Nothing better than homegrown veggies

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

When I was at the store recently, I couldn’t believe that asparagus was $4.98 a pound!

People need to plant some in their own homes, by your garage side or even in a small space in a flower garden. My friend Debby Knapp always brings me a bunch from her garden every year — my family loves it and I either steam it or fry it in margarine.

When my father lived with me, he raised a small garden in my backyard. He took good care of it and kept it weed free. I would can or freeze the veggies he grew. There’s nothing better than homegrown vegetables! My favorite are green beans cooked with Canadian bacon and red or new potatoes. Served with white cornbread, it’s a meal in itself.

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I put in this column. One shelf on a bookcase that holds some of my many cookbooks broke not too long ago — what a mess I had to clean up! The books were too heavy, I guess, so I had to put them on another stand. I will need to find a heavy-duty one sometime.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes!

Easy Strawberry Pie

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 cup water

• 3 tbsp. cornstarch

• 1/4 cup strawberry gelatin

• 5 cups fresh strawberries, halved

• 1 baked 9-inch pie crust

• Whipped cream

Bring first three ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook (stirring constantly) for one minute or until thickened. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Arrange strawberries in pie crust and pour gelatin mixture over the strawberries. Cover and chill for two hours. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Banana Split Salad

• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drained

• 10 oz. package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and not drained

• 2 medium bananas, coarsely chopped

• 12 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed

• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until blended. Stir in pineapple, strawberries, and bananas. Gently fold in whipped topping and walnuts. Pour mixture into an ungreased 9×13 dish. Cover and freeze eight hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Herb Salad Dressing Mix

• 1/2 cup dried parsley flakes

• 1/4 cup freeze dried chives

• 1 tbsp. dried dill weed

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/8 tsp. pepper

Stir together all ingredients and store in an airtight container up to six months. Dressing: Whisk together 2 tbsp. herbed salad dressing mix, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, and 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream. Chill two hours.

Down-Home Succotash

• 10 oz. package frozen petite lima beans

• 16 oz. package frozen yellow and white corn thawed

• 2 tbsp. margarine or butter

• 2 tbsp. flour

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. seasoned pepper or black pepper

• 1 1/4 cup milk

Cook lima beans as directed on package. Drain. Pulse corn in a food processor eight to 10 minutes or until coarsely chopped. Melt margarine in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour stirring until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in corn and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until corn is tender and mixture is thickened, stirring often. Stir in drained lima beans. Garnish with cooked crumbled bacon if desired and serve immediately.

Crispy Onion Baked Chicken

• 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (prepared)

• 14 oz. package dry onion soup mix

• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

• 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine bread crumbs and soup mix in a large zip top plastic bag. Seal and shake well. Brush chicken breasts with mayonnaise. Place chicken breasts one at a time into bag. Seal and shake to coat. Arrange chicken on an ungreased rack in a a broiler pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.

Peppered Rib-Eye Steaks

• 1 tbsp. garlic powder

• 1 tbsp. dried thyme

• 2 tsp. ground black pepper

• 1 1/2 tsp. each salt, lemon pepper, ground red pepper, dried parsley flakes

• 6 1 1/2 in thick rib-eye steaks

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

Combine first eight ingredients. Brush steaks with oil. Rub with seasoning mixture. Cover and chill one hour. Preheat the grill. Grill steaks, covered, over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees) for six to eight minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case