A Night at Amada

Since moving to
Philadelphia, it isn't often that I get to spend quality time with my best girlfriends from New Orleans, but recently I was honored to have a visit from two of them. One I have known since I was in kindergarten, and the other since our carefree days at Ursuline Academy in New Orleans. Not to brag on my friends but I must say that these two ladies are by far two of the most classy, intelligent, cultured, beautiful, and fun ladies that I know. I knew I needed to come up with a fun itinerary while they were visiting. The itinerary was ambitious with a day of shopping, a driving tour of the old city, a visit to the Art Museum and the new Comcast Center, a cheese steak lunch, happy hour at my place, and a dinner at Amada. We didn't accomplish everything on the itinerary except when it came to food and wine-we were quite successful. Tired or not from our all day shopping spree, we made sure to be in the cab on time to make it to Amada early for pre-dinner cocktails.

Amada, an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, located in the heart of Old City Philadelphia, run by Chef Jose Garces (also known as "The Latin Emeril"), was our restaurant of choice. Chef Jose Garces, a young successful chef specializing in Latin cuisine, has made a name for himself through his restaurant group, Garces Restaurant Group, which includes 4 restaurants. Amada was his first restaurant, opening in 2005, followed by Distrito, Chifo and Tinto, all in Philadelphia. Garces also operates Village Whiskey in Philadelphia and Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago. Along with his restaurants, Garces has written his first cookbook, "Latin Evolution", and he will debut on Next Iron Chef on the Food Network as a finalist in this season beginning Sunday, October 4th.

With Amada's rave reviews, my friends and I were thrilled to give it a go. We went on a Sunday night, which still gave us a nice crowd in the restaurant but not overwhelming. The bar however was slow when we arrived giving us the bartender's full attention-fine by us! My friend Genny and I ordered a Ketel One Dirty Martini because we adore them. Ashley went right for a glass of Tempranillo, a full bodied Spanish red wine. While we sampled our cocktails and wine, the bartender went over the menu with us, and ultimately persuaded us into ordering the Chef's Selection tasting menu.

When seated at our table, we immediately ordered a bottle of the Tempranillo wine, and let the waiter know that we wanted the Chef's Selection. The waiter asked if we had any dietary restrictions, and any particular likes and dislikes when it came to the menu. With no dietary restrictions and only a couple of requests, our order was simple.

Our feast began with the Mixto of Cheeses, a mix of 3 cheeses including Manchego of the La Mancha region of Spain, Garrotxa cheese of the Catalonia region of Spain, and a creamy cow's milk Spanish Cadi Urgelia. Each cheese was supplemented with a dipping sauce, and the mixto was served with fresh bread rounds and green apple slices. The Manchego served with truffled lavender honey was by far my favorite. Then we were served the most unexpectedly delicious item of the night for me, the Sardinas Carudas-house cured sardines with pine nuts and olives. I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, however, I had never tried a sardine until that night. The sardines were tender, and each bite was perfectly tangy and salty with undertones of the sea. The pine nuts offered a mild crunch while the green olives added to the divine saltiness of the dish.

The Ensalada Verde came next. A simple yet delicious salad of greens, fava beans, asparagus, avocado, and green beans. Each ingredient gave a different texture and slightly different flavor all working in harmony with one another.

Next was Amada's own Empanada with a filling of spinach, manchego and artichoke, the perfect comfort food to follow the lightness of the salad. Then came the Tomates Frescos Y A Jo, a flat bread covered with heirloom tomatoes, baby greens and majon, a cow's milk Spanish cheese. This course was completed with Piquillos Rellenos, mini peppers stuffed with crab meat and Spanish cheese topped with buttery sliced almonds served sizzling hot on a mini cast iron plate.

The next course was a selection from the grill, which included a succulent lamb chop, skewered scallops in a light pesto, and seasonal mushrooms in a sinfully tasty truffle sauce. The grand finale boasted the Pernil Asada, roasted pork with white beans, arugula and oranges and a fragrant white bean and red onion salad.

