Friday, January 20, 2012

Southwestern Bean Soup

Yesterday was a cold and windy day so I thought a pot of chili would be good for dinner. I put on some beans in the morning and let them cook most of the day. In the past I've let the water cook out of the beans and was left with a big burned mess. So, yesterday I made sure to add water to the pot from time to time to prevent that from happening.  I browned some ground beef in a skillet along with some chopped onions and garlic. After pouring off the grease I added a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1/3 cup of coffee, 1 tsp of beef base, 3 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cumin, 3 Tbs chili powder, 1/4 tsp cocoa powder, and 1 tsp oregano. I stirred all that together then added it to the pot of beans. I learned that in my effort to make sure the beans didn't boil dry I had added too much water and the result was a very soupy chili.  So when Dorothy came home I told her that I had made some Southwestern Bean Soup.  She loved it.

So now I have two recipes: one for chili (with a tightly controlled amount of water in the beans), and one for Southwestern Bean Soup ( water added with abandon).

quote of the day

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.

From her graduation commencement address to Berkeley."
— Anne Lamott

What I'm Reading Now

It seems like I've been laughing at Bill Cosby all my life. I've laughed at his TV shows, his stand-up comedy routine, his LP records, and his books.  This latest offering by Mr. Cosby deals with everything from his childhood, the book of Genesis, teenage dating, husband and wife relationships, to grand parenthood. I laughed out loud on every page. That's as good a review as any funny writer can receive.

quote of the day

Poverty is not wholly a personal failure.  It also represent the failure of an economic system. And the remedy is not wholly one of charity, but of political and economic action.  Poverty is a reflection also on those who are not poor.

--Brooks Atkinson

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What I'm reading now

It’s an age old theme, the hero against the villains, good vs. evil, but with a twist. In the literature of the Western world the protagonist (hero) has mostly been male. The role played by females was generally the damsel in distress who depended upon a male hero to slay the dragon for her. In modern American culture men are no longer heroes to women and now we have this story that has as the protagonist a young female who is competent and possesses the skills to slay her own dragons. I always wanted my own daughters to grow up as independent women and I think this is a good story for young girls. After all, boys have always had their own stories with strong male heroes to set an example for them. John Wayne movies always filled the bill for me. So, I think the modern young woman will find that this story strikes a chord within her psyche that feels right to her.

Monday, January 16, 2012

fire in the sky

Dorothy and I were sitting at the table this evening looking out across the pasture. The clouds in the west were dark grey as the sun was setting. Within a few minutes the underside of the clouds turned pink and then this fiery orange.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Christmas Pajamas

Every year everyone gets pajamas for Christmas.  We take an annual photo. Here is the one for 2011.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Party Animals

It's been years since Dorothy and I stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve. We were having over for the weekend three of the most party loving people we know so we thought we would go for it. Our guests were Hunter (9yrs old), Jenna (5yrs old), and Gracen (10mos). We made pizza, drank lots of root beer and ate plenty of Little Debby snacks.  Those kids consumed enough sugar to put a grown man into a diabetic coma. We watched "Home Alone", and "A Day at the Races" starring the Marx Bros. and also a few Larry and Hardy shorts (as Jenna calls them).

Gracen got the evening off to a good start by eating some red licorice.

Jenna was helping me roll out the pizza dough when Gracen decided she wanted in on the deal.

We couldn't allow that baby to fall off the stool and bump her noggin.....

So I scooped her up while Jenna continued to roll out the dough.

Pizzas all done. Jenna even made a little one for Gracen.

Dorothy, Jenna, and Gracen fell by the wayside and had to go to bed by nine o'clock. Hunter and I pressed on toward Midnight.  Actually, I nodded off a few times in my recliner and Hunter was the only one to make it to the New Year wide awake. After we watched the ball drop in Times Square we went to bed and fell asleep as the neighbor's celebratory gun shots echoed through the hills.

This morning we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Gracen was on Dorothy's lap then slipped over into Hunter's chair to sit with him.

Now she's ready for breakfast.

She likes to do what the big kids do.