Teresa Hatchell 2005

Early last week as I was heading out for work, I saw my neighbor riding a tractor in his rather nice size garden spot. All of a sudden it struck me: it is the middle of August and folks in these parts are preparing to plant what they hope will be bountiful fall gardens. Fall gardens usually include peas, squash, turnips, lettuce and cabbage, and often various kinds of herbs, such as thyme.

I have told you many times that we plant a humongous garden every spring. It is a tremendous amount of work … especially the "weeding" that is continually tended to between the planting and harvesting. But, the bounty we produced fed our family and a good many friends. In fact, we "canned" and froze most of our spring/summer garden. What I wrote in the spring, I'll repeat in late August as fall gardens are planted, it is truthful to say that "no food could be finer that the food grown in the fertile, 'sweet' soil of South Carolina."

Recently, a reader sent me an email titled: "How To Plant a Godly Garden." It is such a thought-provoking email (especially with what is going on in the United States and the world today); I just have to share it with you.

"Plant three rows of peas: (1) peace of mind; (2) peace of heart; and (3) peace of soul. Plant four rows of squash: (1) squash gossip; (2) squash indifference; (3) squash grumbling; and (4) squash selfishness. Plant four rows of lettuce: (1) let us be faithful; (2) let us be kind; (3) let us be patient; and (4) let us really love one another. Plant three rows of turnips: (1) turn up for meetings; (2) turn up for service; and (3) turn up to help one another. To conclude our garden we must have thyme: (1) time for each other; (2) time for family; and (3) time for friends. Water freely with patience and cultivate with love."

That shared, I will suggest to you some veggie-related recipes that you may use now or save until fall produce is harvested.

Calypso rice

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil

2 cups long grain white rice

4 tablespoons honey

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Morton Lite Salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 (14-1/2-ounce cans Swanson chicken broth)

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

3 cups finely chopped turnip greens

2 cups chopped yellow squash

1 cup chopped ripe tomato

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook it, stirring continually for about four minutes or until the rice begins to “brown.” Add honey, garlic, salt and thyme. Cook and stir this mixture for two minutes. Add the broth, Tabasco sauce, greens, squash and tomatoes. Bring this mixture to a boil. Cover the saucepan tightly and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for five minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and serve it. This recipe makes eight servings.

Scalloped squash

8 medium summer yellow squash

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1 large Vidalia (or yellow) onion, sliced

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup milk

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Wash the squash and cut it into 2-inch cubes. Combine with the onions in a saucepan and cook in a little salted water, boiling for about 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain vegetables well, and arrange in the prepared casserole dish. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pepper, milk, butter, salt, crumbs and half of the cheese. Stir thoroughly, and pour this mixture over the squash and onions. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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