Old-fashioned Pumpkin Pie

I was lugging a wheelbarrow full of hay and manure into the garden when the weather changed.  The air was warm and still, and seemed to hang like a muggy curtain around the pea trellis and rows of young cabbages, lettuce, and broccoli as i trundled clumsily along the narrow path. A sound almost like…

All-Raw Eggnog

There was a raccoon raid on the chicken coop last night. We had seen the scoundrel lurking around the barn earlier in the evening,  and in retrospect we should have dispatched him then.  But everyone was tired and chilled, and Ethan felt really ill.  Much later,  long after the restless teenager had ceased to flick…

Radish Salad With Roselle Dressing

 Radishes are one of my favorite things to grow,  although they weren’t always.  They are very easy and reliable,  some years the only vegetable we could manage to grow in the early years of gardening,  before we had cows and goats to enrich the land.  I’ve pickled them, served them with butter,  chopped the roots up for salad, …

Callaloo Curry With Flatbread

The cold weather is here at last! Sweet-smelling woolens have been taken out of the cedar chest to air in the beautiful dry air, and we are enjoying the last of the summer garden’s offerings…. spinach-like amaranth greens. Amaranth is really more of a weed than a garden plant; indeed,  the spiny, weedy amaranth torments…

Roselle Sour Gummy Candies

The cooler weather that has drifted through lately has found us gathering in the kitchen around our old woodstove we call Calcifer. Calcifer is old and finicky,  and the seals need replaced. He billows smoke at us when the logs start to burn,  and the oven temperature can vary wildly.  But on chilly mornings and…

Dried And Frozen Persimmon Treats

Glowing orange and as sweet as candy, the cultivated persimmons are ripe and abundant right now.  They are one of the delicious treats early fall has to offer, along with sweet potatoes, roselle, and pumpkins. These cultivated persimmons seem huge and mild compared to the wild persimmons we have already enjoyed. This was the first year we…

Roselle Soda

The garden is behind.  With Ethan out of town it has been hard to get things going when i had wanted to,  but I’m not too worried.  Those fall greens grow so quickly,  and the roselle is in its fall glory,  laden with deep red pods waiting to be picked. This,  I know from experience,…

Sam’s Shrimp And Roselle Leaf Curry

  Roselle is a large, beautiful hibiscus relative that bears fleshy red calyxes that can be cooked or dried and made into sauces, jellies, desserts, tea, etc.  It is also called the Florida Cranberry for it’s cranberry-like flavor.  I have almost always grown roselle in my garden.  It becomes a large, beautiful plant, over my…

Wild Persimmon Tartlettes

    The wild persimmons are ripe, hanging from the fall-tattered branches like small ornaments.  Wild persimmons are, at best, a gamble.  They are rather like how my brother’s girlfriend once described my mother’s cooking – either really good, or really bad.  It all depends on the particular tree. Some trees bear fruit that will…

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

    Pumpkin seeds are easily the most delicious part of a pumpkin.  It took  me awhile to realize that it was well worth the trouble of separating the seeds from the stringy pulp. Before that, I gave the seeds to the pigs or goats, who were very happy to eat them.  This is also…

End-of-Season Sriracha (With A Twist!)

  At the end of the season here, the only things still hanging on in the garden are cassava, roselle, sweet potatoes, and hot peppers.  This year even the hot peppers are flagging – they really haven’t appreciated all the rain this summer.  No matter, last year the hot peppers were in rare form, and…

Straight-From-The-Garden Ketchup

The Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes held on longer than most of the other garden plants, but we have gleaned a last harvest from them now, too.  They are small and very sweet and flavorful, and grow in dripping clusters.  I grow them every year, whether I plant them or not – they are always coming…