After a long hiatus, I’m pleased to present another installment of Q&A with Grandma Pellegrini. Thanks for submitting all of your questions and apologies for the tardy response. Take it away Grandma P.! ~ Georgia

1. Hi Grandma P. Any suggestions for herbs that I can grow indoors in my kitchen without much fuss? Thank you in advance for your help.

Yes. You could have mint and basil and thyme, and rosemary would be in another pot. Also sage. You could have a long ceramic box and put them all in together and make a pretty display of it, or you could put them in separate pots. Put the thyme around the edges so that it spills over and makes a pretty display.

I have had them in a sunny window with sun all day. That’s what’s best for them.

I guess you could just plant them all at once. I think those would be the best ones, they’re the most useful.

2. What can I do with a potato?

I don’t eat them because they are night shades and aren’t good for arthritis. If you have a tendency toward arthritis, if you eat them, it aggravates you.

The thing that I really liked when I ate them was when we shredded them in the Cuisinart and we put the whole pile of them in the pan and then turn them over and you had a wonderful crispy thing. It had a name even but I can’t remember the name. My sister loved them.

You could also make a prince with it. Don’t you remember doing that in school? You could carve out a shape like a horse or a cat and you ink it and you use it to make a print on wallpaper. You put it in paint or ink or whatever. I remember my daughter making wrapping paper out of it. You use it as a block print, and carve it to make an animal or something.

3. I once saw on TV in Italy some people preserve tomatoes by smoking them. I can’t find anything about it. Have you ever heard of it?

I’ve never heard of that and can’t imagine that that would be a pleasant way to do it. I can’t picture why it would be tasty.

Note from Georgia: smoking is a very traditional way to preserve anything. I have a stove top smoker that works in any kitchen that I love and it would work well with whole tomatoes or any size. Here is a recipe with pictures on how it works. Here is the smoker.

4. Dear Grandma P,
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am itching for the perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe, any suggestions? Thanks!

Georgia has one on her web page that I like: Badass Biscuits

5. What are some of your favorite standbys for dinner?

Have several good sauces that you make ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. One would be pesto and one would be maybe a meat sauce. And then have them on hand to cook with pasta.

I also like stewed tomatoes. My father used to love that kind of tomatoes. He didn’t even cook them. You took the tomatoes straight from the can. I think there was bread in them. Scalloped tomatoes, that’s what they called them. You put squares of bread in a pan with the tomatoes, and with salt, and you could rub some garlic around in the pan. Then you heat it up if you want but the tomatoes are already cooked in the can. Then we had them in a side dish. But my father liked just plain tomatoes, straight from the can. But the dish with the bread was called scalloped tomatoes.

6. How can you start to live off the land? I know that’s a little vague, but where is a good starting point?

Start indoors in the early spring. Start seedlings, choose things that would be easy like tomato plants. Tomatoes are always rewarding and they can be started early and you could even buy plants from the nursery.

Start a small vegetable garden. Don’t forget zucchini! How rewarding that is…very many fruits for the space. You can plant a zucchini and have enough for the whole summer.

I remember my Brussels sprouts were fun to start with.

Carrots are more difficult because you have to make the soil very pliable.

Parsnips, oh boy I love parsnips. You have to prepare the soil but they last past the first frost and get sweeter.

Cucumbers and morning glory can grow up the pole beans, they’re tall and it looks lovely.

7. Hello there Grandma Pellegrini!
What is your favorite molasses cookie recipe? Thank you in advance!!!

Molasses makes things more chewy. So you could use a regular cookie recipe and change the sugar for the molasses and make it more chewy.

6. I live alone, but a friend passed on to me a whole (sliced) beef liver. Are there recipes for liver where the leftovers will freeze and reheat well?

I ate it when I was pregnant because it was supposed to be perfect for the babies but I hated it!

Georgia has one that will freeze well, she likes it: Liver Mousse


Thanks for your questions and thanks to Grandma for answering them. As always, you can submit your questions for next time on the sidebar!