Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit…

“Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let’s have beans at every meal!”

Every time I hear that ditty I have to smile. The basis of that song  is the high amount of oligosaccharides present in beans. Bacteria in the large intestine digest these sugars, producing carbon dioxide and hydrogen. These gases are expelled from the body as flatulence.

With all that in mind, it’s hard to find a better comfort food than a steaming hot bowl of beans and wieners on a damp, cold November evening. Here’s my favourite recipe for this tasty treat.

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 4 medium cooking onions (diced)
  • 2 sweet red peppers (diced)
  • 2 packages of wieners (thinly sliced) *I prefer Schneider’s Red Hots*
  • 4 cans of beans *I prefer Heinz Deep-Browned Beans with Pork and Tomato Sauce*
  • a couple big dollops of ketchup
  • couple dashes of hot crushed chilies (optional)

In a large 4qt saucepan add your vegetable oil, diced onions, and diced peppers. Place on top of the stove and turn your heat to medium. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the onions and peppers start getting tender, then add your sliced wieners. Continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes or until the wieners start to brown. At this point you turn down the stove heat to medium-low and add your 4 cans of beans and a couple big dollops of ketchup. If you are adding crushed chilies, do so now. Stir occasionally, and when the beans start to bubble, lower the temperature to simmer. Let them simmer for 15-20 minutes to help meld the flavours together. Serve up in big bowls with a fresh crusty loaf of French or Italian bread.

Enjoy!!!

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Put This in Your Pipe

I’ve taken up pipe smoking again. It’s not the healthiest pursuit in the world, but I do find it enjoyable and it helps me relax.

My "New" Pipes & Stand

At a recent auction I was the high bidder on a pipe stand containing three pipes. I don’t know what made me bid on them, but it turned out I had won them for the princely sum of $4.00 (Canadian).

Two of the pipes seemed quite serviceable so I went out and purchased a pipe tool, pipe cleaners, and some pipe tobacco. I prefer used pipes, also known as estate pipes, as they have already been properly broken in (hopefully) by their previous owners.

I’ve now had a chance to try them over the past few days and wonder why I gave up the art of pipe smoking in the first place. It might even be the right pastime for you dear reader.¬† Just remember to clean out your dottle!!!

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Look to the Skies

One thing I like about late November is the lack of leaves on the trees. This allows me to see much more of our woodland friends than is visible during the summer months.

Today though it wasn’t the fleeting glimpse of coyotes, or deer, or wild turkeys that caught my eye, but the sight of a couple of magnificent hawks perched high in the trees beside the highway during the trip home from the city.

The first one spotted was a huge raptor with a large white chest scouring the area for prey, oblivious to the traffic pouring by its’ perch. The second bird was a Red-Tailed Hawk, distinguishable by it’s elegant red tail which was facing towards the road as we passed by.

I feel so fortunate to be in such a wilderness area and be able to spot these wonderful creatures on my travels. Next trip I’ll have to remember to take along my camera…

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ARGGHH.. Snow!!!

Freshly fallen snow photo from last winter... arrgghh

As I peer out the window this morning I gaze upon a very disturbing site. Overnight, Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom, decided to litter the area with a light covering of the dreaded snow. I knew this was just a tease by her, as the forecast is calling for warmer temperatures and all of this snow will melt. Still, I shudder to think of this vile white substance interfering with my life over the next 6 months or so.

As a child I used to look forward to this time of year. Snowmen, snowball fights, snow forts, and tobogganing would occupy much of my time in the Winter Wonderland of my youth.

Now, starting my second half-century, I’ve come to dread this season most of all. Poor driving conditions, slipping and falling, bone-chilling cold, and snow shoveling is what I have to look forward to.

It’s no wonder the scene before me is so damn depressing.

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I REALLY Hate Fruit Flies

I REALLY hate fruit flies. These denizens of hell usually make their appearance in late fall in these parts. This year they were more numerous than usual, so I decided it was time to declare an all-out war on them.

Fruit Fly Trap

After researching various natural methods of eradication, (I abhor pesticides) I came upon a deadly potion to try. It involves poking several small holes in the top of a small plastic container and filling it with a dash of dish soap, 1/3 parts cider vinegar, and 2/3 parts regular vinegar up to around 3/4 mark of the container. Placing a few of these around the areas they congregate is starting to make a noticeable dent in the population.

At least a few hundred of them have already gone to meet their maker using this method. Hopefully, in a few weeks time, their numbers will be reduced to a point that they are hardly seen at all.

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Let’s Get This Started…

Hello… This is my blog. It may not be a daily update but I hope to keep it current and interesting. In it I hope to share a little slice of my life with the outside world. I’ll be discussing such topics as food recipes, my views on baseball, gardening tips, talk about wines, beer, rants against injustice, and general musings about my daily life.

I thought I’d start it off by letting you see one of my favourite photos.

An iris from the garden.

My Favourite Iris From The Garden

I took this picture in July in the big perennial garden, which sure beats showing you the gloom of November that is occurring outside the window today. If you’d like to see more of my photos, visit my Picasa page .

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