Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Finally, It's Spring in Central Pennsylvania!

It's springtime! Everything around us in Central Pennsylvania whispers of the beginning of spring ever since the calendar has been turned to April. The onion snow has melted, and warmer temperatures have antsy homeowners mowing lawns and inspecting the flora and fauna in their yards.

The rhubarb has valiantly pushed itself out of the ground, fearless of freezing nights. Fiddleheads have recently appeared, along with the first dandelions the bees have patiently been waiting for.
 Lilac bushes are decked out in green buds and tiny purple blossom tips which will transform into delicate, lavender flowers to make the evening air smell sweet and pleasurable. Daffodils and the tiny Muscari Latifolium, from the grape hyacinth clan, have popped up and spread out low to the still-chilly ground.

The chickadees and cardinals, two of the first birds to appear each spring, have found the seed feeders and persistently call to their respective mates. Sparrows sing a merry tune while a nearby wren just chatters her displeasure like a cranky child.

Canada geese, winging north, honk out a lonesome sound  and skim the trees looking for the safety of water where they’ll rest for the night before taking flight the next day. And in the swamps, marshes and pond perimeters, the peepers send up a nightly chorus of a song reminding everyone that finally—yes, it’s springtime in Pennsylvania. Finally!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy Easter with Polish Haluski - Fried Cabbage, Ham & Noodles

Two Recipes

            Haluski (Recipe 1)
2 1/2 Cups fully cooked ham, cubed small
     (Note: bacon or sausage can be substituted)
1 3/4 cups white onion, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds cabbage, cut into bite-sized 
1 teaspoons salt  (if using bacon delete 
       this ingredient)    
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon freshly black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
8 ounces dry egg noodles


In a large skillet, over medium high-heat, cook the ham cubes in 3 tablespoons of the butter until they start to slightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter more to the pan, then add in the minced garlic, onions and sauté for roughly 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, oil, salt and both peppers, mix then cover reduce to medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package, then drain. Once cabbage mixture is tender, add in the drained noodles. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and cook for about 2 minutes. 

Haluski  (Recipe 2)
Happy Easter!


4 cups egg noodles
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sliced sweet onions, about 1/8 inch thick
2 teaspoons brown sugar
6 cups cabbage, sliced thin
1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
1 cup diced ham, sausage or bacon (optional)

  1. Cook egg noodles according to package directions, then drizzle with a bit of oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together and set aside.
  2. While noodles are cooking, melt butter in large deep skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add onion, sprinkle with brown sugar and saute, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened and just beginning to turn golden. Add optional desired meet at this point.
  4. Add cabbage to skillet, stirring well to incorporate with onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in caraway seeds if using, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Turn heat back to medium, add cooked noodles, salt and pepper, and stir well until noodles are heated though. Serve hot.  Makes 4 servings.