Monday, November 30, 2009

Recipe--Seven Layer Salad

Seven Layer Salad made with lettuce grown in our Florida garden
Seven Layer Salad is always a hit at potlucks and family gatherings. This Thanksgiving feast was no exception. We enjoyed a great picnic at Lake Tarpon Park near Tarpon Springs, FL, yes the city known for its Greek culture and sponge diving. The lake was beautiful and a bit windy, and the Florida sunshine was present in all its glory. We spent the day with our neighbor's family which numbered into 30 or so. Too many people for one house so they always have a picnic in the park for Thanksgiving. Lots of food and lots of fun including ladder golf and cornhole and a beautiful walk on the nature trail by the lake.
I am sharing this recipe for Seven Layer Salad, one of our family favorites. You may want to add or delete any of the layers. I like to add boiled eggs and radishes, so that may make it a nine layer salad. Use what you have from your garden to make this a tasty addition to your turkey or ham dinner or to your cookout with burgers and dogs.
Seven Layer Salad
Shred lettuce to fill a 9 x 13 pan.
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. celery
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1 package frozen peas, not thawed
1 c. mayonnaise mixed with 2 T. sugar
Place veggies in pan in order listed above.
Sprinkle 4 ounces cheddar cheese on top of dressing.
Cook 6 strips of bacon. Break them up when cool and place on top of cheese.
Cover. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Thanks Eichs for this great recipe!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is why we toil in the vegetable garden--to produce a great food product. Food that is tasty, nutritious, and yes, beautiful. Thanksgiving is the time to celebrate all your hard work and to give thanks for our blessings and for this harvest. You may still have some produce to harvest at this time, or you may have preserved the bounty from your summer garden. I am sure you will enjoy it this holiday with friends and/or family making the meal more special because you had a hand in actually producing the food that sits on the festive table.

Give Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garden Seed Catalog Time

We received our first seed catalog in the mail yesterday from Stokes Seeds. My husband spent the evening perusing it. A garden seed catalog for a gardener is like a toy catalog to an eight year old. The excitement, the possibilities, the new seeds, the heirloom seeds, and all the gorgeous pictures of products.

If you want an overview and review of companies and their garden catalogs check out this link to Dave's Garden. The site offers "the Garden Watchdog, a free directory of 6,964 mail order gardening companies." Now this may take you more than an evening to figure out what catalogs NOT to order. Have fun. It is a great way to spend a cold winter evening.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe--Pumpkin Dump Cake

I know the name of this dessert doesn't sound appetizing, but believe me, it is tasty and an easy delight to make. Maybe we could re-name it, so it will not scare off your friends and family from trying this delicious treat. It has a base like pumpkin pie and an easy-to-make topping. You can serve it with whipped cream if you choose to do so. Thanks, Helen, for sharing this recipe.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 29 oz. can pure pumpkin (or use your fresh canned pumpkin from the garden)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
3/4 c. melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into 9x13 greased pan.

Sprinkle cake mix on top, then cover with pecans. Pour melted margarine over top.

Bake 50 minutes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Horse Manure, Yes!

Mission accomplished: The horse manure is in the garden.
My DH worked it into the ground today.

Beautiful horse country near Masaryktown, FL. This is beautiful, rustic country.
Not your Disney view of Florida.

My DH and friend who has a garden too pitching the poo into the back of our truck. Big Blue.

I wonder if this pretty white horse made a contribution to our collection?

Picturesque tranquility.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Verdict is In on the Lettuce

My husband started seeds in Michigan to plant in our Florida garden. He planted them in the garden after the poor little things made the long trip stashed in the backend of the pickup truck, Big Blue, for 5 days. Needless to say they were not in the best of shape. After planting, the weather was in the 90's, hot and humid. Not exactly optimal weather for lettuce. But, the plants are big enough now so that he pulled off some leaves for a salad.

I washed them up, Romaine lettuce called Victoria, and tasted them. I was afraid with all the heat the flavor would be bitter. Unfortunately I was right. They taste bitter. They are crisp and crunchy so I am going to mix them in with some Romaine lettuce I purchased from the store and throw in a bunch of veggies and dressing. I am hoping the flavor will not be so strong as to make the whole salad bitter.

Lettuce likes a cooler growing season. Now I know why....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

As you can see, our little Florida garden is growing even in the 90 plus degree temperatures. The lettuce, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and onions make up the garden this year. We had the cold winter air (yes, it's true, even in Florida) that ruined tomatoes and peppers last winter. My DH is only going with cool weather crops.

When we arrived this plot was nothing but tall waist-high grass and weeds. But my determined gardener worked in the heat to get this plot ready for planting. No luck getting together with a horse stable owner to get a load of manure. So he has not amended the soil this year. Last winter he added peat moss.

We will cut some lettuce this week. It will be interesting to see if it will be bitter or not with all the heat. Today the weather is finally cooling off....all things are relative. Eighty degrees is cool now. LOL