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Harvest Season coming to an end for local gardeners

By Sherrie Norris (

Article Published: Sep. 9, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Earlier this year, I had visions of numerous hazy, lazy days of summer. I am now on the backside of summer and have seen very little, if anything, of "lazy."

Despite a very busy summer, we have watched in awe as our garden grew. It is truly an amazing experience to witness.

Our bean vines are beginning to turn yellow but have carried their weight, for sure. I've canned upwards of 60 quarts, so if nothing else, we'll have plenty of green beans to eat this winter.
Our tomatoes have done fairly well but slow in turning red. The majority has gone into jars as salsa and spaghetti sauce; the others, in my family's 'mater sandwiches and biscuits - true country delicacies.

The 'taters are still in the ground, so, hopefully, we'll have a few of those to put away in the cellar. We decided to trick the raccoons and deer this year - no corn! They devoured it last year and did a number on our cabbage this year.

Thankfully, what we were not able to harvest, others have done so in abundance. That's just one of many reasons I'm glad we have farmer's markets close by!

Sadly, it's that time of year when everything starts winding down. Hope these recipes help you put those end-of-the season goods to good use.

Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves

1pound ground beef
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk

1 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.
Combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling; fasten with toothpick. Place in a baking dish.

For sauce, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and pour over cabbage rolls. Bake covered in a preheated 350 degrees oven 40 to 45 minutes. Remove rolls and discard toothpicks. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Recipe for cabbage rolls serves 6.

Corn Relish

About 18 ears of corn
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbs. salt
3 Tbsp. mustard seed
4 cups vinegar
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tbs. celery seed
1 Tbs. turmeric
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

Cook corn in boiling water 5 minutes. Cut from cob. Measure 8 cups. Combine corn with remaining ingredients and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, pack in hot, sterilized jars. Seal. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes about 6 pints.

Southern Scalloped Tomatoes

1/4 cup butter
1 cup bread cubes
1 med. onion
4 strips bacon
2 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups cut-up tomatoes
Dash Tabasco (optional)
Dash dried leaf basil
Crushed crackers
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Melt butter in skillet; add bread cubes and brown lightly. Add more butter if needed and lightly brown onions. Fry bacon in another skillet; drain bacon and crumble into the butter and bread mixture. Add sugar, tomatoes, Tabasco, and basil; mix together then spoon into casserole dish.

Cover with crushed crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese on top during last 15 minutes.

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