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The Plants Bees Love

In this day and time, I would hope gardeners understand the importance of bees and other insects in the garden. However, from time to time, a person comes into the nursery and asks for plants that will NOT attract bees (sigh). They are not really gardeners though, they are just looking for a plant to fill a space. I find myself more and more intrigued by bees although I don't know that much about the different types. I do make note of plants that they like and try to add as many as I can to the garden. Over the past weeks, with watering a daily activity amidst a lingering heat-wave, I've conducted an informal survey and noted the plants that they seem to like the most. Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) is one of my favorite perennials and the bees love it too. I don't think I've ever seen a butterfly on it but we don't seem to have many of those. Everybody wants the "Showy Milkweed" (Asclepias speciosa) but I knew

Happy Thanksgiving

I spent the day in the kitchen yesterday and made our entire Thanksgiving meal. This is unusual for me since I'm not good at multi-tasking. We didn't have any Thanksgiving plans this year so we had a great dinner last night and now we have leftovers!

I posted yesterday on Facebook about my Broccoli Salad and Cranberry Sauce. I will repost those recipes here. I also made dressing for the first time in my life and I made it in the crockpot. It was fantastic! Michael said that it reminded him of his mother's which was the ultimate compliment.

We also made Alton Brown's Green Bean Casserole (with some changes) and it was wonderful. I will have to post that recipe another time since I'm not sure exactly how Michael did it. 

And, of course, turkey.

Slow Cooker Cornbread Dressing

6 cups prepared cornbread (Michael made me some cornbread the previous night. You can also use Jiffy mix cornbread but I suspect it would not be as tasty).
8 slices of day-old bread (I just used regular loaf bread)
4 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 TSP. of poultry seasoning or Sage (I used a combination of both)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 10 1/2-oz. cans of cream of chicken soup
2 10 1/2-oz cans of chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt

*Lay your bread out on the counter the night before you prepare the dressing so that it will dry.
*Crumble the breads.
*Add all other ingredients except butter. Salt to taste.
*Pour into a sprayed crock pot.
*Dot with butter.
*Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Broccoli Salad - my favorite side dish!

1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces, washed and driedb
bacon (6-8 slices)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (blades)

1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
2 TBS. cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Cook bacon, cool and crumble.
Toss broccoli, bacon, onions, raisins and pecans.
Whisk together the vingegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Pour over the broccoli mixture and refrigerate.
Chill overnight.

Cranberry Sauce

1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
1/2  cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange 

1/2 cup water
2 T. Grand Marnier liquor (optional)

Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Plop all the ingredients into a heavy stock pot. Simmer on low (be sure to cover!) for about twenty minutes. You will hear the berries start popping and that is OK. Stir occasionally and make sure heat is very low. Refrigerate. Can be made up to four days ahead.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. It all looks very good! I love my slow cooker and cook everything I can in it. I'll try the dressing.

  2. looks like y'all ate good at your house. enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  3. I see that you and Michael ate royally. It all looks and sounds yummy. I made your Pimento Cheese and served for an appetizer today. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. That broccoli salad sounds great. I might have to try that too. It is good that you had such a delicious Thanksgiving. Cheers.

  4. Thanks for the recipes, Phillip. Glad you had such a tasty Thanksgiving!

  5. I love broccoli salad and that looks delicious! Happy thanksgiving!


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