Sunday, November 29, 2015

First Sunday of Advent 2015

The Holiday Season begins with the First Sunday of Advent which is four Sundays before Christmas Day, a time for anticipating the celebration of the birth of the Child so long ago.
It is also a time for reflection, to slow down in this the most hectic time of the year.
You celebrate the Holiday Season your way and share with the rest of us.
What is your tradition?

We are wishing you Peace on Earth as we have lit the first candle.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

French Onion Soup

This post is in honor of Michel, my French connection.  It grieved me to hear about the attack in Paris; however, life goes on and I want to share with you this oh! so sweet French Onion Soup.

I recently enjoyed going to the Farmer's Market and couldn't resist four large and firm yellow onions of which I only used two for my soup.  I have never made Onion Soup before so I had to look up a recipe to see what I needed to do and I found the French Onion Recipe/Simple

I peeled and sliced the two large onions and tossed them into a large pot with canola oil and kept stirring frequently to let the onions caramelize.  That means for the onions to turn blond/brown and soft and to aid in this process, I added a couple of table spoons of sugar.  Do you think that is what made the finished soup so sweet?

I added minced garlic from a jar to the onions and kept stirring.  I made stock from already cooked chicken legs.  We use what we've got.  I also went out into the garden to snip off a small bouquet of thyme and added it to the soup along with black pepper.

At the end of the cooking of this soup which takes a little while, I added a serving of Brandy (after having a taste of it first).

To complete this meal, I turned the oven on to about 450 degrees F, cut some hefty slices of French bread and topped the slices with grated cheese.

I served this sweet and filling French Onion Soup in a large bowl with the piece of bread with the melted cheese in the bowl on top of the soup.  Now, do I served it with a fork or a spoon?  Maybe both.

Later on in the evening, we lit a white candle, filled small glasses with the Brandy and thought about our French friend(s).

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Condolences to People in France

My heartfelt condolences to the people in France.
It affects us all.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Salute to Veterans

Due to medical reasons we had decided that travel in the near future was out of the question; but, the call came from the long haired girl inviting her grandfather to attend a program at her school to honor the Veterans.

The follow up appointment with the doctor was cancelled and at three o'clock in the morning I found myself making hamburgers and baking corn muffins to take along on our trip heeding our granddaughter's invitation.

At nine o'clock on Monday morning, we attended a program in an intermediate school in the Pensacola area to honor the Veterans.  The children sang songs and read poems and a US Congressman made a speech about celebrating the Veterans who had so valiantly served and protected this country.

Our granddaughter had decided to do something special to honor her grandfather who is a Veteran.  She made a poster and it was pinned up on the wall in the cafeteria in the school for all to see.

Her grandfather along with many, many Veterans in and out of uniform from all the branches in the Armed Forces were well represented and seated prominently on stage.

It touched me to see such a sea of young children dressed in red, white, and blue seated on the floor in front of the stage forming the flag and saluting the Veterans.

In addition, the children waving flags and giving out home made Thank You notes lined the corridor leading to the Media Center for punch and cake.

The young children as well as all in attendance had an opportunity to learn about people serving and defending this country.  It was a learning experience with much thought and effort.

Hopefully, the children conveyed a feeling to the Veterans who served this country to protect our freedom that they will never be forgotten and they will always be honored.

Thank You for Your Service, Veterans!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What to Plant in November

It is somewhat of a stretch to think about a winter garden when it is sunny and the temperature is in the 80's; however, next week may be different in Northern Florida.

I have finished picking the Contender snap beans, pulled the vines and will add them to the compost pile..  Then I will old compost and nutrients to that row, spade it in, and make it smooth for the small seeds of mustard, kale, and turnip that I have mixed together.  The germination for these greens is about 7 - 10 days and the maturity time is 45 - 70 days.

A light frost will enhance the taste of these nutritional and healthy greens.  I usually cook the greens and eat them with pickles and pickle juice.  Some people use the tender greens in salads and others use them in smoothies.

Another reason for the greens is to create a border.  We also use them as a cover crop for the winter months.  We cannot possibly eat all the greens but they will keep in the garden for a long time.

We just returned from Standard Feed and they had good looking cabbage plants and collard plants on display.  Some claim that the collards are the "new" kale.

It is not too late to sow beets and carrots.  They are cold weather vegetables.  The beets that I sowed gave up their ghosts for Halloween but I have sowed more and I am waiting for a positive result.

If onions are available, get some and plant them.  I use some of them early on because 100 days make for a long growing period.

Along with the Scarlet Globe Radishes, I also bought White Icicle Radish.  These radishes will germinate in less than a week and will be ready for your salad in about 35 days.

Happy gardening!
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