With tapas in general and specifically with the dishes we sampled from the grill, Chef Garces
allows the taster to truly appreciate the ingredient for exactly what it is. The plate of mushrooms had no frills but was elegant standing alone and proud on the dish, and might have been my favorite dish of the evening.

We completed our meal full and satisfied, and referred to our night as an "eating marathon". If we hadn't ordered the Chef's Selection, then we may have never tasted some of these items, certainly not the sardines. What a great way to try foods that we may never think to order for ourselves. When I treat myself to a night out at a great restaurant, I would much rather partake in a cuisine like Spanish tapas, where I can try small amounts of many amazing
dishes instead of just one great dish.

If your travels ever bring you to Philadelphia or if you are a local, I highly suggest enjoying the fine cuisine at Amada. If you can't make it to Amada, then please try a local tapas restaurant in your city. It will broaden your palate's horizons and give you an excuse to drink plenty of wine or sangria!

Check out Chef Jose Garces on Next Iron Chef on the Food Network starting Sunday, October 4th at 9pm/8c.


I have recently discovered the joys of pickling my own cucumbers and okra, and the best part is-it is so e
asy and more affordable than buying brand name pickles at your local supermarket! After making your own pickles where you can adjust the spices to your liking, and have control of the freshness, you just can't go back to the usual Vlasic or Mt. Olive jarred pickles.

My husband, Matt, a loyal Vlasic customer, has always loved the classic dill spears and whole pickles of the Vlasic brand. One day when Matt was a kid, his father conducted an experiment to see if Matt was able to really tell the difference between a Mount Olive dill spear as opposed to a Vlasic dill spear. He secretly mixed in Mount Olive pickles with the Vlasic pickles in the Vlasic jar. One day soon after, Matt happily grabbed his Vlasic jar from the fridge ready to indulge in a delicious dill spear when he bit into an odd tasting pickle. It only took one taste for Matt and his palate to realize that this pickle was certainly an imposter, and could never be a Vlasic. Matt plucked out each and every Mount Olive pickle from the bunch. He even called his dad out on the whole sneaky experiment knowing his dad was up to no good in trying to trick him.

Now, if I can turn this loyal Vlasic pickle man into a man who only requests his wife's homemade pickles then I think anyone can do it!
I wanted to try pickling for a long time especially because I have a great produce stand where I can buy pounds of pickling cucumbers or okra at an extremely affordable price. I had the produce available and needed to find the right recipe. I read a number of pickling recipes before deciding to scratch most of what I read and make my own simple quick recipe. Some recipes called for boiling the brine for up to an hour or more, letting it stand for an hour or more or pickling the cucumbers for up to 4 weeks before eating. Well I don't generally have that kind of patience or time, and really wanted a pickle I could make and eat within the week. After much research, this is what I developed.

Lizzy M. Pickles

1 16 oz. Jar (A used, cleaned pickle jar will work fine or a mason jar with a rubber seal)
3 Tbsp pickling salt or Kosher salt

2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns

2 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
2-3 garlic cloves minced or grated (substitute 1 Tbsp garlic powder)
1 Tsp dill weed or 2 sprigs of fresh dill

1 dried bay leaf

1 Tbsp Tony's Chachere (cause I like it spicy!)
Dash of Tabasco (cause I like it hot!)
4-5 pickling cucumber cut into spears

White Vinegar

Make sure whatever container you choose to pickle in i
s clean and dry. First slice the pickling cucumbers in half lengthwise and then slice each half in half lengthwise creating a traditional spear shape of a pickle.

your jar add the first 9 ingredients which are all of the spices for the pickling process needed however there are other things you can add to your pickles depending upon how you like them. My recipe makes a spicy, garlicky pickle but if you prefer something sweet add a a few pinches of sugar and a few cloves instead of the garlic, Tony's and Tabasco.

Next add your speared pickling cucumbers. Pack as many as you can into the jar.

