Back in the Saddle, Again… Or, should I say, “back in the kitchen, again”?”

It seems that Victor has been doing a lot of cooking the past few weeks.  It’s been fun for both of us, but I must admit I do miss making my messes.  Uh, er…  I mean cooking.

Since it actually made it up to a balmy 22° today with only 40 mph winds, I thought soup and bread would be a good combination.  I had soaked a bag of canary beans last night with no real idea of what I was going to do with them, so the frigid weather made up my mind for me.

The bread was my old standby…

Beer Bread

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 12oz can/bottle beer
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

Mix flour, sugar, and beer.  Place in buttered bread pan.  Pour melted butter on top.

Bake at 350° for one hour.

The type of beer you use will really make a difference!  Today, I used Ithaca Beer Co. “Partly Sunny” beer.  It’s a “wheat ale brewed with spices”.  Quite good.

I had a ham bone in the freezer, so out it came, along with everything else in the refrigerator.  This was really a clean out the refrigerator soup!

Bean Soup

  • 1 pound canary (or other) beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 ham bone
  • 4 quarts water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • pinch salt
  • 6 carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 heads belgian endive
  • 1/2 carton grape tomatoes
  • freshly-grated parmesan cheese

Put bean, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and ham bone in pot and add water to cover.  Simmer until beans are almost done.  Add carrots, celery, and whatever vegetables are in the ‘fridge and have to be used up.

Simmer until vegetables are cooked and beans just begin to break down and thicken.

Serve with fresh-baked bread and parmesan cheese.


Between the simmering soup and the baking bread, the house was totally warm and filled with tantilizing scents.

Tomorrow is supposed to bring more cold weather and some flurries.

Can’t wait. <sigh>