Just so you know, the first weekend in March is definitely the right one to find the County Line Vegetable Stand.  It is located on State Road 207 between Hastings and Palatka.  You also have the bonus of the Azalea Festival in Palatka that weekend.  Of course, carrots were but one of the offerings.

County Line Vegetables

Fifteen dollars and five minutes scored us this basket of deliciousness.

We used to plan our meals around whatever meat we felt like having.  We probably still do.  This week was different.  It was all about the vegetables.  Not only were they lovely examples of the vegetables as we know them, but they came with all their parts.

The first night we sauteed the beet tops in some bacon fat.  Our simple but mighty fine supper was bacon and egg with the beet greens.

Boiled Dinner


Monday and Tuesday night was the dinner that I refused to eat growing up–boiled dinner.  I was not a picky eater but come on, the smell of all of those root vegetables just about put me over the edge.  I always opted for a peanut butter sandwich. It wasn’t until I met one of my sister’s mother-in-law who taught me how to make dumplings, that I discovered the beauty of this dish.


Never one to like broth type soups, it took the dumplings to thicken that ham broth to a smooth white gravy for me to discover the magical combination of carrots, potatoes, turnips, swedes (rutabagas) and onions with a nice picnic ham thrown in.  It was even better on the second day.

I thought you might like the dumpling recipe.  It is also good with Chicken Fricasse.

Ruby’s Dumplings

1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3/4 milk

3 Tablespoons melted fat or vegetable oil

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together
  2. Add the milk and fat, stir just until the flour is moistened
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into the hot stew.
  4. Cover tightly and steam for 15 minutes

Wednesday night we had  Chinese 5 Spice Lacquered Chicken from The Food Network Kitchens Cookbook.  I downsized it to one large chicken breast between us, with some Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce made from the last of my freezer stash of cranberries.  The sprouts popped right off the stalk.  When I tried to snap or chop off the stalk length to put it in our compost box, it just wouldn’t budge.  My husband had to use an axe to shorten it!

Thursday we had a variation on a simple recipe from one of my sisters.  I’m not sure what to call it but you simply brown ground beef and onions.  When they are done you top it with sliced cabbage, cover and steam it a few minutes.  With the addition of salt and black pepper, you are done.  My husband also added some red cubanelle peppers and I think that I detected the taste of coriander seed.  Oh! I almost forgot.  He used the sliced cabbage looking top of the Brussel sprouts stalk instead of cabbage.

My sister, not of the dumpling recipe mother-in-law, told me that her grandson did not like meat, unlike his sister who naturally enough didn’t like vegetables.  I asked if it might have to do with color.  Think about it.  Young children love color and what color is meat? Blah, blah, blah.  I thought of him while making soup.

Have you tried to photograph soup?  It really doesn’t photograph well.  However, I have come up with the solution.  Be sure your soup is orange.  To have orange soup, you need orange ingredients.  Carrots and oranges are a logical choice.

Check out these carrots


On Friday night we had Carrot and Orange Soup.  It only took the 2 largest carrots to make enough soup for 6 people.  The long carrot at the bottom is your average supermarket variety.  I thought you might appreciate the comparison.  The batch of soup would take a pound of storebought.



Just onions sauteed, add some garlic and ginger then the sliced carrots.  Add about 4 cups of well-flavored chicken stock.  Let simmer for an hour.

Allow to cool, stir in a cup of orange juice and puree in a blender. Heat and eat or chill to serve cold, garnished with yogurt or sour cream and herbs from your garden.  I used garlic chives.



These pretty honeybells juiced up to the needed cup of juice.  I also added a tablespoon of sugar with the zest mixed in that was leftover from a batch of cookies.




Carrot and Orange Soup



A glass saucer and bowl help to photograph the soup.

Orange Melt in your Mouth Cookies


This is the same recipe as my Lemon Melt in Your Mouth Cookies.  The only difference is using the Honeybell zest instead of lemon zest.  Don’t forget that you can substitute oranges for lemons in limoncello also.




Saturday we were invited over to friends for dinner but that didn’t stop me from making bread and butter pickles with cucumbers, red cubanelle peppers and onions.  The only shortcoming is that we were supposed to wait 48 hours to eat them.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Not to worry, they were ready the next day in time to enjoy with Arty Sequeira’s recipe for Aloo Gobi.  It is cauliflower and potatoes in a spicy sauce.  I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower, but this one was just too pretty to pass up.

Aloo Gobi

Just to brighten up the plate and finish off our basket, we had some pickled beets on the side.  Not a bad week of eating on fifteen dollars.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.