A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Calico Bean Soup and Memories

We have the AC on and here I sit...smelling the fragrant smell of bean soup cooking. I saw a package of calico beans at the grocery and had a taste for soup...soup cooked for a long time on my stove. You will probably say that bean soup is a cold weather meal, but we can eat it any time of the year. I love cornbread with it and Joe just likes crackers. This particular soup brought back some memories of days in the past, when I was doing some arts and crafts. Long before I started painting, my friends and I would get together and do crafty projects together. Usually in the fall and winter. Something about the leaves changing always made my mind turn to crafty things and making my home cozy. A good friend, Bonnie, introduced me to Swedish wall hangings. No sewing was involved. We scouted the stores for different colors of burlap and made simple strips about 3 1/2 inches wide folded at the top around a simple brass ring .Then the fun began...we made simple designs by gluing various seeds and beans and alphabet noodles to these strips. At that time, I never ate an apple without saving the seeds...or any other fruit, for that matter. We used so many different kinds of beans and lentils too. They were easier to collect than seeds. My kids ate so much fruit at that time...we had apple pie, apple cake, salads with oranges, and different colored popcorn. The tiny designs went down the strip of burlap and then at the bottom a simple saying like "Home is Where the Heart Is" was spelled out in pasta and glued on. A simple brass ring at the top to hang and it was finished. This was something that my friend Bonnie taught us to do. She also introduced me to Calico Soup. I had a big craft sale in my home, and Bonnie brought wreaths (her speciality) and crafts using naturals. Her beans were a big hit that year. She took canning jars and filled them with layers of different beans and then topped them off with a pinked circle of calico material for the topper...then tied with jute. She included the recipe on a cute label for the jars. A lot of people bought these jars...not for the soup, but to decorate their kitchens. I think that almost every house in Hampshire had a jar of Bonnie's Beans in it :)Well, my jar of beans is long gone, but while shopping I saw a package of calico beans and had to buy it...we are having it for dinner today...Calico Bean Soup.
I'll think of my crafting days with my friends back in the late 70's and 80's. Back then, we women didn't work outside the home. We were all busy raising our families and taking care of our homes. We were all in the same boat and most at the same income level. We knew how to stretch money and make a little spending money for Christmas, by doing simple things like this. These projects kept us busy, while our little ones were either in grade school or busy playing together while we worked. The coffee pot would be on, a new dessert shared, and sometimes we had lunch together. I think that our kids benefited from their Mom's friendships with each other. I know that it helped the Moms get through the winter... being together with our kids gave us something to look forward to. It was a simpler time...


Pat said...

Loved this post on your memories of crafting with friends. My Mom still makes big pots of bean soup and then shares it with us.

FlowerLady said...

That calico bean soup sounds delicious!


Lona said...

Bean soup sounds good to me in any weather too. I use to do so much crafting and now hardly do any of it. I think I burnt myself out on them when we were selling them to make a few dollars years ago. LOL!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

I love beans and cornbread.
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Barbara said...

I can imagine that the bean soup would be quite delicious and very nourishing.

Sissy said...

What a comfort- bean soup and a group of friends! They served a lot of beans in Joplin to the volunteers. We were glad to have them, even on a hot day. Just something about them makes a person feel better!