Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Supper - Custard and Coffeecake

This is a perfect fall supper, and as comforting as one could wish. The custard recipe is my mom's. I copied it out years ago, and that piece of paper has all sorts of squiggle marks on it from my now 25-year-old daughter who was "helping" me bake it one day when she was very small.

Usually custard calls for scalded milk, but I never bother.


In the mixer:
Beat 4 eggs until light and fluffy.
Add 3 cups milk and beat some more.
Add 1/4 cup honey.

Pour into eight custard cups.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Add maybe 1/2 inch or more water to a 10 x 15 pan.
Put custard cups into the water.
Bake in preheated 325º oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

2 cups flour
3 t. baking powder
3 t. baking soda

1 cup sour cream

Topping (and filling):
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350º.

In the mixer:
Beat the butter, add sugar and eggs.
Add the sour cream.
While this is mixing, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and add to mixer.
Mix well.

Pour 1/2 the batter into the pan, sprinkle with nuts, sugar, cinnamon combination, add the rest of the batter, and top with the mixture.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

September 30th at the Farmer's Market

Gosh, it doesn't seem so long ago that I posted about the Farmer's Market starting for the year, and yet today is the second to the last Sunday. Aren't these apples and peppers just gorgeous?! Because of our short growing season, it is such a thrill to get the colorful sweet peppers.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Today's poem - Grown-Up by Edna St.Vincent Millay

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?

Quote du jour/Epictetus

There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
(circa 55–circa 135) Greek Stoic philosopher

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Joy of Baking - Apple Tapioca

Slow Cooker Apple Tapioca

8-10 apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Minute Tapioca
1/2 cup water

Pare and core apples.
Slice and place in slow cooker.
Mix together sugar, tapioca, and water.
Pour over apples.
Cook on high for two hours or less.
Serve hot or cold.
Top with whipped cream or eat plain.

Makes about 2 cups. Very delicious! It looks a bit like applesauce in the photo, but it has a completely unique flavor.

Note: the original recipe said to cook for 3-4 hours on high. Mine was done in less than two. It may depend on the crockpot. If you make it, I would suggest you keep an eye on it the first time to get a sense of how long it takes. Perhaps it could be cooked on low for a longer time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Further Afield/Sitting Pretty

This was taken at a nearby hotel. Don't the chairs look inviting?

And these are the views you would see if you were sitting there with your afternoon tea and a good, good book.

Today's song/Harvest Moon

As much as I enjoy the old standard, Shine On Harvest Moon, when it came to choosing the song for today, it just had to be Neil Young's Harvest Moon. I think it is one of the dearest, sweetest love songs ever written. How I love it.

If you go here, you may read the lyrics and see a video.

And a little info on today's full moon from the Earth Sky site:

Contrary to legend, the Harvest Moon isn't really bigger, or brighter or yellower than other full moons. What's different about the Harvest Moon is that - every autumn - the moon's path across the sky makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon. It's simply a fact of nature, one with a beautiful result. The moon's path in autumn causes the full moon to rise near the time of sunset for several evenings in a row, appearing big, bright and yellow each night.

No matter where you live, the moon will look round and full tonight as it rises in the east around sunset. This is the full Harvest Moon for us in the northern hemisphere.

Every month has a full moon, and all the full moons have names. The Harvest Moon is the name for the full moon closest to the September equinox, which came this year on September 23. This is the first full moon of autumn for us in this hemisphere. For the southern hemisphere, it’s the first full moon of spring.

The crest of the moon’s full phase comes today at precisely 19:45 Universal Time – that’s 2:24 p.m. in the central U.S. – and it’s the time when, for the entire Earth at once, the moon is most full. But, like all full moons, tonight’s Harvest Moon will ascend over the eastern horizon at sunset. Moonlight will fill the sky all night long. Farmers of old used the light of the Harvest Moon to gather their crops.