Fill th
e jar of pickles and spices half way with white vinegar, and then fill the rest of the jar with water. Close the jar lid tightly and shake up so the spices and vinegar distribute all throughout the jar. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours until tasting. I find that my pickles are
ady to eat after 24 hours but are the best after 3-4 days.

Try out this easy and affordable method and you may never w
ant to buy pre-made pickles again! For the okra lovers out there I also have a pickled okra recipe which is exactly the same as my pickle recipe but without the dill. Keep all of these spices and the vinegar as staples in your kitchen, collect a few pickle jars, and pick up fresh cucumbers once a month to have a constant supply of your very own pickles.

Keep the pickles and okra refrigerated and enjoy within 2 weeks!

Pickle away people!


A Spicy Brees Blew Through Philly

The second Sunday of football season entertaining went on as planned-for me any
way-with delicious food and a great game!

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles played the New Orleans
Saints in the Eagles’ home opener. The skies were blue, and the temperature was perfection and the Brees as in
Drew Brees was on fire.
Like a true New Orleans girl, I woke up early-around 10am , put on my black Saints t-shirt and gold earrings and began game-day meal preparations. The spread included Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (a spin on my Dad’s recipe) and Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins.

A Creole Jambalaya, similar to Paella, generally consists of vegetables, meats, seafood, rice, stock and spices. The base of Jambalaya and most Cajun Creole dishes starts with the holy trinity, which is chopped celery, bell pepper, and onion. There are many variations of the Jambalaya and every Louisiana family has their own way of preparing it. Traditionally, my Dad would make Jambalaya on Mardi Gras Day for family and friends stopping by to visit and watch the parades. I have changed up the recipe a bit over the years to suit my cooking style.

Lizzy M.’s Jambalaya

2 Cups chopped yellow onion

2 Cups chopped green or red bell pepper

2 Cups chopped celery

1 Cup chopped parsley

1 Cup chopped green onion

1/2 Cup chopped celery tops

3-4 Minced or grated garlic cloves

1 1/2 Cups chicken stock

2 Cups beef stock

1 Large boneless skinless chicken breast

1 Package sliced Andouille, Kielbasa or smoked sausage

2 Cups uncooked long grain white rice

2 Tbsp thyme

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp Paprika

1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning or Tony’s Chachere

1 Tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tsp allspice

1 Tsp cayenne pepper (minced fresh or ground)

4 Dried bay leaves

4-5 pads (slices) butter

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sautéing

Tabasco to taste

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start by prepping the holy trinity. Chop 2-3 yellow onions, 1-2 green or red bell peppers, and 3-4 celery stalks. How much you use will depend upon the size of your vegetables. The goal is to make about 2 cups of each vegetable. Chop one cup of parsley and one cup of green onions and set aside. Also, make sure to save the leafy tops of the celery stalks. Chop the celery tops and set aside as well.

In a small sauce or stockpot, heat 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of beef

stock. Use bouillon cubes, broth or stock-whatever you have.

To prepare the chicken, season one large boneless chicken breast with salt,

pepper, garlic, Cajun seasoning or Tony’s Chachere. Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Place the seasoned side of the chicken down in the skillet. At this time, season the other side and cover skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes or until slightly browned. Flip the chicken and cook the other side ano

ther 4 minutes. Don't worry if it is not fully cooked because it will continue to cook in the oven. Turn the heat off and let the chicken sit in the covered pan until it has cooled.

While waiting for the chicken to cool down, heat a large skillet or pot and lightly coat the surface with extra virgin olive oil. Add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper into the oil as it heats. Once heated, add the celery. Stir to coat the celery with the oil. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. In this dish, you should season as you go to make sure every layer has plenty of flavor. Next add the yellow onions and pepper. Keep the heat on high and mix well.

Now it is time to season for real! Add 2 tablespoons of thyme and chili powder, 1 of tablespoon

paprika and Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon allspice and cayenne pepper (fresh or ground), 3-4 dried bay leaves, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Mix the spices well into the trinity mixture and cook down for about 5-7 minutes. Add 3-4 cloves of minced or grated garlic and lower heat. Cook for another minute and turn off heat. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large, deep casserole dish.

