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I’m back!

In case you’ve been wondering, I took a three week hiatus to help my husband put a new roof on our house. Mostly by ourselves and with the help of family and friends on weekends. Yep, we’re crazy.

We went from this…

Tearing off two layers of shingles-what a mess.

to this…

New sheeting, weather-proof paper, and new shingles. Check out the scissors lift!

to this.

All done. The shingles are Owens-Corning Colonial Slate. Yep, I picked it because it’s colonial!!

I spent a lot of time up there, thinking about the pioneers and the pilgrims, building their own homes together without a Lowe’s or Home Depot within a 10 minute drive for supplies-and without a pizza place or burger joint to supply them with food after a long day’s work.  For once, I’m glad to live in modern times.

I was happy to finish because it meant I could get back into the kitchen and the garden! I managed to make one last harvest before the garden goes dead for the winter.  Armed with okra and tomatoes, I got cooking.

I found this recipe in “The Virginia Housewife” by Mary Randolph, published in 1860. You might also call this “the easiest vegetable side dish ever created.”

Here’s the original instructions: Take an equal quantity of each, let the ochra be young, slice it, and skin the tomatos; put them into a pan without water, add a lump of butter, an onion chopped fine, some pepper and salt, and stew them one hour.

• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 6-8 young okra pods, sliced
• 1 can stewed tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Salt and pepper to taste


Place the onion in the pot.

Red onions are prettiest, don’t you think?

Then the okra!


Next come the tomatoes.
Top with the butter and salt and pepper.

Such a pretty dish!

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for one hour.

This tasted like ratatouille, without all the work