This Week’s Menu & Front Yard Veg. News!
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4


When I planned my front yard vegetable garden this year it probably seemed willy nilly to you.  Random vegetables thrown in here and there.  Which it totally was.

But there was a bit of organization to my chaos.

Because I have such a small place to grow things in I had to be really discriminating about what I grew in my garden.  Tomatoes were a no brainer even though I don’t love tomatoes.  They’re so ridiculously versatile you’d have to be stupid not to grow them.

But what about the rest of the stuff?  How was I supposed to pick?  Normally this kind of a major decision could take me the better part of a decade and a good chunk of therapy appointments.

And then it hit me.  I knew EXACTLY what I was going to grow.

Some time in the late winter while I was browsing through seed catalogues and online stores I decided i would grow everything I needed to make my favourite soup … Fire Broth Soup.

And so I did.  I planted heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, red peppers, sweet potatoes, chili peppers, garlic, onions, oregano and sausage.

My zucchini croaked some time in July, I forgot to water my oregano and a racoon made off with all of my sausage.  I didn’t even get a chance to water the sausage.

However.  Not all was lost.  At this very moment, my mud room is holding my summer harvest.   I have tomatoes, red peppers, sweet potatoes, chili peppers, garlic and onions.  Pretty close to all of the ingredients to make Fire Broth Soup.

I learned more than a couple of things from my vegetable garden this year.  I learned Squash bugs stink like death when you cut them in half with a pair of scissors.  I learned to designate my scissors as “outdoor” scissors.   I learned everyone wants to know what that beautiful green shrub is.  It’s dinosaur kale.

And I learned you can lead a sausage to water but you can’t make more links.



Recipe Links


Fire Broth Soup

Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce


Have a good weekend and lemme know what you’re giving out for Halloween!  I’m still trying to think of something good!



  1. Kristina says:

    Dear Karen,
    With winer fast approaching and before the seed catalouges start flowing in my mailbox, I must, must, MUST, know which seed variety you plant for your sausage! I am specifically looking for Italian. Companion plantings of roma tomatoes,basil, oregano, etc & etal. So please let me know. This is important stuff, ya know!

    • Kristina says:

      PS. I already own the spaghetti trees.

    • Karen says:

      Kristina – It just so happens I planted Italian! They’re kind of like a potato, where you buy a seed sausage and cut it into a few pieces. Then just plant those chunks. But don’t shortcut like I did. When the sausage seed package says you have to bait, trap and build a fenced condo community for the area racoons they mean it. Don’t even attempt to grow sausage without first putting up the racoons in a nice place. In my experience the best companion plantings have been mustard and buns. ~ karen

  2. Katie says:

    We’re giving out small bags of cotton candy for Halloween! I bought extra for my son’s 2nd Birthday Carnival party so that we would be the best house on the block… we’re the newest neighbors so I have to make our first Halloween really count.

    • Lynne says:

      Katie !
      There is such thing as ‘small bags of cotton candy’ ?!! I want to come to YOUR house for halloween. Where did you find those? Mouth is watering….

  3. Valerie says:

    I am giving out bright neon markers….dollar store items. Seems expensive perhaps but we live rurally and don’t receive many children at the door.
    If you want to help your dentist with his retirement savings then give out raisins…they stick in between the teeth and cause cavities…never give out raisins. Continuing in this vein with a move away from the traditional candy route, one could give out toothbrushes. We all have many given to us. probably still in the cellophane when we have our teeth cleaned.

  4. Sue T. says:

    Karen, I don’t think I need to buy candy this year… BIG storm ‘Sandy’ is headed straight towards south central Pennsylvania !! I have a feeling we’ll all be too cold, wet, and windblown to think about trick or treat. You can send me a chocolate bar if there’s one left. Hope everyone up there has a fun time.

    • Karen says:

      Good luck with the storm Sue T. It’s brushing by here. Just enough to make things miserable with high winds and a lot of rain. In fact, it’s effects are here now. Miserable out and supposed to be for the next 4 days. Hope it’s not too bad for you. ~ karen

      • Sue T. says:

        Thanks Karen. Really hope I don’t lose power ( although that’s the prediction ), I would be having withdrawal from TAODS on top of everything else ! Hope you truly know just how much WE ALL enjoy, look forward to, and need you and your humor each day …THANK YOU, Sue

      • FLP says:

        Good Bogs day in Southern Ontario.

