Category Archives: Food


I processed this year’s harvest of edamame today. Edamame (or giant soybeans) are fairly easy to grow but here they seem to attract a lot of Japanese beetles in early July. This year we didn’t spray but ended up shaking the beetles into a bucket of soapy water in the early morning when they were still asleep. That worked pretty well.

We preserve edamame by freezing them. The process is to heat a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Place the washed, fresh edamame into the boiling water. Time for 3 minutes when they hit the water, not when it starts to re-boil. Immediately plunge them into ice water. After a minute or two, put them on a towel and dry as quickly as possible. We then put them by 1-pound amounts into vacuum-seal bags, remove the air, and seal. Then into the freezer they go.

They are a good source of protein. Steam for about 7 minutes, and shake with some sea salt. Eat the beans as an appetizer or in salads.

Elderberry harvest 2017It’s elderberry harvest time in North Carolina. This year we are a bit late cutting the berry clusters and our feathered friends have taken more than their fair share.

The berries are removed from the stems by ‘combing’ – running a fork down each stemlet and stripping off the small berries. It is not a fast process. After ‘combing’ the berries we ended up with enough for four of five pints of elderberry jelly.

Turtle Stew

Snapping Turtle

We found this snapping turtle by the garden this morning on the way to feed the dogs. He (she?) is about 14” long and was aggressive, snapping his jaws at us. I picked him up by the sides of the shell between his feet and carried him way out into the woods. All the while he was scratching and struggling, and trying to pee on me. He had a lot of pee.

Here is what I found out later with an internet search; carry them by the tail, and stay away from the head! They eat fish and frogs, so we want to keep them away from the pond.

If he comes back to our pond he’s going to become turtle stew. More internet instructions for cooked turtle: whack him on the head, pull his head back with pilers, and cut his throat. Flip him over, cut off the feet, then split down the middle. Soak the meat overnight in salt water, then boil for 90 minutes. Fry quickly with onions.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (ever!)

These are the best! Recipe comes from King Arthur Flour.

2/3 C light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 C granulated sugar
½ C unsalted butter, right from the fridge or at room temperatue
½ C shortening
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vinegar (cider or white)
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
2 C unbleached flour
2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, vinegar, and baking soda, beating until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in the egg, again beating until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
3. Mix in the flour, then the chips.
4. Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop 1 ¼” balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2” between cookies.
5. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the pan until they are set. Cool completely on wire racks.