Last week, I decided not to follow my early planting guide, or weather warning, and went ahead and put out some peppers and tomatoes. Tomorrow evening, I may be covering them up. Oh well, guess I can't always cheat March weather. I decided to weed out a long stretch of flower beds and didn't know when to stop, kind of addicting to once again see real dirt. I planted cannas and elephant ears and a couple of daylilies I had over-wintered in pots. I knew the muscles were getting sore but I kept going. For the next two days, there was a lot of moaning and groaning as I walked, bent or tried to sit down. Yes, it's time to get back into "gardening shape."Last week, I found an amazing bit of history as I located an old recipe book that has been in our family for years. After exploring in an old trunk in our garage, I dusted off an old and well-used Mexican food recipe book. I think it belonged to my parents because I remember them making tamales together.A few days ago, we were invited to a big dinner party and the theme was Mexican food. I tried out the chicken enchiladas from the old book and it turned out really good. Be sure and have fun with this dish; allow someone to help you and give yourself the time needed to make it.For the next few weeks, I am going to feature Mexican food recipes I have from this old worn book, as well as from others we like and have made for many years.I always cook my chickens on one day. I remove them from the broth and refrigerate both the chickens and the broth until the following day.• This recipe serves 18 but one could half it and enjoy leftovers.You will need two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes.2 chickens (4-5 pounds each)One carrot-cut in pieces2 ribs celery-cut in pieces3 garlic cloves-peeledSalt and pepper2 Tablespoons ground cumin2 green bell peppers, chopped2 medium yellow onions, chopped3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Grape seed oil.)One 4-ounce can green chiles, chopped2 teaspoons chili powder1 teaspoon garlic powder1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated32 flour tortillas2 cups chicken brothOne 5 ounce can evaporated milk1 can condensed cream of chicken soup1 can (10 ounce) tomatoes and green chilies-like Rotel1/2 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, gratedMake a broth using the celery, carrots, garlic and salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each) and water just to cover the chickens. Boil and reduce heat and continue cooking until meat is done, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove chickens from broth.When cool, or the next day after being refrigerated, remove meat from bones and shred it. Stir cumin into broth and set aside.Saute the bell peppers and onions in oil. Scrape into a bowl and mix in green chilies. Combine chili and garlic powders and put into an empty spice bottle or another container with a shaker top.Use 2 casserole pans or dishes and pour 1/2 cup broth in bottom of each. Dip a tortilla in hot broth briefly to soften it. Then spread on it small amounts of chicken, peppers and onion mixture, grated cheese, and a generous shake of the chili and garlic powder seasoning. Roll up the tortillas placing each enchilada in the casserole as it is rolled, making a single layer.Pour two cups of broth with the evaporated milk and condensed soup into a saucepan. Stir together and heat to make a sauce. Pour it over the enchiladas. Add the tomatoes (undrained) and place the casseroles in a 325 degree oven that has been preheated. Cook for 45 minutes. Add Monterrey Jack for final 10 minutes.The tortillas can be softened in hot oil instead of broth if desired. I have done that if I use corn tortillas.Though this recipe looks long and detailed, it's fun to make along with another cooking partner. And your dinner guests will really appreciate your efforts. We serve this with a green salad.• Next week I'll venture more into Mexican food and dishes that have proven to be "winners."Have a great week and now it's safe to plant those tender plants....I think!