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For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of
power, and of love and of sound mind
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
This scripture popped up in my daily Bible Study
app.It seems so appropriate for these
COVID19 times, but it made me think much more deeply than that.I have always had a ‘mouth’ on me.Sometimes to my own demise, I have said
things that I should not have said.As
this scripture says, God didn’t make me timid.That kind of assertiveness doesn’t give us power, though.That is, unless we learn how to say those
things with love and unless we learn to discipline our outbursts.I would like to think I have learned those
things, but I honestly admit that times come when I spew things that don’t need
to be said or certainly need to have been said in a more loving way.
Right now, for example, I want to scream at people
that are not following the stay at home rules.I want to scream at the members of the media who are not substantiating
the news they are creating.At the same
time, I want to shout out praise to all the essential workers who continue to
go to work, hoping they don’t infect their families when they return home.I want to shout out praise to the political
leaders who have done their best to get ahead of this virus, protecting the
This scripture comes from the writings of Paul to his
friend Timothy who is trying to lead a church in Ephesus.He is telling Timothy, who history tells us
was a little bit sickly and timid, to be strong and powerful but loving and
kind.He is encouraging him to use self-control
in his actions. Paul says these things many times throughout his writings.
Those instructions are intended for us.
My new retirement is settling well with me.I am no longer in control of anything other
than my household, which is made of of me and my dog!I am, however, in charge of the way I behave,
and the eyes of a 13-year-old granddaughter are always on me!To that end, I will do my best to follow this
These are times when words and deeds really do matter. We need to express support and kindness in every way possible. I'm enjoying reading posts about people in self-isolation who are still reaching out to neighbors by sitting on their porches and singing together. My favorite story from yesterday had a picture of a man standing on one balcony, reaching up and feeding a dog who was standing on the balcony above him. The dog's owner was in the hospital and the dog was alone. The hearts movement has taken the world, as people are displaying handmade hearts in their windows for all their neighbors to see.
God didn't make us to be afraid and we need to share that strength with others.
When I write about vintage vegetable
recipes, they often come from childhood memories.My mother, however, never cooked
celeriac.If Daddy had grown celery in
the garden, or if my grandfather had grown it in his garden, Mama would have
cooked it, but they didn’t care about celery!Celery at our house was something used for seasoning.It showed up on the table for holiday meals
and was always stuffed with Kraft Pineapple Cheese from that cute little jar!
Actually, celery root comes from a
little different variety of celery that might have been commonly grown in home
gardens.I had never cooked celery root
until I was experimenting with a totally white soup recipe for a dinner party I
was hosting.I bought my first one then,
but I search for them now.I love celery
stalks and I love celery root.
We know that celery is native to the
Mediterranean region and to the Middle East.It is one of the first vegetables to appear in recorded history.Confucius wrote about it in China in 500
B.C.Ancient Egyptians used the plant for its
seeds, but they also ate the stalks and leaves.Ancient Greeks used celery for medicine.Celery is known as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and has antiviral
components.We should eat more celery,
but it is not a popular vegetable.I’ll
write a column about celery stalks later.Today, I’m focusing on the big ugly root!
The root is full of starch and can
easily be substituted for potatoes in many recipes.It adds a little different flavor to mashed
potatoes, but the children will never notice!It is fantastic in soups, added to slaw or added to green salad
ingredients.If somebody offered me a basketful
of the ugly root bulbs, I’d gladly take them!They store well in a cool dry place and can be kept through cool winter
months.Just look at them frequently and
make sure the stems don’t start shooting from the tops because they will rot if
they get wet and will cause the bulb to rot, too.
In most of my 1950s cookbooks,
celeriac recipes are simple.You peel
it, cube it and simmer it in water until it is done.It is served with salt, pepper and a little
butter.I love it that way, but there
are other ways to use it and dress it up a little!You can use celeriac the same ways you would
use a potato.Boil it with potatoes for
mashed potatoes.Cube it for soups. Slice it and add to escalloped or au’gratin
potatoes.Use it like you would use
cabbage.Shredded or julienned celery
root added to slaw is delicious.Add it
to braised cabbage or sweet and sour cabbage recipes.It adds a slightly nutty flavor to what is
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite
recipes using celery root.For this
batch of au’gratin potatoes with celery root, I simmer the vegetables before I
prepare the casserole.