On average, the moon rises 50 minutes later each day. But – around the time of the Harvest Moon each autumn – the moon rises only about 30 minutes later each day. So farmers could continue working in the fields by moonlight. The difference springs from Earth’s tilt on its axis, the orbit of the moon around Earth, and the orbit of Earth around the sun.

Now playing: Neil Young - Harvest Moon

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Quote du jour/Elizabeth Lawrence

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
Elizabeth Lawrence

Mrs Bale has something to say

Today was the last time we'll have twelve hours of daylight until St. Patrick's Day!

Shooting The Past on dvd

I love black and white photos, especially old ones of long-gone scenes, or famous personalities of their day. I could look at the one we see most often of Virginia Woolf forever.

They give me a feeling inside that isn't easily described. It is part longing, part nostalgia for another time, part wonder, part deep curiosity. But, though I have thrilled to them for ages, and they are truly my favorite art form, I have, perhaps surprisingly, never, ever thought of "collections" of these pictures. If I had stopped and considered, I think I would have realized that they must be collected and housed somewhere. They aren't just scattered individually throughout the world (though I'm sure some are).

This television production came as a complete, complete surprise to me. I have never seen anything like it in my life. And I have Lesley to thank.

I had vaguely heard of this when it was on PBS a few years back, but it was just a name in my mind along with the image of the actor, Timothy Spall. When I read about it on her blog, I put it in the Netflix queue, and just watched it a few days back. It is on two dvds, and there were moments in the first one that floored me, and yet sometimes I wondered what on earth was going on. But there was no way we wouldn't continue, and the second one clears up every mystery in the most interesting way imaginable. What a story, what an idea; an American businessman has bought an old English house in which he is going to start an innovative business school. The only snag is that it isn't empty. It houses a most extraordinary collection of photographs and gives employment to the most fascinatingly eccentric collection of people. They are old and young, men and women, all different types but drawn to these pictures. The photographs actually come from the Hulton Getty picture collection, and the viewer gets to see many, many of them throughout the film. Now, apparently the businessman has had contact with one of the people, telling him that the pictures must be taken away by a certain time. But the people know nothing of this, and when the business school folks arrive, ready to do their renovation work, there isn't time left to dispose of the collection in a way to keep it all together. The film goes on to show us, through use of the very photographs, how this situation is resolved.

There are a couple examples of supremely wonderful storytelling, using the old black and whites. In one, we see a little girl in 1930s Germany whose father photographed her over and over again with such an artistic and loving eye. Lindsay Duncan, who plays one of the caretakers of the collection, tells the whole story of this Jewish child's life as she shows us the pictures.

It was an incredible experience to see and hear this, to watch the face of the storyteller and the wonder of the fact that these photos exist. They weren't necessarily all in the same place, but were found by the caretakers and from them a true story is told.

The movie progresses in a beautifully slow and quiet way. The viewer becomes totally absorbed in these people and these pictures. Both Tom and I loved it. If you do watch it, please see the extras, for they continue the story a bit, and show us more of the wonderful old pictures.

Today's picture/Apples and Sunshine

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today's picture/Piglet on the first day of Fall

Here is Miss Piglet 11 days older!

Sunday Supper - Fresh Vegetables

Another departure from the pancake/waffle kind of supper because I bought some beautiful rainbow carrots at the Farmer's Market, and I just had to eat them tonight. I also got some pretty yellow peppers and I'll sauté them with our onions and garlic and serve it over pasta.

First Day of Fall

When Fall Comes To New England

Words And Music by
Cheryl Wheeler

When fall comes to New England
The sun slants in so fine
And the air's so clear
You can almost hear the grapes grow on the vine

The nights are sharp with starlight
And the days are cool and clean
And in the blue sky over head
The northern geese fly south instead
And leaves are Irish Setter red
When fall comes to New England

When fall comes to New England
And the wind blows off the sea
Swallows fly in a perfect sky
And the world was meant to be

When the acorns line the walkways
Then winter can't be far
From yellow leaves a blue jay calls
Grandmothers walk out in their shawls
And chipmunks run the old stone walls
When fall comes to New England