Next, slice one package of Andouille, Kielbasa or smoked sausage into disc or half moon sizes. Reheat the now empty skillet from the vegetables on medium-high heat and then add the sausage. Sprinkle a dash of Cajun seasoning and a few dashes of Tabasco into the cooking sausage. Let the sausage cook for about 5-7 minutes and then add into the casserole dish.

Remove the chicken breast from the covered skillet and dice. Add any remaining liquids from the chicken skillet into the casserole dish as well as the diced chicken. At this time, add 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and the heated chicken/beef stock. Carefully mix all the ingredients in the casserole dish.

Taste the mixture at this time to determine if more spices are needed.

I always add a pinch more of every spice at this time but it depends on how spicy you like it. Add a half of the

chopped portion of both the parsley and green onions and all of the celery tops.

Finally, add 2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice and mix well

so the rice is evenly distributed throughout the dish. Add 5 pads of

butter on top of the casserole.

Tightly cover with aluminum foil and cook in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Check the casserole half way through cooking time and stir well. The cooking time may vary depending upon your oven, so don’t be afraid to check on it. Once the rice is done, the Jambalaya

is good and ready.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

1 Package Jiffy Cornbread Mix

1 Egg

1/3 Cup milk

1 Diced Jalapeno

1 Handful shredded cheddar cheese

12 small cubes of cheddar cheese

Dash of chili powder and black pepper

For a jazzy supplement to the Jambalaya, try some cheddar jalapeno corn bread. I simply jazzed up my always on-hand store bought Jiffy cornbread by adding a diced jalapeno, a tablespoon of chili powder, black pepper, and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Instead of traditional cornbread for the game, I used my mini-muffin tin to make a perfect snack-sized shape to go perfectly with the Jambalaya. In the muffin tin, I poured half of the cornbread mixture into the cups and then dropped a little cube of cheddar cheese in the middle for each muffin. Then I added the remaining cornbread mixture on top and baked as directed on the package.

Even though my Eagles enthusiast friends and husband were bummed about the Saints’ victory over the Eagles with an ending score of 48-22, it seems that they were thoroughly distracted and cheered

up by my spicy Jambalaya. A cook is always complimented when there are no leftovers! Thank you to my friends for joining us and partaking in one of my favorite dishes of all.

You can take a girl out of New Orleans, but you can never take the New Orleans out of the girl!


Face the Swine

In late July, my husband and I were headed to my sister-in-law's wedding shower/BBQ/pool party, and our one contribution was to pick up and transport the roasted pig ordered by my mother-in-law. We didn't witness the roasting of the pig, however we retrieved Piggy from an Italian market already prepared as shown in the picture. I had gone to a party once before where a whole pig was served but I don't recall ever seeing the head, so this was my first experience seeing a roasted pig with its head intact. We pulled up to the Italian market in the suburbs of Philadelphia not knowing what to expect. Emotions stirred up inside me as my husband and the Italian market employee placed the pig into the back of my Subaru. I had to put the back seats down for the pig to fit. First of all, this pig was heavy weighing about 40 pounds including the weight of the board. Secondly, there was nothing covering the pig just the aluminum foil around the base of him making him totally out in the open in the back of my car. To top it all off, the pig’s mouth was stuffed with an apple or something and then little tomatoes were placed where Piggy’s eyes used to be. It was all very strange to me.

I am an animal lover through and through but I am in no way a vegetarian but do consciously try not to overindulge in meat. For some reason, the vision of this roasted pig disturbed me. I did try a bite of the pork but found it difficult to eat with the pig looking at me. How sad it is that I don’t hesitate to eat a pile of cooked bacon or scrapple (need to write about scrapple soon) at brunch, a big burger on 4th of July or ham at Easter. With the meat so removed from its origin, it is truly easy to forget how that food got to your plate. Piggy reminded me that day at the wedding shower. He reminded me what he had to go through.

I’m not saying that this event has caused me to not eat meat or take a stand against pig roasts or anything but I do think it is important to consider the conditions of which an animal is living in while on this earth. I have no way of knowing the conditions of Piggy’s life but do hope it was pleasant until the end. My goal now is to attempt to buy meat products from local farms where I know these animals are given the proper treatment and space needed to live a nice life. This can be more expensive, however, that alone will cause us to cut back on meat-eating which is ultimately better for the environment.

Since I was an attendee of the pig roast, I ended up taking home 2 large bags of shredded pork from the pig. The pig fed up to 100 people however only 30-40 people made it to the party, so everyone took home plenty of leftovers. The worst thing that could have happened would be to waste the meat having had this pig die for nothing, so we were happy to take the meat and freeze it for a later use. We ended up making Southern BBQ pulled pork sandwiches (see BBQ recipe below), and we will probably make a chili out of the remaining pork when it gets colder.

Rest in peace Piggy-you were delicious.



My love for okra blossoms more and more each day. Even as a kid, I loved eating tons of pickled okra which was readily available at grocery stores in New Orleans. 

I frequent my local produce junction biweekly and often buy large bags of whole fresh okra.  There was such an excess of okra in my fridge that I started to eat the okra raw which turns out to be an amazing, crunchy, delicious snack-try it!  I also started pickling my own okra since it is quite difficult to find in the Northeast. 

Okra has so much to offer!  Packed with Vitamin A, Potassium, and folic Acid, okra is a tasty addition to a healthy diet.  Okra is said to be excellent for eliminating inflammation in the stomach and lungs.  With all of okra's health benefits, pleasant taste, and satisfying crunch why aren't more people telling me how they love okra?  

I love it raw, pickled, fried, sauteed, stir fried, stewed, and in gumbo or soups.  I suggest trying your first okra dish simply by sauteing the okra in a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on high heat. This quick method retains the texture and nutritional elements of the fruit.  

First wash and cut the fresh whole okra.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan on medium to high heat.  Add a dash of crushed red pepper to the oil to heat the dish.  Next put the cut okra pieces in the saute pan and coat well with the oil.  Salt and pepper the okra at this time and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Add a quarter cup of water to the pan.  Cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.  Uncover and add 1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic and the tomatoes.  Mix the garlic to distribute it well throughout the pan.  The fresh garlic will burn easily, so watch carefully.  Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Feel free to onions, hot sauce or Tony's Chachere's.  If you don't know what Tony's Chachere is then you must learn!  Tony's Chachere's is the perfect Cajun seasoning mix nearly required for Cajun or Creole cooking.  Check out your local grocery store for it or even get it online.

Quick Okra and Tomatoes

16 oz. fresh whole okra, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (cut in half if large)
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp grated or minced garlic
1/4 cup water
dash of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste


Collard Greens from Garden to Plate

This summer our largest and fastest growing plant was indeed the Collard Greens. After harvesting the greens yesterday, I washed and prepped the greens for a simple side dish with a
dinner of Cajun chicken and
sweet and red potato mash.

Wash thoroughly and cut the greens into large square pieces and set aside.

3-4 slices or a quarter pound of pancetta (an Italian type of dry cured meat). This dish would work well with other salty fatty proteins like bacon or ham. Saute the pancetta until most of the fat is released into the pan about 5 minutes.

Add one cup of diced onions and season
with black pepper. Saute the onions until translucent. Add a third cup of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of sugar to the onions and pancetta. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Then add all the collard greens and a pinch of salt. Carefully turn the
collard greens around the pan until wilted down about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Collard Greens with Pancetta

16-18 oz. Fresh Collard Greens
3-4 slices or 1/4 lb. diced pancetta
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tsp grated or minced garlic
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Collard Greens from the garden to the plate. A Collard Green dish can be intimidating to attempt to cook. Most people think of the southern style collards boiled with ham hocks and pork belly cooking for 2 plus hours, a seemingly complicated recipe.

