My former mother-in-laws birthday would have been on the 23rd. She was such a feisty little redhead. She was probably the best cook that I have ever known. She didn't use a recipe, where as my Mom always had her head in a cookbook. Mom was a good cook too, but my MIL could make a meal out of scraps. I have a funny story to tell....and if my brother in law Dik is reading this...I let the cat out of the bag. Dik and his family lived in Colorado and would come to Illinois a couple of times a year to be with the family. My MIL was a busy woman. Always taking care of other people's children to supplement her income. She had a house full of kids. I would go to visit and usually would end up telling stories to napping children or rocking one to sleep. This one particular time found her with her "kids" and trying to prepare food for this crowd that was about to descend upon her. She had pots of food on the stove. Soups and vegetable stews. Now, Dik and his family were vegetarians and had been for years. He always loved his Mom's cooking. He loved her green beans. He said, "How do you get that flavor?" She would just shrug her shoulders and say that she really had no recipe. The fresh green beans were in a big pot, cooking on the stove, with BACON as an ingredient. I asked her about how she would be able to serve them to these vegetarians. She said, "They haven't had bacon in so long...they will have forgotten what it tastes like. While I rocked a child...she was busy picking out the bits of bacon. She would add some olive oil and a tiny splash of vinegar. No one ever knew her secret. When she was asked...she would just smile and say, "Oh, I don't have a recipe...I just add a little of this and a little of that." She had a little grin on her face, when she said that. I'll bet her fingers were crossed behind her back. Well, it's time for fresh green beans and I try to replicate her recipe. Mine are never as good as hers. Darn, I wish she'd written it down.