The frost is on the pumpkin
The squash is off the vine
And winter warnings race across the sky
The squirrels are on to something
And they're working overtime
The foxes blink and stare and so do I

'Cause when fall comes to New England
Oh I can't turn away
From fading light on flying wings
And late good-byes a robin sings
And then another thousand things
When fall comes to New England

When fall comes to New England

Now playing: Cheryl Wheeler - When Fall Comes to New England

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today's picture/Eggs

The egg on the left is from one of the new chicks who were born in May. You can see how when they first start coming, they are a bit smaller than usual. In no time, though, they'll be the same size.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Joy of Baking - Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Catherine Mary recently asked me if I had a zucchini cookie recipe, and it happens that I do. These were a huge hit!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini

4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs, vanilla, and zucchini.
Mix dry ingredients and add.
Add chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.
Makes about 75 cookies.

Now playing: Jo Stafford - Walkin' My Baby Back Home

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Book Report/A Brush with Death

The August-September Garden Bloggers Book Club choice was a cozy gardening mystery. We could read the one suggested or any other that fit into this category. I chose one I've had on my shelves for a while called A Brush With Death by Sheila Pim. It was written in 1950, and recently reprinted by the great Rue Morgue Press which specializes in bringing back older mysteries.

This book was definitely a cozy, so cozy in fact that there isn't even a murder! But what there is, is sharp, witty, humorous writing which gives the reader a real sense of what Dublin and the surrounding countryside was like in this earlier time. Unlike many more recent cozies I've read, this one isn't a quick read. The writing has a richness that slowed me down and made me pay attention.

Though the subtitle is "An Irish art and gardening mystery" it was much more an art mystery. An artist is being poisoned with arsenic, a young woman is having her portrait painted by another artist, there is an art dealer, and an art collector. But two of the main characters are gardeners, and we are treated to a description of a room and their life.

They were sitting in Paul's study, the room they all preferred when they were by themselves. It was devoted, in a tidy businesslike way, to hobbies. It was the room where they kept most of their books, on metal shelves which, though more utilitarian than elegant, toned with the plain brown curtains, the brown leather chairs, and the matting on the floor. Gardening catalogues were kept beside Paul's chair under the wireless. A desk in the square bay window was occupied by six bowls of bulbs, still only in leaf, and some late pears, put there to ripen. The whole room was scented with a single twig of Chimonanthus, flowering for the first time in their garden, and a symbol of triumph.

Gardening had grown on Paul and Hester with the years. Hester had never from the first felt worthy to be her husband's partner at bridge or golf, and Paul had never much cared for doing things without her. He had been sociable with his kind in his earlier years, but had now reached a worldly eminence where he need no longer concern himself about making contacts and was settling down to be his true self, domesticated, stay-at-home, and fond of home-grown fruit and vegetables.

Another gardening reference is to a "landed gentleman" in the country who does not spray his crops with insecticide, and:

... goes roaring up and down the land scolding farmers for polluting the ground with artificial manures.

And this 57 years ago!

This same fellow later talks about a problem still with us, the lack of diversity in crops.

Every intelligent person ought to take some interest in apples. You eat them, don't you? Then you ought to see that you get the best. I suppose you'd never think of asking for White or Scarlet Crofton, Sam Young, Gibbon's Russet, Cockle and Whitmore Pippin, Cluster Pearmain, Cat's Head, Nonesuch, Hall Door, Cockagee? The chief superintendent shook his head. Of course you wouldn't. You've never heard of them, let alone tasted them. Nobody now grows any but the commercial varieties. Big croppers and poor eaters. A big turnover and a quick sale. That's all your commercial grower cares about. Nobody bothers to select fruit for its flavor; we've almost lost the sense of taste.

I was flabbergasted to read this in a book written so long ago. That is the wonder of reading a book actually written in a time, instead of an historical novel.

Another passage is even more forceful.

