Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: The Garden Argument

Published Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 8:36 am

By Sherrie Norris

The tomato said with a face rosy red, “I’m the queen of the whole garden bed — so tart and delicious, most everyone wishes on my juicy meat to be fed.”

Said the onion, so strong, “You couldn’t go wrong to partake of my elements rare. With such a sweet savor I give a rich flavor so all who might wish me may share.” Said the carrot so yellow, “I’m a popular fellow, at present I’m having my day! My elements mild are so good for a child, they make him rosy and gay.”

The cabbage head from the same garden bed said, “I’m bursting to have my say: so crisp and so white, with flavor just right, I’m fit for a king any day.”

The corn pricked his ears and said, “Listen, my dears! I have heard every word you have said. For I am so tall, I look down on you all – I’m the king of the whole garden bed!”

The celery said, “Look! Here comes the cook. We’ll let her wise judgement decide which one she may choose – the rest of us lose.”

“Fair enough! We agree!” They all cried. The cook came along with a smile and a song, the vegetables she viewed as a group. She cut and she sliced with her sharp paring knife, and they all went into the soup.

I laughed years ago when I first read this poem, written by Leona Duggan, and found in one of my many cookbooks. However, the more I pondered on it, the more I realized those vegetables are just like us humans.

Anytime we get to thinking we’re more important than others, we need to stop and consider the soup. We’re all in this together. We each may have a little different “seasoning” or “aroma” to offer humanity, but none is more important in the eyes of our maker than the other.

Food for thought? I think so.


Roasted Corn On The Grill

Select tender, young sweet corn. Remove large husks; turn back the inner husks and remove silk. Spread corn with soft butter. Pull husks back over corn and place on grill 3 inches from hot coals, cooking 20-30 minutes, turning frequently. Serve at once with salt, pepper and butter.


Cabbage Casserole

1 head cabbage

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 stack of packaged saltine crackers, crushed

Salt and pepper

Butter or margarine

1 large can French fried onion rings

Shred cabbage and cook in small amount of water until tender. Drain. Heat mushroom soup and stir until creamy. Put ½ of cabbage in casserole dish; top with ½ of the soup, 1 cup cheese, and ½ the crushed crackers. Layer remaining cabbage, soup, cheese and cracker crumbs in same order. Dot with butter; salt and pepper to taste. Top with onion rings. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


Easy Corn Casserole

3 eggs

2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh

2 Tbsp. butter, plus additional for topping

½ cup milk

½ tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup cracker crumbs

Beat eggs; combine with corn, butter, milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered pan; sprinkle top with bell pepper and cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until done.


Tomato, Onion and Cheese Surprise

4 cups thinly sliced onions

4 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. dried basil leaves

About 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded cheese of choice

½ cup packaged bread crumbs

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 1½ quart baking dish. In 1-inch boiling water in medium saucepan, cook onion, covered for 10 minutes; drain. In prepared dish, layer in order half of tomatoes and onion. Sprinkle with ½ of the salt, pepper and basil. Top with half of the cheese. Repeat. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over top of cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Makes 6 servings.



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