Slice 4 big potatoes and the celery
root.Simmer the celeriac about ten
minutes, then add the potatoes for another ten minutes. Drain and place the
vegetables in a casserole dish.I like
to add just a little salt, but I used pepper that has lemon and orange in
it.I like the citrus notes with
I make a cheese sauce stovetop and
add it to the casserole.Melt 1
Tablespoon of butter with 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease.Add 2 Tablespoons of flour and make a
roux.Add 2 cups of milk and let it heat
gently until it begins to bubble.Any
kind of cheese works, but a combination of Swiss and Gruyere is fantastic.Add 2 cups of shredded cheese.Let everything melt and whisk it so it is
smooth.Pour the sauce over the
casserole. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and browned on top. If you have too much sauce,
refrigerate it and use it later.It
would be wonderful over scrambled eggs or an omelet.
This column is part of my 2020
Vintage Vegetables project!If you’d
like to see similar posts, just click the menu tab.I’ll be sharing this with a few blog parties,
so make sure you check the listings on my sidebar and click through.
During my childhood … my favorite vintage period of
the 1950s and the 1960s … one of my favorite vegetables was cauliflower. We didn’t have it a lot. I always figured it was either expensive,
hard to find, or both. It was not a garden
vegetable for us, so it came from the grocery store.
Mama cooked it whole.She used a big pot that she used for lots of things.She used that pot for so many years that at
the end of her life, it didn’t even have a handle!She still used it.She cooked it slowly in water, but she also
added milk to the water.I was sitting
at the kitchen table one time when I was about six years old.I asked her why she added the milk, and she
told me it helped keep the cauliflower white!She would flip to see the bright lime green, purple and orange
cauliflowers we get these days!Mother
also made the same cheese sauce every time!Velveeta was the main ingredient!I cook cauliflower the same way, and Velveeta is my processed cheese of
Cauliflower is a word that is thought to have come
from the Italian word “caolifliori”, which means cabbage flowers.Europe enjoyed cauliflower during the Middle
ages.For some reason it disappeared but
was reintroduced in the by Italians on the island of Cyprus.It had been taken to Cyprus from Asia.Those cauliflowers were different than the
Middle Ages style.They were named Cyprus
By 1600, the Germans had “blumenkohl”.The English called it “cole”.Italians loved their “cavolfiore”, and the
Spanish cooked “cliforlor”!There are
mentions of the vegetable in various historic texts and we know that King Louis
XIV liked his cooked in stock and seasoned with nutmeg and butter!
American cookbooks from the 1700s provide recipes for
stewing, boiling and frying cauliflower. Pickling the vegetable was introduced
and was served when other vegetables were not available.In the 1800s, we started serving it with
butter and white sauce.Those recipes
suggest boiling it in milk to “gentle its flavor”.In the 1800s, we also started making creamy
cauliflower soup!And … you thought that
was invented in the 1970s!
It isn’t often that I find something I have never seen
or cooked!That was true not long ago
when I got this magnificent vegetable in my vegetable delivery box!This Romanesco cauliflower was so much fun to
prepare.It was also delicious.
This magnificent vegetable is Italian in origin and
history tells us it was being grown in Rome during the 16th Century.Its flavor is a little bit nuttier than the
regular cauliflower, so I decided it didn’t need any kind of sauce, just a
little butter.I also thought it was a
bit regal, so I served it with chicken breasts stuffed with feta cheese and
wrapped in prosciutto.The color of the
Romanesco faded during cooking, but it was still a pretty site!
The recipe for cooking this big beauty is simple.I used the IP and cooked it for 3 minutes …
just 3 minutes.By the time it built up
pressure and released the pressure, it was perfect.I served it with melted butter poured over
it.Browned butter would have been
delicious, too.I also spritzed a little
lemon juice over it right before I served it.
The chicken recipe is also pretty simple!
Chicken Breasts with Lemon Feta
4 ounce package of lemon flavored goat cheese
4 thick chicken breasts
8 ounces of sliced prosciutto
Salt and pepper
Lemon slices for garnish
I want to stuff a chicken breast with cheese, I never want it to melt out of
the meat.Instead of slicing the meat
horizontally, I slice a big space from the top and tuck the cheese inside.That way, it just melts into the little pocket
the pocket into each breast.Slice the
goat cheese log into 4 chunks and tuck a chunk into each breast.Wrap each breast with the prosciutto.If you cannot get or don’t want to afford prosciutto,
deli ham will work just as well.Place
the breasts on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.Make sure the juices run clear from the chicken.The amount of time depends upon the thickness
of the meat.
served this chicken and my beautiful Romanesco on a bed of white and wild
rice.I drizzled the melted butter all
over the platter!
to do with leftover cauliflower?You
will often read about fritters in my blog posts.As I’ve researched a variety of food topics
over the years, I have often encountered the reasons why home cooks prepared
fritters.In the absence of meat during
war times, minced meats or vegetables made into fritters took the place of that
piece of meat.In the absence of money,
the same applied. Using leftovers or small portions of something and adding an egg
and breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs … turned small portions into a meal for
several.The only thing similar to a
fritter that my mother ever made was a salmon croquette.My husband didn’t like salmon croquettes,
because his mother made them with canned mackerel instead of salmon.That was all about cost!
Lincoln liked “Corn Oysters”, which were fritters made with fresh corn.Martha Washington made apple fritters that
had dark ale in them.Menus from the banquet
tables of Henry VIII include fritters!I
2 cups of leftover cooked cauliflower
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup crushed crackers
1 teaspoon of lemon pepper
Sprinkle of salt
olive oil for frying
Mash the cooked cauliflower and press it in a sieve to push all the water out of it. If you freeze leftover cauliflower, it will have even more moisture in it, so push! Stir cheese, eggs, cracker crumbs and pepper together with the cauliflower.
Put a little olive oil in a skillet and set it to medium-high heat. Form the cauliflower mixture into patties about 3 inches across. Cook until golden brown & set, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with a little salt.
These are fantastic served with a salad or a bowl of soup. They are a great side dish for most any meat. Enjoy!
I'll be sharing this column with a few blog parties, so look at the list on my sidebar and go visit. This post is a part of my 2020 Vintage Vegetable project. If you'd like to see similar columns, just click my menu tab for the project.
Green beans originated in Peru and spread to South and
Central America as Indian tribes migrated.Spanish explorers carried them back to Europe in the 16th
century.From there, they were
transported all around the world.Native
Americans planted them along the rows of corn so the beans could weave their
way up the corn stalks.
Green bean casserole was created in 1955 by Dorcas
Reilly who worked for the Campbell Soup. Company.According to Wikipedia, in 2018 twenty
million households served the casserole at their Thanksgiving Dinner.I’m afraid my household is not included in
that count!For years, I made it, but
ten years ago we decided it was no longer a favorite!
It is interesting to know that Reilly was challenged
to create a recipe that would use ingredients that most Americans always had in
the cupboards:Canned green beans and
Cream of Mushroom Soup!She certainly
created a winner!
While our family of five children was still at home, my
dad grew enough green beans each year to allow Mother to can at least 100
quarts.That was no small task.I remember lots of times that we all sat
under the shade tree in the front yard and snapped green beans!Thankfully, he grew the ‘string less’ kind
and we didn’t have to mess with that part!
My brothers enjoy telling anyone who will listen …
that I am their baby sister … and when it was time to pick green beans in the
garden, Mother would perch me on an inverted bucket to sit like a princess,
while they worked!I guess they are
right, as I don’t have memories of picking the beans … just snapping them!