        • Karen says:

          Funny you should say that. I *just* pulled my Bogs off! I just came inside from taking pictures outside. Very Boggy. ~ karen!

  5. Cheryl says:

    It is 1:48a.m. here in Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States. I have been awake way since yesterday.

    I just want to tell you something before I go to bed.

    YOU CRACK ME UP!!!! (Isn’t that a totally weird expression?) I’ll research this tommorw.

    I am sure I will dream about sausages tonight. “You can lead a sausage to water, but you can’t make more links”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHHAHHA
    Good night, Karen! Thank you for putting a smile on my face before I went to bed.

  6. Tracy says:

    I think you have to be careful not to water sausage too much, though, or else it’ll burst it’s skin and flower into a sausage patty instead of a nice link.

  7. kathryn says:

    i know someone who each year hands out hard-boiled brussels sprouts covered in chocolate. how about trying some chocolate-covered squash bugs?

  8. Patty 49 says:

    We always give out a couple of chocolate bars and a bag of chips. Kids like to get more than one thing at each house. I buy lots and wait for the “big kids” to come around 9 or 9:30 and give them everything that’s left. Everybody hates the big kids but I love ’em!

    • judy says:

      i need to remember that big kids remark! they normally get on my nerves..with 2 pillow cases bulging with treats …’one for me and one for my ‘sick’ baby sister..’ yeah-right! Ok this year, i’m gonna be a little nicer; why i was a big kid once! So i’ll save a few of the reeces peanut butter cups just for the first 6 big kids to ring the bell…but the light goes out at 9:00. gotta get the beauty sleep (and see what candy is left) Oh yes, other than reeces, my grandkids love ‘smarties’ happy h!

      • KJ says:

        Awww … my 10 year old daughter WAS sick this Halloween with a fever of 104. And yes, her brother did collect a bag of candy for her. She was so upset about missing Trick or Treating that her doctor wrote a “sick” note on her prescription pad for my son to take with him.

        And I agree about the “big” kids. What else are they supposed to be doing on Halloween? Trick or Treating seems like pretty harmless fun to me.

  9. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    What great news!!! Can’t wait to tell my guys that you taught us how to grow sausage in the garden..I’ll have to plant Hot ones for my son..Italian for my fella..and I will have to do some country style to make my Stuffed Pig Stomach..YUM..and yes that is a real recipe here in PA..As for Halloween..we don’t get any kids since we moved here..very disappointing..but Karen..if you want to be real popular with the kids..we used to give out the mini size bags of microwave popcorn..They absolutely loved it..much better than candy for them..Have fun doing Trick-or-Treat!!

  10. SuzyMcQ says:

    You know how there are little seeds inside Italian sausage? Someone told me a long time ago that they were anise, but I knew better. They are sausage seeds, a very well-kept secret so that we continue to purchase sausage rather than growing our own.

    But, the little things inside tomatoes….they are not seeds but there for flavoring only.

  11. Winegirl says:

    Wow – sausage is a new one on me… I’m still trying to grow those black olives with the pits in them. Typically we give out fun size candy bars, but with Frankenstorm on the way… may not have many kids. ALSO, leaving the next day for a cruise. It’s all good!

  12. Susan says:

    Can I have some of those sausage seeds? What a great idea…grow our own and we wouldn’t have to worry about all those fabulous microbes that our inspectors keep missing in our meat plants! They could grow right beside my illegal backyard chickens!hahaha! Oh and by the way I make and give out my own candied apples. Complete with my name and address and telephone number printed on the stick so some Mother does throw it away. I never used to get any kids on my dark and lonely street but now the fathers come from far and wide to let their kids get a candy apple. I wonder if the newborn baby from last year has eaten his yet? Happy Hallowe’en!

    • Karen says:

      I’m leaning towards the microwave popcorn. I like that idea. I also have a bunch of black sparkly skeletons I bought on sale last year with the hopes of turning them into a garland. Never happened … maybe I’ll give out those too! Get ’em out of my basement. ~ karen! p.s. Cuddles laid her first egg in 3 weeks today! It’s extra blue.

  13. Laura P. says:

    Along with the usual assortment of candy (rockets, tootsie rolls, suckers) we’ll be handing out coupons for a free copy of the video game Plants vs. Zombies, sponsored by the American Dental Association ( I’ll probably get the game for myself, too!

  14. If the fella doesn’t want shrimp, I’m available. This is one of my favourite dishes!

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