Turkey Soup


This is a basic turkey soup. I got a package of large turkey wings, and simmered them for a few hours.  I took the wings out, got all the meat off the bones, strained the stock, cleaned the pot and reduced the stock by about half. 

That can all be put aside.  I did it on a separate night.  

The rest of the recipe consists of: (all veggies are chopped & all herbs are fresh)

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 3 cups of Swiss chard (or spinach)
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. marjarom
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • 2 ts[ salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 tsp. garlic

Saute carrots, garlic, onions, celery in a small bit of olive oil. Add turkey stock, herbs and stir for a few minutes. Add barley and simmer until barley is done.  Add turkey and Swiss chard.  Adjust herbs to taste.


Sweet Potato Chile

I heard of this recipe, and decided to make this my own.  I have a bumper crop of sweet potatoes, and some of them are HUGE.  I am thinking the big ones will become soups, pies and such.  This is coupled in time when a friend of mine has given me some venison burger. I also had some leftover peppers from the garden that had to be eaten or would go bad.  Therefore, here is a recipe that I have created that uses all these things.

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes (in this case, it was one football sized tater)
  • 1 huge vidalia onion cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 ancho peppers (or 2 sweet peppers, if you prefer) (again 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (fresh if you have them. )
  • Kidney beans. 16 oz of dried soaked overnight. Saute these until they are close to being soft.  This takes a while with dried beans.  If you use canned beans, obviously, you don’t need to do this step.
  • 1 pound of venison or hamburger (optional)
    •  heaping tablespoon of garlic
    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 TB chili powder
    • 2 TB cumin
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • Spices are all “to taste”.  I made mine hotter than this.
    • 1/8 tumeric
    • 2 cups liquid

    Cut up potato(es) into 1/2 inch cubes. Saute cube in 2 tablespoons olive oil until potatoes start to sweat. Add garlic and onion and saute.  Add peppers, beans, tomatoes and spices. Saute meat on the side, and add if you wish, or put it in some of it–save some for your vegetarian friends:). Simmer about 1/2 hour.  Enjoy.

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Tarragon Chicken Tenderloins

  • Six chicken tenderloins
  • Six small sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • white pepper and salt to taste

Saute garlic and green onions in oil. Add tenderloins and cook until just underdone. Add 1/3 cup wine, tarragon and cover for 5-10 minutes on simmer.  Check to see if chicken is done, and transfer to plate to finish sauce.

Add half & half, and stir sauce until it begins to thicken.  Add salt and fresh white pepper to taste. Add back in the tenderloins and warm through.  Serve.

I didn’t get a picture of this, and it got eaten too fast!  It is easy and delicious.




Israeli Salad


This is a fresh, colorful and flavorful salad.  It involves a lot of chopping, and some of the ingredients can be substituted for in season veggies.  This is tonight’s salad.  It normally calls for chopped carrots, but the ones at the store looked old and mealy, and my garden ones aren’t ready to eat yet. All vegetables are chopped.

  • 4 pickling cukes
  • 10 large radishes (optional)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 avacados
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 large peppers
  • one bunch of chopped fresh parsley
  • dried cranberries
  • juice of 3 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix together and enjoy.  Israelis have this for breakfast.  My daughter, Briana, spent 6 months in Israel and brought this concept home with her.  I am going to have it for dinner tonight as a side, and will also have it for breakfast and try it, Israeli style.




Harvest Feasts

I am of Irish descent, and I grew up in Salem. This gives me a very cooperative feeling with the old feasts and how they fit into the agricultural year and being a Christian. Many of the festivals we celebrate today come from the Celtic and involve some type of planting, harvesting and putting up food for the winter. The most recent one is called many things: All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), All Soul’s Day, All Saints Day, and Samhain. However, the meaning of this is pretty clear; as people we all acknowledge the shorter days and in many way remember death. We remember those who came before us, celebrate their lives, as we watch the leaves fall, and the first frost takes away the tender crops. The moon is the closest to the earth at this time, which is great as the people of old had to do their harvest, and could use the light at night. We also dress up in costumes and play–this probably was started by the agrarian people as a way to be lighthearted as they watched their crops die back, and had to work very long hours. They could not go down to the local grocery store, so this represented a busy time of work, putting stuff up, worrying that what they had would be enough, etc.
As a gardener, this season is really revealed to me as a harvest festival. However, as a modern day gardener, I know that I can always go down to the store if I run out. I feel very connected to all the people that came before me as I dry out my herbs, pickle my root vegetables, dig up my sweet potatoes, etc. It also makes me feel very connected to the earth itself.
I have a counter full of fresh herbs drying, many pickled veggies in the fridge, 3 huge sacks of sweet potatoes. a lot of dead vines and plants and a sense of reflection. I hope to post more on this blog. It sounds like I will be exploring the sweet potato.
Happy Harvest Festival.