I, and a few others, are doing our best against heavy odds to educate public opinion, and farmers, and governments, against our present crazy methods. This is what happens: the-get-rich quick way is to load the soil with artificial fertilizers, which for a time yield large crops of grain and vegetables. But these crops are inferior in food value to those grown on wholesome natural humus. They lack the essentials on which our populations depend for stamina. Resistance to disease is weakened. The future of the race is jeopardized. And the soil is left impoverished.

These are the few sections where plants are even mentioned, except for one shining moment when the whole case is opened up because the previously mentioned Hester knows the painting is a fake because "there couldn't be dahlias before 1789. They were first introduced into Europe from Mexico in the year of the French Revolution."

From these excerpts, you may deduce that the book is didactic and serious, but it isn't. It is light-hearted and extremely funny, in a quiet sort of way. There are great details of the way policemen must slog along to solve a case. These, too, are presented with droll humor.

The book offers two of my favorite elements in a mystery story; one is a cast of characters at the beginning of the book, and the other is an acknowledgment of the reader.

Now an idea which may be in the reader's mind already had occurred some minutes earlier to Detective Officer Lemon.

Even though this wasn't so much a gardening mystery, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you like the older style of mystery, with descriptions of countryside and houses, with nothing very grim, and great characterizations, I think you would find this very appealing.

At this moment

Now playing on my computer, as I write: Bob Marley & The Wailers - Three Little Birds

Tom assigns a writing exercise to his junior high students called "at this moment." They must go outdoors and record what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. The last one isn't an emotional feeling, but a physical one such as cold air on one's face.

I thought this would be a great occasional blogging idea, and I so hope those of you who visit might do it on your own blogs. An indoor experience would also be interesting, I think.

I went outdoors at around 11:15 am and sat down on the side steps to read.
This is what I saw:

The dogs.
The clothesline, and the daylilies that need to be cut back.
The woodpile ready for winter, color in the (almost) autumn leaves, the iris we are going to dig up and send to Les, and rosehips.

What I heard:
crickets, flies buzzing (and driving Ben crazy), a chickadee in the woods. The birds at the feeder had eaten their morning meal and flown off, so there weren't many bird songs. Mostly, it was silent. Blessed, blessed silence.

What I smelled:
fresh air.

I wasn't eating or drinking anything, so no taste.

What I felt:
sunshine on my face and a slight breeze.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's cd/Betcha Bottom Dollar

The Puppini Sisters/Betcha Bottom Dollar/2007

Wow, this is a great cd! These young women are bringing back the days of the Andrews Sisters. The album begins perfectly with Sisters (though they aren't). It continues with such selections as Java Jive, Sway, and newer ones like I Will Survive and Heart of Glass.

The producer of this album is Benoit Charest, who did the soundtrack for Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville), a movie I loved. You can hear his influence on the cd. Their second album comes out next month in the UK, and I'm not sure when in the US.

Mrs Bale says brrr!

Mrs Bale put on her scarf this morning because it was 27º! First frost of the season.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Supper - Onion Rings and Baked Corn

Tonight's supper is a little different from what we've had lately, but still could qualify as "comfort" food.

The onion rings come from Mrs. Chard's Almanac Cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.

Fantastic Fried Onion Rings

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups beer, flat or freshly opened (I used Bass Ale)
3 large onions

Place flour in large bowl and gradually blend in the beer. The instructions say to let it stand for 2-3 hours at room temperature, but I don't bother.

Slice onions into rings, dip them in the batter, and place in hot oil. We use a deep fat fryer.
Fry until golden brown and crisp, then drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.

Note: To keep warm until serving, place on heavy brown paper in a 200º oven.

This is just the thing to have when the oil in your fryer is ready to be thrown out, because with onion rings there is a lot of fried batter left in the oil.

The baked corn is another one from Mrs. Appleyard. This recipe is in Mrs. Appleyard's Winter Kitchen.

Baked Corn

1 package frozen corn
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. pepper

Grease a shallow baking dish. Mix corn and seasonings, and spread into dish. Dot all over with butter, and bake at 375º until golden brown around edges, 20-30 minutes.