The greens form my garden were tender and less bitter than the usual collard which allowed me to skip the step of boiling the greens to remove the bitterness. Even if the collards were store bought, to keep the recipe simple, simply blanch the cut greens in salted water, drain well and then add to the pancetta and onion mixture.

Don't be afraid to take what you consider to be a complex dish and make it simple and quick to fit your lifestyle. Certainly, on occasion, slow cooking and following traditional recipes is doable on a long weekend or for a holiday but for everyday quick dinners, keep it simple. Change a traditional recipe or just make up your own to fit you!


First Game Day Meal of the Football Season

Today marks the start of regular season football, which means hosting Sunday game day gatherings at our humble city dwelling. It also means that I have the chance to please my friends and family with my skills in the kitchen. Our game day spread is usually themed based upon who our home team, the Philadelphia Eagles, plays. Today the Eagles slammed the Carolina Panthers but we didn't slam everything about the Carolina's because we indulged in Carolina style pulled BBQ pork with coleslaw on soft white bread.

We used leftover pulled pork from a pig roast we attended weeks ago. The leftover pork was immediately put in the freezer, and we wondered what in the world we could do with that 5 lbs of pork. The pork was already well seasoned from the pig roast, so my job was simply to make a dynamite BBQ sauce. My husband supplied the fresh white bread and coleslaw from the store.

I supplemented one bottle of traditional hickory smoked BBQ sauce with my own combination. I also added about a cup of water to thin out the sauce slightly. The sauce cooked slowly in the crock pot for an hour before adding the pulled pork. We kept the crock pot on low as the pork heated through. Pile the BBQ pork on a soft slice of white bread topped with a helping of coleslaw for a delicious game day dish!

Tune in next Sunday as my current city, Philadelphia, plays my hometown, New Orleans, in the second game of the regular season. The theme will be New Orleans!

Lizzy M.'s BBQ Sauce

1 cup Ketchup
3 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp Molasses
1 Beef Bullion Cube
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar


Notes from the Summer Garden

The perfection of a home grown tomato! More to come about our first garden...

This summer my husband and I planted our first urban garden with the help of my mother-in-law. Without her guidance and work ethic, we never would have been able (or thought) to remove the 17 bags of overgrown ivy from the patio. We attempted to practice the square foot gardening methods in our largest bed in which we planted spinach, radishes, Swiss chard, collard greens, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, eggplant, carrots, oregano and sage. The collard greens grew immediately and have continued to grow all summer, and even now are bigger than ever. The collard greens were much less bitter than your average collard which made cooking with them quite easy. Sauteing the greens in a bit of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, a spoonful of spicy mustard and a pinch of sugar was all these greens needed to be a simple and delicious side dish. The cayenne peppers were an unexpected success giving us 6 large red peppers. We froze these cayennes and hope to use them throughout the winter in our chili and other spicy New Orleans dishes that I love to cook.

In our other garden bed, we planted 6 tomato plants which have been the highlight of our gardening experience. The tomatoes were by far the most successful and satisfying plant to grow. These tomatoes were tasty and sweet with a very thin skin. If it weren't for the fat, thieving city squirrels, we would have had 4 more plump red tomatoes. The squirrels also stole each and every strawberry we grew from our potted strawberry plant. Next year we need to find new ways to combat the squirrel issue (guns/poison).

In planters, we tried to grow cucumbers however they were bizarre. We ended up with two semi-normal shaped cucumbers and the rest were strange golf ball sized yellowish green things. Our hope with the cucumbers was to grow enough to always have a jar of homemade pickles in the fridge. Oh well maybe next year.

For the next growing season, I think we will focus on tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers instead of trying so many different plants in such a small space. In doing this, I did learn that I have the gardening gene from my mother. What an accomplishment it is to grow and tend to something that will give you something beautiful and edible in the end if cared for properly. Gardening brings us back to the earth, back to the soil. These days we buy food in grocery stores having no clue who grew it, where it came from or how it got there and the worst of it-we usually don't care. After this gardening experience, I realize that I do want to know where my food comes from if it isn't from my garden. I do care.

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