The favorite way of preparing green beans in Mother’s
household … and certainly in mine … is to boil them with onions, potatoes and
smoked meat.A ham hock is the most
likely addition!I still love to do this
when beans are in season and little new potatoes are still available.I can make this a meal.Just give me the saltshaker, more fresh onion
and a nice piece of crusty bread!I’m
happy!The bigger the batch the better!
However, cooking for one doesn’t require a giant
batch, and I have discovered a different way to get the same wonderful flavors
without having leftovers for a week.I
sheet pan roast my beans, potatoes and onions.
My husband was a fan of cooking what he called ‘one-potters’!His favorite was a Dutch oven filled with Polish
sausage, green peppers, onions, potatoes and tomato sauce.He also had a favorite pot, the Pyrex clear
brown.He said he enjoyed watching the
food as it cooked!You could see through
the pot itself, not just the lid!
Sheet pan cooking is the modern version of
one-potters!It was made popular
beginning in 2009 when a New York Times food writer shared a recipe for sheet
pan shrimp.By 2014, it was all the
rage. For the same reasons we enjoyed cooking in one pot in the 1970s, today’s
home cooks enjoy using one pan.Less
mess, less time in the kitchen and flavorful combinations have made it a
popular method of getting supper on the table!
I’m a fan, but I think it is easy to end up with a big
fail! Everything can taste the same
when you pile it on a sheet pan, spritz it with olive oil and leave it in the
oven to blister.We used to hear that
same complaint about a crock pot meal, and I don’t disagree with that!It is important to not overcook and to not
smother your foods with too much oil and too much seasoning. Olive oil has a
flavor all its own, so I frequently use canola oil instead.It doesn’t have flavor!I also make my own spice combinations so I
can avoid salt.That might be a future
Pan Roasted Green Beans, Onions and
Wash and clean all the vegetables.Use small potatoes and onions and they will
roast in the same amount of time as the green beans!
Toss the vegetables in a light spritz of canola oil
(not olive oil).Place a single layer on
the sheet pan.You can cut the potatoes
and onions into portions, if you think they are too big.
I use two seasonings on my vegetables:Pepper, and I like a lot of it.Butter Garlic Rub, and there are dozens of
brands to choose from.
The last secret I’ll share with you is that I prepared
a big batch of these last summer.I
portioned them in single servings just for me and sealed them to freeze.They can be heated in a microwave or in the
oven.I use my NuWave counter-top
convection oven and in less than 5 minutes, they are ready to eat.
This column is part of my 2020 Vintage Vegetable
project.If you’d like to see similar
posts, just click the page tab in my menu.I’ll also be sharing this with some blog parties, so make sure you click
through the list on my sidebar to visit!
I could tell you that I've had this dinnerware since I was a new bride, but that isn't true. It is that old, but I bought it in a collective shop about ten years ago. It is Mikasa Garden Club and what is neat about it is the fact that it comes in a variety of floral patterns, all under the Garden Club umbrella! My main set is blue "Day Dreams" and the daffodil soup bowls are "Early Spring". I have a variety of things in the different patterns, but I mix them all with the Day Dreams set.
Daffodils have started springing through the ground in Southern Illinois, but I've used silk in my composed centerpiece. The ones in my yard haven't shown their little heads, yet. We'll just have to settle for silk!
I shopped the house for the elements of my composed centerpiece, which is actually sitting at the 4th place at a table for 3! Silk flowers in a shabby watering can; the little blue bunny that I've had for years; The bird cake filled with pastel colored eggs and the faux greenery orb. I think we are all amazed what we can come up with sometimes!
The dinnerware is Mikasa; the flatware is Sabatier; the stemmed glasses are Fostoria. The butterfly napkin ring is one of my favorites from my collection!
