August On The Farm

August 16, 2022

Farm to table. This trendy term isn’t new to those of us who live on a farm. Many meals prepared here come directly from the field to the table daily. No shopping at a grocery store or warehouse. And if I am fortunate to grow the right herbs, there is no need to add store-bought spices.

It took me seventy years to get a KitchenAid mixer, and that spiralizer attachment is getting a workout this summer.

One of my favorite lunches starts by spiralizing curls of zucchini. Then I heat a little olive oil, add chopped onions, toss in the zucchini and some seasoning, and voila!  Cut up a few garden-fresh tomatoes, and it becomes a feast – to me, at least—no carbs, just fresh from the garden – farm to table. And what farm (or backyard garden plot) doesn’t have a surplus of zucchini?

Our family, who lived in the hollers of North Carolina, grew just about everything they ate. What they didn’t eat farm to table, they canned, jellied, or preserved. That was how life was on the farm, then and now.

My husband told the story of visiting his Grandma Smith in Marshall, North Carolina when he was a boy. He loved going to her “grocery store.” In her cellar, he saw rows after rows of home-canned goods and chose what he thought they should have for dinner that night. She knew how to raise, grow, and preserve everything.

Despite – or perhaps because of – living through the Great Depression and one or two world wars, that generation knew how to make do, how to do without, and how to maintain joy for life on the farm – lessons so many of us need to embrace today.

I’d like to share my grandmother’s Refrigerator Pickle recipe with you. I don’t think she would mind; she’d share anything she had.


7 c. sliced cucumbers                                      1 TBS. salt

1 c. sliced onion rings                                     1 TBS. celery seed

1 c. diced green pepper                                   2 c. sugar

1 c. white vinegar

Wash vegetables. Slice cucumbers; chop pepper. Peel and slice onion. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for one week, then eat.

Cucumbers are plentiful these days on the farm. On hot summer nights, I enjoy a cold Cucumber/Onion Salad. I just slice some small cukes and sweet onion, add a splash of white vinegar, a splash of red vinegar, a pinch of sugar to taste, and salt and pepper—another delicious-and-quick farm-to-table treat.

Bon appetite.

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  1. Yum! I would love to get back to gardening. There is nothing like eating a cherry tomato off the vine or enjoying the canning and preserving of your very own home grown veggies. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    • Lestie, thank you for commenting on the blog. My sons question my giving away family recipes, but my Grandma was all about sharing, so they will have to get over that!
      I enjoy your audio posts and the ASL connection. I am interested in learning more.

      May God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.


  2. Your recipes had my mouth watering. I grew up in a family that grew and canned vegetables too. That’s why I shop at farmer’s markets whenever I have a chance.

    • Candyce, so glad the blog ‘wet your appetite.’ I have taken the Master Canner certification from MSU, but my daughter-in-law, Cari, now has become the master in that department. Continued prayers for you, your family, and your ministry.


  3. I have more files than I know what to do! I thought Paul would eat them but he can’t keep up! 😂 I’m going to try your recipe, even though I’m not a pickle fan. He is!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Marci, I knew what you meant, PICKLES! Let me know how you like the pickles.


  4. More PICKLES! Sorry for the typo above!

    • Marci, I laughed at your typo! I love spell check; not sure where I would be on this author journey without it!

      (haha, I spelled my name wrong, and it corrected it for me! I’m just saying…)

  5. I still enjoy those yummy pickles.. Thanks for sharing the receipe with others so they can enjoy them also. Enjoying all your posts, blogs, articles and books….your writings are a blessing. Please continue to use your gifts of writing and speaking to reach out to others.

    • Aunt Mattie, I am glad you are okay with me sharing the family recipe. It first appeared in the Woman’s Auxiliary Rouge Free Will Baptist Church’s Cooking with Love cookbook II, issued in 1978.

      Thank you for all of your encouraging words and prayers.