Growing & Eating Turnips


In our endeavors to create food freedom and lower our grocery budget we planted turnips in the autumn of 2013. We tilled under the summer garden and in late August broadcast the seeds and let the sunshine, water, and soil do their jobs. We ended up with a fair size crop of turnips and their leaves. They were remarkably easy to grow. We did not fertilize them or spray them with pesticides (icky stuff that).

So there I was with a wagon load of turnips and greens and not a clue what to do with the turnip root. A quick internet research turned up a recipe full of good fats and seasonings without having canned anything in it. Our local store has just started carrying raw milk cheddar and I’m can’t wait to try Southern Turnip Supreme now with a healthier cheese and homemade sour cream. I leave out the nasty bouillon in favor of a really good sea salt and some pepper.

The best thing about this recipe is it is relatively quick home-made dish for a busy Mom who wants to put healthier food on the table. You could even preboil the turnips and pull them out later to finish the dish for the table.

Perhaps, after dinner is over, you and your family can sit down and read this wonderful Russian folktale about a Grandpa who goes out to pick his turnips.



DSCN8906Cold/flu season has kicked in and after being smacked with it out of the blue last week I was looking for some home remedies. The general consensus was to eat kimchi. Kimchi keeps it away and kimchi will knock it out.

Well, no one has to give me an excuse to eat kimchi but a good one such as that encouraged me to finally get all the stuff to make it.

Today was the day! We got our shipment of Korean red pepper flakes and fish sauce from Amazon. The Nappa cabbage and onions were already in the refrigerator waiting for their arrival. The children and I unloaded the bounty on the table and had a small science lesson on antibiotics, probiotics, and fermentation before our home economics class.

DSCN8904The boys gathered the cutting boards and knives while the little girlies hovered around the activity on the edges watching. We set to chopping and slicing and had two huge bowls of cabbage in a hurry. Many hands makes light work. Sugar Biscuit grabbed a discarded core and began munching away with her little mischievous twinkle in her eye. Sweet Pea joined in the munching too.

The cabbage went into the sink for an hour and a half in a salt water brine to soak while the boys peeled

DSCN8898two heads of garlic and peeled the few onions that there were. I started the “kimchi sauce” while they were doing that and had a little fun making them smell the fish sauce for the first time.

The end result of all this fun turned out some very beautifully colored kimchi. The boys tried it unfermented and they liked it.  It smells awesome and every one of us is excitedly waiting for Saturday to see how it turns out.

DSCN8917I’ll try to post some pictures of the kimchi after it ferments and let you know if it turned out. This is our first time to make kimchi from scratch.

Garden Journal 2014

copy-Starred-Photos.jpgAlthough, this hasn’t been the most spectacular garden we have ever had, it has been the most work so far in all the years we having been gardening. There was clearing to be done, brush to be burned, leaves to be raked, tilling hard new soil with lots of big roots. Can it be any wonder that I ran out of steam? It would have been impossible to have this much if wasn’t for the Tireman and our children.

The plants that I started indoors this year turned out to be sad spindly things that didn’t make it into the garden. I bought a few Early Girl tomato plants, some jalapenos, planted some Swiss chard, Jade bush green beans (Elias’s pick and a good one!), Alexandria summer squash, and some sad cucumber plants that won’t put on.

But I knew when I got too tired to think about the garden that God was our provider. He knew what kind of garden our ground and life would be capable of this year. Despite the fact that our garden has been meager; I’ve managed to put up some green beans, field peas given to us by friends, plus we’ve been feasting on potatoes, beets, and squash  from another generous neighbor of ours. Campbell supplied us with some peaches for the larder.

This fall we have a lot of work yet to do to the soil. It really needs to be amended with leaves, grass clippings, and manure. I didn’t realize just how far we had gotten with our former gardens until we experienced new ground all over again. I am thankful though that our garden has done so well given the circumstances and look forward to working it more in the seasons to come if the Lord is willing.


Cheesy Pea Noodle Salad

The other day I ran across a pea salad recipe that was pretty fantastic. The only thing I didn’t enjoy while I was eating it was …all the peas. I know, I know; it is pea salad but it needed a break between all those peas. Plus it needed a tweak or two of my own.

Here it Cheesy Peawhat I came up with….

  • 2 cup of elbow noodles
  • 1 16 oz. package frozen peas
  • 1 small package bacon bits
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 cups  mayonnaise

Boil elbow noodles for the proper amount of time listed on the box. Drain and rinse in cool water. Mix in remaining ingredients and allow several hours for the flavors to blend before serving. I made it the night before. The next day when I got it out it was a little dry so I added a little more mayonnaise and pickle juice to make it creamy again. It was a hit at our church dinner and even Farmer Boy liked the salad; which surprised me.


Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

Yesterday, I sent my sister an pin on Pinterest. How to make a ninja mask from a t-shirt.

She loves stuff like that and this morning she sent me this….

And I couldn’t stop laughing.

And the boys had to know why I was laughing…

And then they just had to know how it was done….

And they all ran to get a t-shirt and Sweet Pea had to as well…

And then Sugar Biscuit had to get it on it…

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And now the house is filled with Ninja noises and for some reason one Sherlock Holmes…


Rice & Noodle Risotto

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup green peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 pouch Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup long grain rice.

Saute onion and pepper in butter until tender. Add rice, soup, and water. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let it simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add 2/3 cup parmesan cheese for an extra yummy kick!

This is one of my favorite out of box side dishes!

Pizza Hut Pan Pizza Knock Off

DSCN7907It was on Pinterest a few months ago that I first ran across a recipe for the Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza recipe from cdkitchen. I was skeptical but I couldn’t resist giving it a try. The first time it turned out pretty good but I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped to be and I was confessing such to my friend when she asked me, “Have YOU ever had pizza cooked in a skillet? Next time use your iron skillet.” So I did and I confess I’ve had to make pizza almost every week since. It probably helps that I have a convection oven that it turns out so well and I often cook three pizza at the same time. One recipe makes enough dough for two 10- inch skillets.

One of the biggest issues with this recipe however is that I find I never have dry milk on hand so I use 1 1/2 cups of milk instead of water. And I found that the pizza cooks just as well in the skillet with 1.5 ounces of oil versus the three. It would be awesome if I could find a cheap source of butter flavored corn oil and I’ve wondered if I could use butter flavored shortening.

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

DSCN8132One of my favorite restaurants to go to years ago was Ryan’s and if you asked me why I would tell you, “Macaroni and cheese!” Unfortunately, as the years passed the restaurant changed owners and … you guessed it… the mac and cheese changed. BLEH!

Ever since then it has been my goal to recreate the original version that I loved. Last month, having gone through many recipes, I accidentally recreated it when I was in a hurry to take something to a friend’s house for dinner. I grabbed a few ingredients threw them in the pan and we scooted out the door.

A few hours later as we sat down to dinner the first thing that was gone was the macaroni and cheese. The consumers raved. The husband and children cheered except for Goldilocks, who turned up her nose as usual. She can’t stand mac n cheese. Can she be my child?!

And now, before I forget what I did to achieve perfection I’m going to immortalize it in this blog.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 16 oz. bag of large elbow noodles, boiled and drained
  • 8 oz. Velvetta cheese
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • water

Keep the pan you boiled your noodles in and place those noodles back in that pan when drained. Reduce heat to its lowest setting. Add velvetta, cheddar, parmesaon, garlic powder, bouillon, and milk. Stir until melted thoroughly. It may be kind of thick at this point. I begin to add water 1/2 cup at a time and stir it in until I have it as creamy as I want; kind of like a cheesy looking gravy.





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