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June 2009

May 2009

Country Kitchen Recipe: Strawberry Cheese Pie

Strawberries from the home garden   Strawberry Cheese Pie   Strawberry Cheese Pie
Strawberries from the home garden, what a treat!  These are Chandler Strawberries from plants that I planted last October.

Strawberry Cheese Pie
1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust

Mix gelatin and sugar in small bowl;  add boiling water and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until smooth;  slowly beat in gelatin mixture.  Pour into prepared crust.

Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Strawberry Topping:
3/4 cup cup water
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart strawberries, cut in medium size pieces

Place 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup strawberries in a blender and blend well.  In a sauce pan stir together sugar and cornstarch.  Add water and strawberry mixture to the sugar and cornstarch mixture.  Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining strawberries.  Refrigerate until completely cool.  Pour over top of cooled cheese pie.   Serves 8.

Uwharrie Farm Planting Schedule: June

Home garden        Home garden

We are in USDA hardiness zone 7.

Continual planting will help insure a long harvest from your garden.  After your spring vegetables and strawberries are harvested you can now use that space to plant more summer vegetables.

Crowder peas, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, October beans and butternut squash do well when planted in June.  This month is also a good time to plant second plantings of tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and squash.

Today's Food For Thought: May 28, 2009


Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version)

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Country Kitchen Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

Preparing   Preparing Pumpkin Pie Filling   Pumpkin Pie

This is a pumpkin pie like Grandma used to make.  I used a Neck Pumpkin kept over winter from last year's garden.  First the pumpkin was peeled and cut into medium size pieces, then placed in a large pan with about a cup of water, covered and cooked on medium heat until tender.  This created enough pumpkin for  four pies.  The following recipe, however, is for two pies.  It is a good idea to measure excess pumpkin in correct portions for your recipe and freeze for later use.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

I place the following ingredients in my Vita Mix and blend at medium speed.

1 cup milk or soy milk                      1 1/2 cup brown sugar                                           

3 cups cooked pumpkin                    4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt                            3 tablespoons butter or smart balance

4 tablespoons flour                          1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Variation:  For a spiced pumpkin pie add - 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 2 tablespoons molasses.

After blending pour into two pie crusts, The Best Pie Crust

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

The Home Garden, May 16, 2009

DSC_0595  DSC_0597   DSC_0593

I'm picking strawberries from the home garden, what a treat!  The cabbage and potatoes are growing very well.  I haven't seen any cabbage worms this spring and just a few potato beetles so far.  I think the chickens we acquired last year may be responsible for the reduction in the worms and beetles.

DSC_0586  DSC_0598    DSC_0589   As you see in the photo above the tomato plants have been planted and mulched with leaves we collected last fall.  I used a stake and weave method of trellising for the Health Kick tomato plants seen in the foreground and wire cages on the First Prize tomato plants.  Because the Health Kick tomatoes are a determinate variety and probably will not grow more than 4 feet tall the stake and weave method works very well for them.  The First Prize tomatoes, however, are indeterminate and have the potential to grow 6 feet or more.  The wire cages give them room to spread and to grow tall.  If you have followed my blog you already know that the First Prize plants were growing in 5 gallon pots before being transplanted to the garden.  This gave them a head start and as you can see in the center photo above they already have tomatoes on them.  In the photo on the right you see I have placed a piece of black plastic on the ground and secured it by placing soil on the edges and on a few places in the center.  The plastic controls weeds well for plants with a spreading habit.  The Missouri Gold Canteloupe, Rattlesnake Watermelon and Neck Pumpkins which I planted on the plastic also like the heat generated by the black plastic.

DSC_0587   DSC_0585   DSC_0590
In the photo on the left you see a cucumber plant in the foreground surrounded by a wire cage to allow the plant to climb.  In the next two photos see how you can grow your own sweet potato plants.  I take sweet potatoes from last year's garden that have stored well in a cool area (not cold) of our house and place them in a trench in my garden and cover with compost and organic soil mix.   In a few weeks I will be able to gather sweet potato plants from them for planting in my garden.  I have placed markers to identify the four different varieties that I have planted, Beauregard, Red Wine Velvet, Maryland 810 and a blue sweet potato.

Tenderette Green Beans are beginning to emerge in their garden row.  This week I also planted pepper, squash, corn and eggplant plants.  Flea Beetles have already discovered the eggplant.  I will watch them to see if there is enough damage to require my intervention.

Mexican Cornbread Made Easy

Mexican Cornbread Mix        

     Make your own Mexican cornbread mix!  It's economical, saves time and the quality is great.  Put the following ingredients in a large container with a snap on lid and mix well.  I snap the lid on my container, put my hands on the top and bottom of the container and shake very well for several minutes. 

Mexican Cornbread Mexican Cornbread Mix

6 cups organic unbleached flour
6 cups organic yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons baking powder
4 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons dried organic Jalapeno peppers
12 tablespoons dried organic bell peppers
6 tablespoons organic white onion flakes

Mexican Cornbread
2 1/2 cups Mexican cornbread mix
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter, Smart Balance, or canola oil
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 eggs

Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, stir together eggs, buttermilk and (melted butter, Smart Balance or canola oil).  Stir in cheese.  Add Mexican Cornbread Mix and stir until well blended.  Remove hot skillet from the oven and coat with canola oil.  Pour batter into skillet, place in oven and bake 25 minutes or until done.

The Best Pie Crust



Yes, you can make the best pie crust!  This tasty crust has whole grains, is never soggy, has no preservatives or food additives, takes little time and  is easy to make.  Use it as soon as it is made or make a batch and freeze for convenient later use.  Just follow the recipe and photo illustrations below.

Recipe for two 9 inch crust
1/2 cup finely ground rolled oats                         1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour                         1/2 cup canola or olive oil
1 cup unbleached bread flour                               5 Tablespoons cold water

Place oats, flour and salt in a bowl and stir well.  Add oil and water.  Stir to form dough.  Divide in half.

DSC_0543  DSC_0544  DSC_0545   Place dough on wax paper                 Flatten dough with your hand           Place 2nd wax paper on top

DSC_0546  DSC_0547   DSC_0548 Roll dough, remove top wax paper      Flip dough over on top of pie pan           Remove wax paper

DSC_0549  DSC_0550  DSC_0565  Adjust dough in pie pan                        Trim excess dough from edge               Make design on edge

There it is:  a crust worthy of your favorite pie recipe - sweet or savory.

Today's Food for Thought: 5-2-09


psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.