Friday, December 28, 2012

Reflections on the Year 2012

From RevGalBlogPals
1. What is some "old news" this year that you'd like to repeat for 2013?
      Mindful eating (except on the cruise)
2. What "new thing" have you started that you want to keep going in 2013?
     Actually taking a day off and keeping Sabbath.
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon "Return to Sender"? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad. 
      I was very ill in July.  I NEVER want to do that again.
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year.
      Being on the crew of the Ladyslipper in June.  This is the only all woman crew in the festival and I have wanted to do this for a decade.  It is a week of hard work poling the boat down the James River and is more fun than a woman my age ought to be having.  If you go to you can find out about it.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.) 

Share a recipe! I'm in the doldrums and need some healthy eating options for my menu planning. Soup, stew, main dish, side dish or a healthy dessert - any and all are welcome!


1 lb dried white beans (the best beans for this are flageolet, a dried pale green bean that cook to a creamy consistency)
1 smoked hock
1 chopped onion
3-4 chopped garlic cloves
4 cups cubed mixed leftover meats
     lamb, turkey, chicken, ham, pork
     goose, pheasant are all good 
½ lb hot sausage or polish sausage
2 c breadcrumbs
1 stick butter
“the mouse”
            1 stick celery, some parsley,
1 sage leaf, 1 T rosemary,
            1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano,
           3 cloves. 1 bay leaf

Pick over and wash beans.  Soak beans overnight in water to cover.  Make “the mouse” by laying ½ celery stick on cheesecloth square.  Put herbs and spices on the celery, lay other half of celery stick on top.  Fold cheesecloth around bunch of herbs and celery and tie with string leaving long “tail”.  Drain beans.  Cover with water.  Add ham hock, onion, garlic and “the mouse” to the beans.  Cook until beans are nearly tender.  Remove “the mouse” (this is fun to do when kids are around) and discard.  Remove ham hock and cut meat from bones.  Add meat from hock back into pot.  Add mixed leftover meats.  Saute sausage or slice polish sausage.  Add to pot.  Cook until beans are tender.  Put bean and meaty mixture in a large casserole.  Cover with buttered bread crumbs.  Bake at 350° until top is golden brown.


  1. The Casoulet sounds fabulous. I was once very sick, too, and know exactly what you mean - never want to do that again, either. Hope you have a healthy 2013.

  2. A week of poling? Sounds very interesting! Cassoulets are wonderful--very soul-satisfying.

  3. Thanks for the Cassoulet recipe. I, too, was very sick one July. It was enough to make me want to go out with a bang and no advance warning.

  4. Thanks for this recipe. I'm not a big bean fan, but maybe if it involved a home-made dish, I would be more inclined. I will be trying it! :)

    I love the idea of working the poleboat. What a wonderful adventure!

  5. The cassoulet sounds delicious! I'm going to add it to the "try this" list for 2013!

  6. Your #4 sounds fabulous!!! thanks for the recipe, too; in fact, since among other things I got 2# of dried beans at Ecumenical Neighborhood Agency's commodities distribution last week and needed to find a good recipe, this one fills the bill. Happy 2013!

  7. It always makes a difference in my week when I make Sabbath a priority.