Busy Gardens


2 eggs, beaten

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt

1 c. canola oil

1 c. grated carrots

1 c. grated zucchini

4 c. all-purpose white flour

1 c. white sugar

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 c. coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 18-24 muffin cups or line with paper. In large mixing bowl mix together eggs, yogurt and oil; stir in carrots and zucchini. Set aside. In another bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir until just combined; batter will be lumpy. Stir in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tester inserted into middle comes out clean. (from Old Farmer’s Almanac Web site)


5 lbs. apples

5 c. water

9 c. sugar

1 (1 3/4 oz) pkg. powdered pectin

Remove stems and blossom ends from apples. Cut into small pieces (do not peel or core). Place in a large pot with the water. Bring to boil, reduce  heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Crush cooked apples with potato masher and simmer for 5 minutes more. Pour apple mixture into cheesecloth and let drain into a cooking pot until dripping stops. Press very gently to get the last few drops of juice. Measure juice and add water if necessary (no more than 1/2 c.) to make 7 c. Measure sugar into bowl. Stir pectin into apple juice and bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar to juice and return to full boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Immediately ladle into hot sterilized 1/2-pint jars and seal. Invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. (It is recommended you do a boiling water bath for proper sealing.)


8 (6” long) crookneck or zucchini squash or 8 large patty pan squash

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 eggs

2 c. (1 lb) Ricotta cheese

1/4 c. grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Salt/pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. dry basil

1/2 tsp. oregano leaves

1 Tbsp. butter

Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

Scrub dirt from squash; trim ends and cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and part of pulp, leaving shells about 1/2” thick. Steam shells over boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Plunge in cold water, drain well, set aside. In small frying pan over medium heat saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is limp. Squeeze spinach to remove excess moisture. Add spinach to onion mixture and cook for 1 minute; let cool. In bowl, combine eggs with Ricotta until well blended. Stir in Parmesan, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, pepper and spinach mixture. Fill squash shells with about 3 Tbsp. of filling per squash. Arrange shells in shallow baking pan. Melt butter and brush over cut surfaces of squash. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate. Bake, uncovered, in 350° oven for 20 minutes (30 if refrigerated). While squash is baking, prepare tomato sauce to spoon over squash before serving. Serves 8. (If using fresh spinach, cook before using.)


1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 tsp. dry basil

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 tsp. oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

In 1-qt. pan simmer together for 5 minutes all ingredients.


6 ears fresh corn in the husk

Flavored Butter


6 Tbsp. unsalted or sea salt butter, softened

1/2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt

2 tsp. crushed aleppo or cayenne pepper

Stir together butter, salt and pepper. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature 3 hours to allow flavors to meld or refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.  Peel husks from tip of each cob to base but do not detach from each cob. Remove and discard any damaged or discolored outer husks. Thoroughly remove all silks from each ear of corn (a nubby kitchen towel rubbed briskly between rows of kernels works well). Pull husks back up over corn and tie ends with strips of husks or cotton kitchen string. In large kettle bring 6 qts. of water to boiling and add 3 Tbsp. kosher salt (noniodized). Add corn; cook 10 minutes. Using tongs remove corn and let drain briefly. Serve with Flavored Butter. Makes 6 servings. (from Better Homes & Gardens)


2 lbs. red potatoes, quartered

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. salad dressing

1/4 c. chicken broth

2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Cook potatoes until partly done. Drain off water. Mix remaining ingredients, stir in potatoes, cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Drain, reserving salad dressing mixture. Arrange potatoes on skewers. Place on grill over hot coals. Grill, covered, for 4 minutes. Rotate skewers, brush with reserved salad dressing mixture. Continue grilling until done and brown.