And you might have ice cream for dessert. :<) What a supper!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Quote du jour/Daisy to Onslow

If there's an afterlife, do you think we'll be slimmer?
Daisy to Onslow on Keeping Up Appearances

Capote on dvd

When I first saw the preview to the movie, Capote, I was stopped in my tracks by how Philip Seymour Hoffman captured Truman Capote; his appearance, his voice, his mannerisms. The actor was channeling the writer. I was just amazed. However, I put off seeing the movie. I had read In Cold Blood when it first came out and recalled all too well how frightening it was. I wasn't sure I could watch a movie about this killing of a Kansas family in 1959. Last week I was at the library, and was looking at the dvds, and I picked up Capote. A young girl, a former student of Tom's, told me it was great, so I brought it home. I figured I could turn it off or leave the room if it got too intense. Well, I didn't do either one. I was captivated. I was astonished by its perfection; perfect in portraying those years, perfect in the photography of the setting, and as I knew already from the preview, perfect in the characterization of Truman Capote.

The movie was less about the killings than it was about what happened to Truman Capote as a result of them; what writing about them did to the author. It was literary, which befits a movie about a book and a writer. Capote was a serious, excellent author and at the same time a real party fellow. He particularly cared for one of the killers, in part because he felt they had much the same childhoods. He says in the movie that it is like they lived in the same house, and when they grew up the killer went out the back door and Truman went out the front. As Phil Ochs sang, "there but for fortune go you or I." And though he cared for him and got lawyers to plead the cases, at the same time he could not finish his book until they died, so a part of him wanted their end to come. It is thought to be the best work he ever did.

Capote said,

No one will ever know what 'In Cold Blood' took out of me. It scraped me right down to the marrow of my bones. It nearly killed me. I think, in a way, it did kill me.

The movie simply could not have been better. One of the extras on the dvd features a talk with Gerald Clarke, who wrote the 1988 biography of Truman Capote. I read it last year and liked it very much.

The Joy of Baking - Chocolate Applesauce Cake

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened applesauce
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together in the electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.
Blend in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the applesauce to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition, with the mixer set on low speed.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until the cake tests done.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Delicious, moist, great cake! I put whipped cream on top, but you could frost it, dust it with confectioners sugar, or eat it plain.

What's in bloom/September 15, and Season Review

I've been thinking all week about the September Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. There are a few things still in bloom like this Autumn Joy sedum. Isn't that a wonderful plant? I've moved mine three times until it finally arrived at the perfect spot and it came through every time.

And my dear hollyhock.

The brown-eyed Susans that pop up here and there on the lawn.

And the great, great late season phlox, called Miss Lingard, I believe.

They look so delicate and fragile here in the rain, but they are the strongest, most vigorous of all my flowers. The smell perfumes the air and any room where I have a bouquet. I just love them. When I was little, we used to eat the flowers, and I recently tried one, and they still taste good!

This dwarf delphinium has been one of the new flowers this summer. I put it in the vegetable garden beside a tomato plant, and it has bloomed and bloomed. Just lovely.

The wildflowers are past their glory. This is a space we call the "rocky pasture." The tansy, the goldenrod, the aster, and the milkweed are fading quickly. But still, there is a beauty; subdued but calming in a way.

And then, a view of something we've had eight years today, and it is still blooming quite nicely!

So, it is time to start cutting back the spent plants, and cleaning up the vegetable garden. Since I don't have so many beautiful flowers to show you, and won't for EIGHT long months, I thought I'd take this opportunity to review the summer garden.

If you visited my blog you saw many daylilies. They were my summer love. There was such beauty everywhere I looked in the yard. The iris had a good year, though I think I'm finished with the bearded variety. Many of mine didn't bloom and truly, I'm not that fond of them anyway, but we'll see if they come up next year. I was delighted with the Bright Lights cosmos and the dwarf delphinium. I am thrilled beyond words to have hollyhock blooms, and since I planted one that bloomed and one that didn't I heartily hope the one that didn't will shine next summer. The little tag promised it would grow even in zone 2. Fingers crossed. This is the one flower I remember from my mother's garden and this is the first year I've ever had success. I love my potted geraniums which I've now brought inside, and I hope to see them next summer looking as radiant as this year.

