Sunday, September 30, 2007

Three Sisters

In late spring, we plant the corn and beans and squash. They're not just plants- we call them the three sisters. We plant them together, three kinds of seeds in one hole. They want to be together with each other, just as we Indians want to be together with each other. So long as the three sisters are with us we know we will never starve. The Creator sends them to us each year. We celebrate them now. We thank Him for the gift He gives us today and every day. - Chief Louis Farmer (Onondaga)

This was our Three Sister's Sunday meal. The squash, pepper, celery, onion, greens and corn are all locally grown. We also had turnip greens, picked fresh from Gloria's home garden yesterday.


1 large butternut squash
3/4 cup wild rice
3 cups of water
1/2 cup dried red beans, cooked
3 cups of water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger root
1 small purple bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 ear of corn, cut off cob
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, cook squash side down in pan of water in 350 degree oven till tender.

Boil three cups salted water, add wild rice and cook till all the water is absorbed.

Sautee fresh ginger in small skillet over medium high heat about 1 minute. Add celery and pepper and cook a couple of minutes more. Add corn, cover and continue cooking about 5 minutes.

Mix wild rice, beans, salt and pepper and sauteed vegetables. Spoon into butternut squash and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

The turnip greens were cooked in a small amount of water with thinly sliced onions, salt and pepper and a dash of crushed red pepper until tender.

Apple Bread Pudding for dessert ... will post recipe tomorrow.

I also bought Gloria's green tomatoes, some to fry and some to let ripen on the shelf.

Gloria's Green Tomatoes

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn Roasted Vegetables and Wild Rice Dressing

Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ...
Autumn Equinox Ritual

The Autumn Roasted Vegetable recipe can be found here.
I made some adjustments, using a large butternut squash in place of the sweet potato, also increased the amount of chicken broth (2 cups) and thyme (1 1/2 tsp). I had large mushrooms that I cut in half and did not use nuts. The vegetables and apples are locally grown.

Wild Rice Dressing


1# package Lundberg Wild and Whole Grain Brown Rice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper
4 cups of water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried sage
2 large tart apples
1 cup raisins
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a cast iron pot sautee celery, onion and roasted pepper in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook another 4 minutes or until rice is lightly toasted.

Add water and seasonings and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Add apples and raisins to rice mixture, mix well. Spoon into greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for 15 more minutes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Chocolate Garden

Spent some time at the Coit Road Market this morning picking up veggies and apples for Sunday dinner and dessert. This week there was a new vendor at the market,The Chocolate Garden , specializing in handmade chocolates. Not only does she have plain dark chocolate, but also spice and flavor infused.

Lavender-Lemon, Chipolte, Lime, Cardamon and more ... goodies for every palate.

Did I mention this new vendor is my daughter ? We will just call this a "brag blog" today :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

An Apple Tree

My husband and I walk each morning and we pass by a house with
two apple trees, loaded down with fruit that is going unpicked. I finally got up the nerve to approach the owner about picking some and she graciously said help yourself. Today was a gorgeous day, so off I go with shopping tote in hand to pick some apples.

The best laid plans ....

The apples were out of my reach, although I managed to snag a few from the lower branches. While contemplating how to retrieve my bounty a nice gentleman stops and suggests I just shake the branches. So I reach up and give one a firm shake and am immediately bombarded by apples.

I have decided to leave my apple picking to the stand at the
farmers market.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Okay, I have decided that I absolutely must learn how to can foods or buy a deep freezer. My freezer is stuffed with the summer's harvest, and I haven't even put up any peaches and apples. Wonder if I can talk the girl child (daughter) into giving up some freezer space ?

I have put up 10# of green beans, 6# of grated zucchini (breads and fritters), several dozen ears of corn (blanched and cut off the cob) onions, green and red peppers, tomatoes (not nearly enough) and a gallon of blueberries. I have also dried and jarred basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme and have a live rosemary and thyme plant in the kitchen window (these are the two that the cats have not gotten yet). Would someone please tell them the herbs are for my cooking and not for their snacks !

I did get one piece of good news today. One of the local farmers told me they have put up two greenhouses and they already have tomato plants started so, although they won't be in the field, I will be able to purchase local tomatoes this winter.

I will continue my mission to buy local through the winter, with Ohio raised meats/poultry, eggs, milk, cheese and more. Also, check your local grocery stores for the OHIO PROUD logo. The family-owned grocer I shop at, Zagara's Marketplace, carries a wide variety of local produce and products. It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be, just takes a small amount of time to find local farmers/producers in your area.

NOTE: It is estimated that NE Ohioans spend $7 billion dollars on food, with less than 1% coming from local farms and producers. Localizing just 10% of our food dollars will generate $70 million for our local economy and communities. To learn more, click here Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Patterson Fruit Farm

A 6th generation family-owned farm, located in Geauga County, Patterson Fruit Farm has a wonderful selection of fresh picked veggies and fruits in season. We purchased our peaches here this summer and they were reminiscent of my childhood. Large and sweet and when you bit into them the juice just ran down your chin. Apples and Cider are available in the Fall, and we will be making another trip there. This is a market that our family has visited for well over 30 years.