Sunday, December 13, 2015

Holiday Soup Gift Jars


1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup dry split peas
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry green lentils
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice 
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 cup uncooked pasta (shells, macaroni, alphabet)

I also add...

1/4 cup red lentils
dehydrated carrots
dehydrated corn
dehydrated zucchini slices


In a 1 litre jar, layer the bouillon, split peas, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice, and bay leaves. Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap, and place in the jar. Seal tightly.

Attach a label or recipe card to the jar with the following: 

Holiday Soup  
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 1 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes - undrained, 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste or 1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce, and 3 quarts water. 
TO PREPARE SOUP: Remove pasta from top of jar, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain excess fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste/sauce, water, and soup mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.

Holiday Soup jars can be given as-is, or in a gift bag with a box of corn bread mix, a wooden spoon, can of tomato sauce, pretty napkins, etc.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

It Arrived!

I participated in the Annual Canadian Autumn Seed  Exchange again this year. I always look forward to this exchange, as it is very well organized and rare varieties of seeds are often submitted.  My return parcel arrived this week, much to my delight!  It included several items from my wish list and a number of seed varieties I hadn't heard of before.  I received...

Lovage -

Herbs - Ajwain (carom), purple basil, fenugreek, feverfew, lovage, and thyme.

Cosmos, Double Click Snowpuff -

FlowersAmbersoa (Desert Star), Chrysanthemum (Single Annual), Cosmos (Double Click Snowpuff), Digitalis (Foxglove), Datura Inoxia (Moonflower), Rose Campion (Alba), Strawflower (Choice Mix), Wildflower mix, and Benary’s Giant Lime zinnia.

Nicotiana Sylvestris (

Miscellaneous - Mimosa Tree, Money Plant, and Nicotiana Sylvestris (flowering tobacco plant).

Flagg pole beans (

Arakara – bush
Blue Jay – bush (snap/dry)
Doloff – pole (dry)
Flagg – pole (dry – RARE)
Jacob’s Cattle – bush (dry)
Kahnawake Mohawk – pole (dry)
Painted Pony – bush (snap/dry)
Soldier – bush (dry)
True Red Cranberry – bush with pole habit (dry)
Zuni Shalako – bush (snap/dry)

Painted Mountain Corn (

Carrots – Kaleidoscope (hybrid) and Scarlet Nantes

Corn – Painted Mountain

Eggplant – Almaz (hybrid), Early Long Purple (hybrid?), and Casper

Garlic – Kostyn’s Red Russian

Copenhagen cabbage (


Cabbage – Copenhagen, Jersey Wakefield, and Red Acre

Kale  - Sweet Blue and Green (hybrid)

Lettuce – Black Seeded Simpson and “Cold Hardy”

Purslane – French Golden Leaf

Galeaux d'Eyesines Squash (

Leeks – American Flag

Squash - Canada Crookneck, Galeaux d’Eyesines, and Small Sugar pumpkin


Amana Orange Tomato (

Tomatoes - 0-33 (determinate, red, frost tolerant), Amana Orange, Banana Legs, Bushy Chabarovsky, Chocolate Stripes, Deep Space (Snickers), Eva Purple Ball, Ildi (yellow cherry), Mac Pink (determinate), Moravsky Div, Ozark Sunrise, Red Siberian, San Marzano, Sungold F1 (cherry, hybrid), and Zapotec.

Turnips – Purple Top White Globe