PLANET GARDEN: Eco-Friendly Resource Guide

Planet Garden ‘That’s a Strudel!’

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on December 17, 2009

If you have never seen a little ball of dough stretched to the size of the kitchen table, you can watch Cathy, from Bread of Life Cooking School, make a Christmas Apple Strudel online by visiting:
Raisins, apples, butter and cinnamon make this a tried and true recipe that is simple to make for a delightful holiday favorite. Our Kitchen Show audience loved this demonstration given by Bread of Life Cooking School Artisan, Cathy Kreismanis. Traditional Christmas Apple Strudel makes a Cottage Baked Goods alternative to apple pies using farm fresh apples from Bluebird Market.
Cathy showed me pictures of her with a former President’s wife as a catering expert using all of her cooking skills to serve delicious and lovely foods at functions given by our former First Lady. It was an honor and delight for Cathy to share her skills and knowledge with us at Bluebird Market and we were thrilled with the gorgeous Christmas Apple Strudel that tasted flaky and delicious because of the homemade layer of crust that Cathy prepared. Enjoy baking for your family using secrets that helped serve our former First Family.
Cathy’s Christmas Apple Strudel 

  ~ Dough:
  2 cups flour
  ½ t. salt
  1 egg
  2 Tbsp. oil
  ½ cup warm water
  ~ Butter
  ~ Apple Filling:
  1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  5 to 6 apples, sliced thin
  ¼ cup raisins
  ½ cup nuts
  ½ cup sugar
  1 t. cinnamon
  ~ powdered sugar, apple, cranberries, evergreens for garnish


Mix all together and knead well for several minutes. Let rest covered for 1 hour! Roll out thin on floured cloth. Brush with melted butter.
Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of pastry. Place apple filling at end and roll up using floured cloth to help roll.
Form roll into a horseshoe and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Garnish with dusted powdered sugar, an apple and evergreens. Serve with Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at and Email EE questions to:




Planet Garden ‘Storybook American Town’ Happy Christmas

Posted in Sustainable Column by planetgarden on December 9, 2009

When we walk around our hometown square during Christmas season, we become part of the illustrations and text in a Storybook American town. There are friendly people who live and work and play in a genteel and gracious way that sometimes seems like a moment floating from another time.
It’s always nice to come home to Thomaston because we see from expressions and friendliness that it is a happy little community filled with many real benefits. Some of those local benefits are coming Saturday to Bluebird Market sharing homemade gingerbread cottages and cups of hot cocoa with local gingerbread artisan and author, Linda Hayward. Everyone is so excited because of the fun we had last Saturday when Cathy Kreismanis taught us the secrets of authentic Holiday Apple Strudel. You will want to drop by 215 Barnesville St. in Thomaston for MOMS Club holiday open house this Saturday with MOMS Club President and Founder Phyllis Bryan at the market. There will be music and stories, friends and fun in another chapter of what makes each fascinating day of American living better than ever.
The best way I connect with our Storybook town lifestyle is through the arts and local artisan culture reflecting our way of life. Thomaston Upson Arts Council is warm and inviting and I always enjoy taking a walk through the gallery wonderland to see our town from the perspectives and impressions of those in touch with the art of life.
Especially now, during the holiday season we hope to encapsulate expressing genuine kindness to friends and family with handmade keepsakes.  That is why the TUAC gift gallery is a very favorite place of mine to choose affordable Christmas artworks. I’m especially delighted that along with the Sleighbell Arts Market, the Bluebird Artisan Guild was invited to place holiday artworks in the gallery at TUAC.
Once I was given for Christmas a handmade coffee mug from a local potter with a Bible verse and I still cherish the lovely handmade cup, it’s maker and the giver. Do you remember any special handmade gifts from local artists? Gifts from the soul are always the most treasured to me so the gift gallery is an ideal place to take a look for creative expressions. Choose beadwork, custom jewelry, pottery, paintings, ceramics, mosaics, photography, hand stitched quilts, handmade soaps and salts, woodworks, and so many more lovely artworks as memorable and meaningful holiday gifts for those you love.
We are blessed to be sharing our life experiences and artistic expressions in a Storybook American Town together. It’s nice to be right here over Christmas…living in our ever-unfolding American story we are writing and illustrating together ‘like a picture print by Currier and Ives.’
Enrich your life on Saturday at Bluebird Market. Explore with us each week to discover simple ways we can affordably contribute to sustainable and renewable eco-friendly living. Find resources online at and Email EE questions to: