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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Labor Day — Harvest Season Coming to an End for Local Gardeners

By Sherrie Norris

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. While our zucchini, squash and cucumbers were a bit disappointing and didn’t hang around very long this year, our beans and tomatoes have grown in abundance, for which we are very grateful. I’ve put them in jars in various forms, especially the tomatoes, and by looking at the basement shelves, I think we are becoming well prepared for what forecasters are predicting to be “an old-timey” winter. We’ve got potatoes in the ground to dig in the coming weeks and will hopefully add kraut and canned Boston Butt to the shelves before we’re finished.

We decided to trick the raccoons and deer again this year – so no corn. They have devoured it in years past and we just decided not to feed their voracious appetite. They’ve enjoyed my Hostas, instead.

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.


Old-Timey Green Tomato Sandwich Spread

1 qt. green tomatoes, finely chopped

1 qt. onions, finely chopped

1 qt. vinegar

1 qt. mayonnaise

1 qt. red and green peppers, finely chopped

¾ cup salt

1 qt. sugar

Cover tomatoes, peppers and onions with salt. Let stand overnight. Drain, add vinegar and sugar. Cook 25 minutes. Cool, add mayonnaise, fill pint jars and place in hot water bath about 10 minutes to seal.


Dilly Beans

2 cups vinegar

2 cups water

¼ cup salt

1 clove garlic (per jar)

1 head dill (per jar)

Freshly picked green beans

Cut ends off beans. Boil for about 10 minutes. Place dill and garlic in hot, sterilized jars and then pack beans in the jars. Boil vinegar, water and salt. Pour over beans. Place in hot water bath for about 10-15 minutes.


Amish Cabbage Salad

(Marinated Slaw)

1 gallon shredded cabbage

1 Tbs. salt

1 medium-sized onion, diced up

1 cup green peppers, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1½ cups white sugar

¾ cup white vinegar

¾ cups vegetable oil

Put shredded cabbage in a dish or pan and spread out until 1½ inches thick. Shake salt over surface of cabbage. Do not stir for one hour. Then add onion, peppers and celery. Stir well. In a medium saucepan, bring to boil sugar, vinegar, and oil. Pour over cabbage mixture while still boiling. Refrigerate. Do not stir until cold

Once cold, stir well and store in glass container. It keeps for days in the refrigerator and stays really crisp.


Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves


1 pound ground beef

¾ cup cooked rice

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 egg

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

½ cup milk



1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

3 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. vinegar

½ 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, 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 ½ cup of water; pour over cabbage rolls. Bake covered in a preheated 350 degree 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. Serves 6.