Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Greening - Save some green - stay home and listen to the radio

Dear Folks,

I've blogged about before, and now with the holidays coming up and the cooler weather coming in when families are (hopefully) gathering for more quality time together, listening to old time radio is a great addition. Some of the grandparents will vividly remember the shows, and tell you what they were doing when they heard them.

I consider John Dunning to be the radio version of Turner Classic Movies. It is not just about selling radio programs, it is about preservation of an almost lost entertainment media that kept audiences enthralled.

Long before the TV series, radio had people 'hooked' on waiting for the next installment. From comedy, to romance and drama, westerns and holiday music shows, radio had everything TV and "live" performances had, with one exception - you had to use your imagination to visualize what was happening. Before movie and TV producers created thrills and laughter with visual effects, radio had to produce the effects audible -- and they did a great job of it too! Many of the original commercials are left in.

I'm hooked on the Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Nero Wolfe, also Texas Rangers, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny, and on and on. I load my purchased CD discs into computer and arrange for my entertainment for the morning while I work. The shows can also be loaded into the ubiquitous iPod, played on a DVD player (which has mp3 capabilities). If I'm cleaning the office I can put the shows on and it takes some of the boredom out of the work. (P.S. I really miss the most recent attempt at a Nero Wolfe series when it was taken off the TV - Sydney Greenstreet's Wolfe is spot on.)

Recently, John sent some ways people use the shows:

1. AT HOME: around the house, kitchen, or in the garden; old time radio fans enjoy a good radio yarn!

2. WORKING: writers, painters, photographers, teachers, and office workers all report enjoying old time radio shows during the day to boost productivity! Police officers have written to say they enjoy a good Dragnet episode while on the job and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar is the favorite show of an customer and real-life private detective!

3. EXERCISING: enjoy classic radio while on a walk or exercising--staying fit has never been so much fun.

4. TRAVELLING: commuting, riding the bus, train, RV'ing, or long-distance drives--nothing is better than old time radio!

5. BOATING: sailing and listen to old time radio shows on the open water!

6. CAMPING: share a spooky tale around the campfire with friends and family!

7. FALLING ASLEEP: insomnia be gone! Late at night, listening to the gentle humor of classic radio or your favorite radio show is the perfect way to rest!

8. CLASSROOM: educators worldwide (homeschoolers, K-12 school teachers, & college professors) use old time radio shows in their curriculum to enhance learning, illustrate American values and culture, and make history fun. (Catherine's note: Some of the information during the war years is eerily timely now.)

9. DOCTOR'S OFFICE: nothing distracts you from the dentists drill or waiting room boredom like a good radio show! Share old time radio shows with a recovering friend or family member if they're in the hospital! (Catherine's Note: One of our friends loads the mini iPod up with things so the patient can listen at will and without disturbing other patients. - how about comedy - they say laughter cures.)

10. WITH YOUR FAMILY: introduce classic radio show to a new generation and share old time radio shows with your family, loved ones, and friends.

11. My addition - THE GARDEN - if you are using your mini iPod while working in the garden, why not include some old time radio.

On the sidebar of this blog is a link to the free daily show posting by John at otrcat.

Visit the site and scroll the thousands of shows. There is a show or series which will appeal to everyone in the family or office. For starters check out the link to the holiday show pages here.

John gives you excellent and friendly customer service.

Hope you find the shows as entertaining as I do, don't forget to check out the free daily show.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Monday, September 28, 2009

Huevos Mercado Granjero aka Farmers Market Eggs

Dear Folks,

My simple recipe for a wholesome and satisfying meal is based on the traditional Huevos Rancheros (Ranch Eggs) a classic Mexican breakfast. Usually served on tortillas, I wanted something a little lighter, but still satisfying. I also wanted to obtain everything from local suppliers. I like this dish for any meal.

Shopping at the Mesa Friday Farmers Market on Center, I easily came up with the tasty fixins'.

The Ingredients:

Salsa = Lil‘ Sassy Salsa,

Eggs = Double Blessings Goats Milk Lotions and Soaps (and free-range eggs!),

Lettuce Mix = One Windmill Farm,

Bread = Classico Italiano, (480-244-9405, Marcello Greco)

Basil = from my gardens.

Add some fresh fruit from One Windmill or Big Happy's Farm (480-529-3321 - Kathy Porter)



half cup of salsa per person (choice of how much heat you would like)
2 eggs per person
2 slices of bread per person (I chose kalmata olive ciabatta)
1 cup+ of lettuce spring or baby green mix per person (I like a mound to almost fill the plate).
Fresh Basil finely shredded as garnish and added flavor

In a frying pan large enough to hold 2 - 6 eggs, bring salsa to a high simmer. Crack eggs into the salsa, cover and reduce to low simmer. Cook approximately 5 minutes until whites are fully cooked and the yolk is still soft (poached).

Place lettuce mix on plate, top with 2 eggs, and some of the salsa, and shredded basil, Serve with bread.

Add some fresh fruit for a fully satisfying meal.

Find an Arizona market near you at:

OR Nationally at:

What can you put together from your farmers markets' delicious offerings? Many options, all tasty, wholesome and locally produced!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady