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Seeing Eye to Eye

Connie MooreWeather can be fickle. No matter what it looks like outside, it is spring. It says so right there on the calendar. Now, all the plans that were made during those long winter evenings, tucked away in mind and heart, can be brought out and accomplished.

On a recent warm day, yard cleanup was number one on our list. Debris caught in the hedge and fence row was waiting to be cleared. Bare corn cobs and empty nut shells littered the ground under the feeders. Someone else noticed that area too.

chipmunk snacks on seeds

We see eye to eye with the chipmunk. It is enough to be out in the warm air. Morning should find us with trash bag in gloved hands, cleaning away. More than likely though, the gloves and bag are laying on the lawn chair while we stroll, coffee cups in hand, walking our lines.

We find life is forth-coming. Green leaves on lilac and honeysuckle, butterfly bushes and clematis. A certain shade of spring green has lightened the poplar trees and weeping cherry tree. Daffodils, crocus and hyacinth are in bloom. Pinkish feathery curls of new growth stand in the astilbe patch.

Morning is gone. Now the work is underway. Supper will have to take care of itself in the oven. Casseroles are rather like gardening. A variety of ingredients plus some time and lots of warmth produce an enjoyable meal.

Four-Bean Casserole

6-8 slices bacon, cut into pieces

1 cup chopped onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1 16-oz. can pork and beans in tomato sauce

1 16-oz. can lima beans, drained

1 16-oz. can red kidney beans, drained

1 16-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup molasses

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet, fry bacon and onions until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon and onions from grease with slotted spoon.

2. In large bowl, combine bacon/onions with rest of ingredients, mixing well. Pour into a 3-quart casserole, a bean pot or heavy Dutch oven. Cover and bake for about an hour.

3. Leftovers are good warmed in microwave or cold for bean sandwiches.

4. This recipe has many variations. More seasonings may be used as well as chopped green pepper. Some cooks add a pound of browned ground beef or a different variety of beans.

Follow Connie at New Carlisle News.