • Community Supported Fisheries (CSF)!

    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), as we know, is a methodical, sometimes prepaid way to buy local food grown by a local farmer.  Click here for Lou’s “Thoughts on CSA” post for the hows and the whys of a CSA.  Lou got a lot of produce, and sometimes could buy eggs from his CSA.

    BUT FISH? 

    My California cousin told me about Community Support Fishery (Thanks, Jennifer!).  I hadn’t heard of this.  She shared this link with me:  www.localcatch.orgClick here to go to its “About” page, and look around at some of the participating CSFs.  Most of the logos click through to a website. [Read More…]

  • Garlic Spaghetti

    Contributor:  Tina

    (Note:  Tina and I have been friends for decades.  Back when the rest of us were experiencing the culinary awakening of Prego after years of Kraft boxed spaghetti, Tina was preparing multi-course dinners.  Her entire extended family cooks lots of good stuff.  This is one of her little Sicilian grandma’s recipes.  Enjoy! ~ Cindy)


    This dish may help ward off a cold, mosquitos, vampires, and all but those who truly love you!

    Ingredients needed are pictured.  That’s a pound and a quarter of tomatoes, and a good and large garlic pod.  Remaining ingredients are rather self-explanatory.



    [Read More…]

  • Soupe a la Tomate & Pain Perdu ~ Delicieux!

    Or “Tomato Soup and French Toast (Pain Perdu = Lost Bread) ~ Delicious!” to the rest of us.  Savory French toast in this case.

    The wonderful thing about Soup Time of Year is that no hard and fast rules must be followed to create a delicious and healthy comfort food. 

    Here’s what you’ll need (full recipe is at the bottom of the post):

    • 1 – 2 Carrots, Diced
    • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
    • Celery, Small Stalk, Diced
    • Chicken or Vegetable Stock (~16 oz.)
    • Tomato Juice (~64 oz.) 
    • 1 cup of milk
    • Basil
    • Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil
    • Half a loaf of French or other sturdy bread
    • 2-3 eggs
    • 1/2 oz. cheese, like Swiss or Gruyere.  Or let’s face it:  Any cheese will do.

    Start with the dicing and sauteing of the veggies:



    (This batch is sans celery.  And the world will not end because of it.)  Saute the aromatics in a little olive oil in your soup-pan style pan of choice, until they get tender. Season with salt & peppa.

    If you’ve got frozen chicken broth/stock or vegetable stock in your freezer, let’s get that warmed up.  Otherwise, make sure your canned/packaged broth/stock is handy:



    Add the stock and tomato juice, cook it down, smooth it out:

    Once the vegetables are tender, it is time for the Tomato Juice.  Lou had this juice from a recent canning expedition.  Canned juice will work, as will pureed canned tomatoes of any sort ~ home canned or store-bought.

    No matter what your source of tomato juice/tomatoes, You are still producing a delicious soup that will be a nice departure from the Campbell’s version, minus the high fructose corn syrup and other multisyllabic ingredients.

    Anyway, here we go.

    Add the tomato juice and vegetable/chicken broth/stock to the sauce pan containing the vegetables:


    Now cook it down for 20 minutes or so, until it is reduced by about half.

    If you want a smooth soup, you can give it whirl with a stick blender, table top blender, or food processor.  You get the idea. 

    Add milk.   Add basil, fresh or dried if you have it. 






    Now it’s time for the bread!

    You know how to make French Toast.  Lou used some of the soup in place of the milk and other ingredients.  We cooled the soup a little with ice cubes, you know, that tempering thing, before adding it to the eggs.



    Flip ‘em if you got ‘em, I say:



    Here’s that Pain Perdu, with Slivers of Swiss.  Yum!!!



    Lou scrambled the rest of the eggs and dished them up.

    SimpleDelicious.  Food!




    Homemade Tomato Soup:

    • 1 – 2 Carrots, Diced
    • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
    • Celery, Small Stalk, Diced
    • Chicken or Vegetable Stock (~16 oz.)
    • Tomato Juice (~64 oz.)
    • 1 cup of milk
    • Basil
    • Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil

    Saute vegetables in olive oil until tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add stock/broth and tomato juice.  Bring to boil and reduce heat, stirring occasionally and cooking down until soup has reduced by about half.  If smooth consistency is desired, blend soup in batches in food processor, blender, or use stick blender.  Add basil.  Serve!

    Pain Perdu (Lost Bread) / Savory French Bread:

    • Half a loaf of French or other sturdy bread, sliced
    • 2-3 eggs
    • 1/2 oz. cheese, like Swiss or Gruyere.  Or let’s face it:  Any cheese will do.

    Whisk eggs.

    Temper a half cup or so of the soup, or cool the soup in a separate bowl.  Whisk into the eggs.  Proceed as if you were making sweet French toast.  Top with slivers of your favorite delicious cheese!