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Keeping Old Man Winter at Bay with Soup

Connie MooreSnowy old man winter has finally decided to visit us here in Ohio. Weekdays are filled with work, trying to stay safe on the roads and quick evening meals. By the time Friday night gets here, we are ready for some serious cooking to stave off the cold.

In my kitchen, weekends are the best time to cook. At our house, Saturday and Sunday have a reasonable, slower schedule. Oh, there may be shopping trips, work projects or visitors, but the time is still ours. Time to bake bread, try a new recipe, simmer a pot of soup all day, bake pies or cookies. There’s plenty to eat as we work and relax our two days away.

If visitors drop in, a pot of coffee is started, the cookie tin opened or a pie is cut, and if they can stay, extra soup bowls are stacked by the stove.

This bean soup chases away cold weather and warms the hearth and heart.

Vegetarian Bean Soup

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-1/2-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can great northern or pinto beans, rinsed, drained

3-1/2 cups water

1 can (individual serving or 12-ounces) Vegetable blend juice, picante flavor

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn

2 large carrots, sliced

1 large sweet onion diced or 1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes or diced Mexican flavored tomatoes

In 6 quart covered stock pot or Dutch oven, put all ingredients. Ounce sizes of can may vary according to brands. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 hours. This can also be simmered in a Crock Pot, following manufacturer directions for soup. (High heat setting for 4 hours or Low for about 7 hours.)

Optional ingredients include: 1 teaspoon chili powder, Lima, garbanzo or green beans, minced garlic.  All ingredients can be low-sodium versions if desired.

Easy Chocolate Cookies

1 regular size box chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

Confectioners’ sugar

In large mixing bowl, with a spoon or fork, combine cake mix, eggs, water and margarine. Dough will be stiff and it will take some effort to mix. Shape dough into walnut-size balls.

Roll in confectioners’ sugar, coating all sides. Place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to cool completely.

Cornbread

2 cups self-rising corn meal mix

1-3/4 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted shortening

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 9-inch square or round pan. Combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and done. Can be baked in an iron skillet that has been greased and preheated in the oven.

photo of book Four Seasons At Home

A limited number of copies of my book, Four Seasons at Home-Volume 1, are available. My newspaper column, At Home, has been in print for 20 years here in Ohio. The book includes 60 chosen columns with their recipes (over 80) which cover all four seasons. Send $12, which includes the shipping, and a clearly written mailing address to Connie Moore, P O Box 61, Medway, OH 45341