Monday, June 21, 2010


Just to warn you, this is post is full of shameless self-promotion. (Oh, wait, ALL blogs are shameless self-promotion. Right. Carry on!)

However, it is also an invitation to a party!

Come join me on Saturday, July 3, for music and a celebration of Independence Day and the re-dedication of the Victory Garden at Peterson and Campbell on Chicago's north side. The project is called Peterson Garden, and it is a testament to what enthusiastic people can when they set their minds to something (create vegetable gardens for 140 families out of an abandoned plot), and to the power of social media, because everyone involved pretty much got connected on line through Twitter, Facebook, and Chicago's wonderful garden blog community.

Come join me, LaManda Joy, Alderman Pat O'Connor and a few hundred (we hope) of our closest friends.

We will not be serving this, but there will be plenty of typical Fourth of July potluck (in fact, bring something yourself!)

Parsnips with chard and bacon
Adapted from Good Housekeeping's "Little Rock" stuffing. I made it as a side dish, without the bread stuffing, but it was so delicious it's on this year's Thanksgiving menu as a stuffing.

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and diced (about 4 large parsnips)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
large basket full of swiss chard (remove stems and cut into 2" pieces)
chicken broth (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
seasoning (I used dill today, because it was ready in the garden)

Saute the bacon until crisp. Add the diced parsnips, celery and onion and cook about 15 minutes until they are soft and have started to carmelize. Add swiss chard; cook 2 minutes or until the chard is bright green and has wilted.

Add 1/4 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then dredge with about 1-2 tablespoons of flour and stir until it thickens. Add more broth until it's a consistency you like.

Serve as a side dish with chicken or steak.


  1. Mmmm... bacon. I didn't realize you were so involved in the Peterson garden, but it sounds wonderful. Wish I could make it. Won't be back in Chi until late August (or so--I think).

  2. Oh this is so perfect, Xan! I'll be linking this for Unearthing a Garden!!