Fresh From the Garden…or Crock Pot

I kept trying to think of a topic to write about and was coming up blank. During all this scouring of my brain, I was in the process of cooking one of my favourite summer meals: Hodge Podge. And then it clicked! I”ll do a recipe post, I told myself, and give the P&P readers two of my favourites! Problem solved!

Except both of these recipes aren”t actually written down anywhere. I just add whatever amounts seem right. So bear with me – the good news is you really can”t screw either of these up if you get a little too much of anything.

The first one is for Hodge Podge, or what some people call Poor Man”s Stew (because it doesn”t have any meat). We always just called it Beans, Peas and Potatoes and we only had it when the garden was on. Creative bunch, our family.  And you MUST have it with fresh bread. The nice, soft, white kind like your Grandmother used to make. Ready?


Approx 4-6 cups green or yellow wax beans, FRESH, stemmed and cut into <1 inch pieces

Approx 3 cups shelled peas (again, FRESH)

Six good sized new potatoes


Milk AND cream

Salt and Pepper

Prepare beans, wash, then put to boil in a large pot. Make sure you have enough water to cook ALL ingredients, not just the beans.

After they come to a boil, cook approximately ten minutes, then add peas.

Cook another ten minutes and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain.

Add: a knob of butter (you can use margarine, but real butter is AWESOME), and begin with 1 cup of milk (we drink 1%, so that”s what we use) and 1 cup of cream (we use 5% fat cream in our coffee, so we use that, but a richer 10% or so is better). Use as much milk/cream as it takes to make it as wet as a stew but not brothy like a soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with that fab bread and butter, which is particularly good for sopping up the salty milk at the bottom of the bowl.

And my other go-to recipe in the summer, especially for feeding a crowd. Our favourite thing to serve it with is fresh coleslaw or a tossed salad.


One 2-3 pound pork shoulder or butt  (You can use a leaner loin roast but it won”t shred as easily)


Steak spice


Salt and pepper

1 bottle of your favourite barbecue sauce (we use one that is called Kansas City Barbeque, which is very dark and rich)

Put the roast in your crock pot, and add about 1 inch of water. Sprinkle roast with a little steak spice, 1 clove of fresh garlic (or equivalent of dried/minced), and a little salt and pepper. Let simmer 6 hours.

Remove roast to a large bowl (a bowl keeps the juices in) and drain most of the broth out of the crock pot (you don”t want this too watery!). Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Put back in the crock pot and pour in the sauce. Stir it in and then let cook another hour in the sauce.

Serve on your favourite bun – we like whole wheat kaiser rolls just lightly toasted. We”ve doubled this recipe and it fed nine hungry people (including teenagers, who eat like nematodes).


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Award-winning author Donna Alward has the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. In 2001 she penned her first novel and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and now writes heartwarming Romances from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at or through her publisher.

Twitter: @DonnaAlward

5 thoughts on “Fresh From the Garden…or Crock Pot”

  1. Both sound yummy. I have a similar pulled pork/beef recipe we make and enjoy. Have not had the Hodge Podge, but it sounds like something we’d enjoy. I used to bake fresh bread all the time, but quit. I eat it. I love bread and will eat it for all three meals. I usually don’t keep really good around – too much temptation. There are, however, dishes that just need it and Hodge Podge sounds like one of them.. Our beans didn’t do much this year. We replanted and have a fall crop of peas in. Hopefully they will all come together when it is time to pick potatoes.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Winnie, that’s exactly how I cook!

    Renee, I bought the veggies to do it when I was in the valley last week. It was sooo good. I think next year the dh is going to build me a box garden so we can finally start growing our own!

    Kirsten and Patricia – if you try it, come back and let me know how you liked it!

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