In the vegetable garden, the shining stars were the onions, garlic, and leeks. Oh, what success, what size, what taste!! Those peas I mentioned didn't amount to much. We had a couple good meals and then they just faded. The sweet peas were even more of a misery. One or two flowers on many plants. The vines just died. The yellow beans I raved about were great at first, but got too big too fast. Next year I must plant every few days instead of all at once. Geez, it takes me a long time to learn such an easy lesson. The lettuce was marvelous, and we actually had it almost every day. We plan to grow it under the lights all winter. The zucchini was terrible. We put it in a new place in a pile of old, rotted manure, but the leaves were yellow and the fruit barely grew. We moved it to try something different because I never, ever have enough zucchini. I love it, and could cook with it 3 or 4 times a week, if the stuff would grow like zucchini is supposed to. So, next year the seeds will go back into the garden proper and we'll see. The tomatoes are coming in and are okay, but I'm seriously thinking of just growing cherry tomatoes next year and skipping the big ones that take so long to ripen. And I'm going back to the cherries I grew last year, Peacevine. They were so great, and I tried something new this year which wasn't nearly as prolific, early, or tasty.

So there you have it. Some great successes, some spectacular failures; just like every other year I have gardened since I was 25 years old.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I thought it would be fun to show the results of today's grocery shopping. I didn't get a chance to bake today, but you may look forward to something tomorrow. :<)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Celebrate The Author Challenge

I broke my own rule today and spent some fun time online getting together my list of books for the 2008 Celebrate The Author Challenge.

This is a twelve month challenge (January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008).
The challenge is designed to "celebrate" author birthdays. Choose one author for each month of the year. Read at least one book a month. 12 authors. 12 birthdays.

You may see my list on the sidebar. I am tickled because I own all the books except two, and was planning to buy them anyway, and they are all books I am really excited to read. It is well balanced between men and women writers, and nonfiction and fiction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today's pictures/Piglet

This is our daughter's new Pug named Piglet. Isn't that perfect? And isn't she a doll? Everyone who meets her falls in love with her adorable face and sweet, sweet personality. She's about 11 weeks old now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wheat Berry Stew and Popovers

This is a variation of a recipe I found on the internet five years ago. Today is the first time I've ever made it, and wow, is it good. The perfect supper on a rainy day (hooray, more rain) with temps in the low 60s.

Wheat Berry Stew

About four hours before you want the stew, put 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans and 1 cup wheat berries in the crockpot. Cover with plenty of water - I used 6 cups. Add 5 teaspoons cumin, 3 teaspoons tumeric, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Keep on high temp until near the end.

In the meantime, peel and dice 6-8 small potatoes and cook until soft but not mushy. Drain.

Sauté a large chopped onion in olive oil. Turn down the temp and add 4 cloves of minced garlic.

When the beans and berries are softened, put them in a large saucepan. Add the potatoes and the onions and garlic. Then add 5 cups of tomato sauce. Stir well and heat.

Delicious and hearty.

And I served it with one of our favorites, popovers. This is the Joy of Cooking recipe.


In the mixer, beat just until smooth:

1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Add, one at a time, but do not over beat:

2 eggs

There are many kinds of popover pans but we use 6 glass custard cups with great success. Spray with cooking spray and fill about 3/4 full. If you fill too much, you get a muffin-like texture. Bake in a preheated 450º F oven for 15 minutes. "Without peeping" lower the heat to 350º F and bake about 20 minutes longer. To test for doneness, remove a popover to be sure the side walls are firm. If not cooked long enough, the popovers will collapse.

Serve with butter, and jam if you wish. One of the great, great foods!