Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Better Baker - Leader Enterprise - July 2009 - Beans

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for a while and leave their footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us.

Life is all about relationships. Spouses, Children, Friends, Family, God.  Each one demands your time,your heart. You may be connected by blood relationships, or you may simply be bosom buddies. You may not communicate regularly, but when you reconnect with a true friend it’s as if you’ve never been apart because your hearts are always linked.

There are gaps in your hearts that only a friend can fill. If we’re fortunate enough, some family members become friends, and oftentimes, some friends become family.

It’s vitally important to spend quality time with friends. There are days when you simply must MAKE the time in your busy lives to connect, because it’s always so worth your time and effort. Even if it’s an email or phone call over many miles that separate you.

The sweet memories you make when you reunite, long distance or face to face, live on forever, even after one of those friends has passed on. Nothing can warm your heart more than to recall the voice of a friend, or to remember their laugh when you last talked.
There are people whom one loves immediately and forever. Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough.  ~ Nancy Spain
Fortify yourself with a flock of friends! You can select them at random, write to one, dine with one, visit one, or take your problems to one. There is always at least one who will understand, inspire, and give you the lift you need at the time. ~ George Matthew Adams

Authentic friendship is not superficial, surface-level chit chat. It’s genuinely sharing the deepest gut-level thoughts of your heart. A friend is someone who knows all about you, and likes you anyway.

How blessed you are if you have a myriad of friends - you can run to one when you’re up or down, knowing they will willingly multiply your joy, or divide your sorrow. Even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

A favorite scripture of mine is Prov. 18:24 -"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.." If you feel like you don’t have friends, why not make an effort to befriend someone? You may brighten their lonely days in ways you could never have imagined.

Take time to listen or share a meal with someone. Those little things may be a very big thing in someone else’s life.

To have a friend, be a friend.

Maybe you have been hurt in the past,so you withdraw and are afraid of revealing your true self to someone else. Dredge up some courage-open up reach out to another person. You may discover something wonderful that has been missing in your life.

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

Hubby and I recently enjoyed a day trip with Evelyn’s Excursions. She has a number of day trips planned for the summer. Think of someone you’ve been wanting to visit, ask them to take a trip with you, and you can enjoy time away and each other. Oh what fun!

I recently gave a tea party for two of our granddaughters, Charlie & Chloe, and 4 of their friends. Since we were having the party in July,we decided on an "All American Girl" theme. We did all the decorations in red, white & blue. We enjoyed bubble gum tea with star shaped sandwiches, recited the pledge of allegiance and enjoyed sharing knock knock jokes..

I would love to know my grandchildren would be blessed, as I am, to stay connected to some school-day chums many years after graduation.

In my circle of friends, I’m known as the party giver. I once invited friends over for a tea party, to celebrate the fact I just got new dishes! We all wore hats and slippers,and shared our favorite book. What a fun memory! We love to share funny stories or embarrassing moments. Laughter is good medicine for the soul!

I’ve planned for us to watch a comedic movie when we’re all together, but somehow we haven’t managed to find the time because we manage to muster enough giggles on our own.

I’ve hosted several "Girlfriend Parties" over the years,and the memories linger on. I usually ask them to bring a dish that begins with the first letter of their first name. It was fun to see what kinds of dishes they could come up with..
Roxanna’s Raspberry Bars..

Sandy’s shrimp..

Mary’s Mexican salad, etc.

It adds a unique touch and is a great conversation piece also.

I have a lovely friend who is always willing to open her beautiful 7,000 - sq. ft. home to us,  so we all enjoy a couple of hours breezing through, gawking at the special family and personal touches she has there. It’s part of our ‘entertainment’.

Some friends make you feel richer than if you’d just had a sweepstakes check delivered to your door. Sometimes the benefits of having friends isn’t just about the relationship, but the life lessons we learn. Some of the best lessons we can learn from each other are simply how to be a friend.

The recipe I’m sharing this month is one that my daughter-in love, Kym, brought to one of my Girlfriend parties, and everyone asked for the recipe. It's also the same one that I will be serving in front of the Leader Enterprise office for Bean Days.  I do hope you’ll stop by and have a taste. I look forward to seeing many of you face to face then.

Appropriately,this is what I fixed for my husband Ron,whose nickname is BEAN, for Father’s Day, and all our adult children enjoyed it too.


Friends are one of the most important ingredients in this recipe called life.


1-40-oz. Jar great northern beans
1 qt. (4 cups) sauerkraut, drained
1 pkg. Polish kielbasa sausage, cut up
1 cup packed brown sugar (or less)
3 T. Ketchup
Chopped onions, to taste

Mix all together and bake at 350 for about 3 hrs. stirring occasionally. Mix it up the night before if you want and refrigerate. Can simmer on low in crockpot for 6 - 8 hrs.

Enjoy a wonderful summer.