Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup~ my version!

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup Recipe
Made this for lunch this week... I know, it's not even cold yet and I've started the soup thing ;) it was so good! The original recipe @ called for dried cannellini beans, I skipped cooking the beans since I had leftover white beans from earlier this week. I also omitted the rosemary, just personal preference. Makes a hearty bean soup, it's a keeper!
Makes 6 servings

2 cans of white beans, drained
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
5 strips of bacon, cut into tiny pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. tomato paste
In a large stockpot, add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon grease to saute onion, garlic, potato and carrots until vegetables start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and add the drained beans. Stir the tomato paste in until blended. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with bacon pieces on the top.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I've taken a break from blogging the past few months, my Mother's passing was hard. She was ready, I was not. Even though dementia/Alzheimer's robbed her speech the last few years, I still felt like she was in there.. present. Until the very end we "talked." That last day I told her it was ok to go, to reach up and take her Mother's hand, I know she was waiting. Hospice helped those last few weeks in so many ways. They give loving care to the person slipping away and to the family left behind. Mom made all the hard decisions years ago, directives. A Living Will is probably one of the most important documents you will ever do. 

My better half retired this summer and it's been great having him home. His job was demanding on him and our family through the years, it seems odd to not have to plan everything around his work schedule. I'd love to say we have taken a big vacation or that our days are carefree, that's just not been the case. I've heard other people say this when they retired... that they are busier than EVER! It took the last 9 months to finally get his parents house cleaned, painted and on the market. Luckily, it sold quickly. We put the farm up for sale this summer too, another hard decision.

Then last week, out of the blue, we hear our grandson's father had passed away in his sleep. He was only 42, but had suffered health problems for many years. Nothing prepares you for something like that. The next few days we went through the motions, but there was and is a profound loss for our grandson, his grandparents and all who knew him. I can't imagine having to bury your child. The service was very healing, the sermon made us laugh and cry, remembering Richard. Like everything else, funerals are changing. Once a somber, introspective time when scriptures were read and words were bridled, Friday's sermon included words from Facebook. A childhood friend set down at her computer and simply, eloquently summed up many of the qualities that Richard was born with...

"There are not many people I remember meeting for the first time...especially anyone I met as a child, but I remember the first time I met Richard. We were standing on the sidewalk in front of the Holiday Inn in Russellville. I'm guessing his family was there to eat at the restaurant. We could not have been more than 6 years old. We kinda played around on the sidewalk while our parents talked. He had his glasses, even as a little kid. There are other memories I have of those fuzzy Russian looking hats he wore around the same age. We played together some, as he lived down the street from me...rode bikes...and just goofed off. I always knew he was adopted. I don't know how, but I knew. I also knew there was a lot of love in that house. Not sure how I knew, but I did. His parents were always very sweet and kind whenever I came by their house. Richard had lots of nice "things...." clothes, car....etc. But he wasn't spoiled. Spoiled kids don't appreciate the things they are given. Richard also had a LOT of confidence. He wasn't shy, and he certainly wasn't quiet. And if anyone doubted his confidence, they shouldn't have, because he quickly swept Stephanie off her feet when she moved to town. I bet many of the boys wondered just how he did that....confidence! I say! I remember Richard played tuba, and he was a hard worker. He often talked about how he was going to be an entrepreneur when he grew up. I'm pretty sure I had no idea what that meant when in high school, but he sure did. I remember Richard was fun, a goofball, slightly obnoxious at times (takes one to know one) and I'm pretty sure if I had ever needed any help at all, he would have helped me. I'm sad today to learn he is gone. I'm especially heartbroken for his parents and his son. But tonight, I'm trying to remember all those great memories I have, and hope you will too."

It was an odd feeling sitting only one pew away from where our children married years ago and now we were laying our daughter's first husband to rest. Our grandson set with his grandparents, comforting them in their grief, each holding the other up. Divorced families often grow apart, but in our family we are bound by love.. love of our grandson and it will forever keep us family.

The healing will take longer than expected, it's one day at a time.
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