I'll be sharing this tablescape with a couple blog parties, so make sure you click through the sites listed in my sidebar. Enjoy!
remember distinctly the first time I tasted okra. My mother made excellent vegetable soup, but
on rare occasions she would fix a quick Saturday lunch of sandwiches and canned
soup. We were in the middle of a big
bathroom remodel on this particular Saturday, and she and Daddy were busy doing
that work. Mother made a quick lunch,
and because she had accidentally purchased two cans of Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup
(instead of vegetable soup), that is what we had. She was a little bit alarmed because it had
okra in it, and she was sure Daddy wouldn’t like it. When I asked what that little slice of green
seeded vegetable was, Daddy told me it was okra and that I should eat it
because I would love it. Oh my! I did love it and so did he! From then on, when Mother could find the soup
on the shelf of our small-town corner grocery store, she bought it!
is certainly vintage in my estimation!That Campbell’s soup hit the market in the mid-1940s.Okra was cultivated by Egyptians a few centuries earlier, in the 12th century B.C.!We know that okra came to the Caribbean and to
the United States in the 1700s, brought by slaves from Africa.Those slaves have influenced American cooking
in enormous ways, and they taught the Louisiana Creoles that they could thicken
soups with okra because of the sticky, thick juice in the vegetable.
is sometimes called gumbo, and most of us know that Gumbo is a great
recipe made with okra.In the Congo, the
word for okra was quillobo and the Portuguese created a word quingombo.According to an article in Wikipedia, that is
how we came to the use of the word gumbo.
name we choose to give it, okra has become popular world-wide.We used to expect it to be on menus only in
the southern region of the United States, but now we find fried okra on
restaurant menus in lots of regions.That is delicious, but I really enjoy okra prepared in many other ways.
learned a few tips about using okra many years ago.Buy small to medium sized pods.Okra is used for making rope in some
countries and if you want to eat rope, but big sized pods.You won’t be able to chew them because of the
strong fiber in them.It is like chewing
on toothpicks!I’ve learned that from
you freeze okra pods whole, and slice them later while they are still frozen,
the sticky juice won’t be sticky!They
will still help thicken your pot of soup or Gumbo, but the bite of okra itself
won’t be as sticky!
the pods are very small, I don’t even take the stem off.The stem is as tender as the pod.
sharing two recipes today and both are comfort foods for me!They are healthy eating!
Okra and greens can be made with your favorite greens.If you aren’t crazy about greens, you can
make it with fresh spinach or with finely chopped cabbage.I love greens, so this recipe is made with
collard greens.If you think the only
way to prepare greens is to cook them all day in a crock pot, you are missing
something.You are cooking delicious
broth that way, but I think the greens lose their flavor and nutrients.Try your greens my way!
Collard Greens and Okra
3 slices of bacon
6 cups of washed, stemmed and sliced greens.
½ a yellow onion, sliced
½ a green bell pepper, chopped
As much okra as you’d like!
Bacon grease, salt, pepper and greens seasoning
Greens are so popular these days, there are several
prepackaged spice combinations for seasoning them.If you cannot find that, create a mixture of
garlic powder, mustard powder, paprika and red pepper.
If bacon grease is not in your diet, I’m sorry!You can use your favorite cooking oil
instead, but you lose a little flavor.
Fry the bacon until it is crisp.Remove the bacon and crumble it. Caramelize
the onion and bell pepper in the bacon grease, add the okra (sliced or halved
lengthwise) and continue to cook for a few minutes until the okra begins to
soften.Add the sliced greens and stir
fry until the greens are limp.I stop
cooking at this point and add the crumbled bacon and the seasonings.The onions and pepper add nice flavor; the
okra is crisp tender; the greens are not mushy … they have a nice bite to them.
and Okra Stew
cups of sliced okra
of peeled, de-veined shrimp
green bell pepper, chopped
small onion, chopped
stalk celery, chopped
of cherry or grape tomatoes
cups Vegetable or fish stock
Tablespoons tomato paste
teaspoon of Cajun seasoning blend
grinds of black pepper
the onion, bell pepper, celery and okra until the vegetables re crisp
tender.Add all the other ingredients,
except the shrimp.Let the stew come to
a gentle boil and drop in the shrimp.When the shrimp turn pink, the stew is done.Serve this with rice, pasta or your favorite
This post is part of my 2020 Vintage Vegetables project. If you'd like to see similar posts, just click the menu tab. I'll be sharing this with a couple blog parties, so make sure you check out my list on my sidebar. Enjoy!