Monday, March 30, 2015

Go Take a Hike!

hiking alongside Plum Creek under Wilcox Street
This past Sunday afternoon was so warm and pleasant that it would have been a shame to stay indoors.

Beloved and me (does this picture make us look fat?)
After church we changed into our hiking clothes and set out for a long walk. The sunshine was bright with hardly a cloud in the sky.

a pond in Plum Creek beside Interstate 25
Just steps beyond a major north-south Interstate is home for all sorts of wildlife.

Plum Creek
Plum Creek runs north and south through our town of Castle Rock with hills and mountains on both sides. The freeway follows alongside it, as well as busy railroad tracks. 

Plum Creek with Castle Rock  (the actual Rock) high on the right
The creek doesn't get very deep and Beloved didn't see any fish at all. Spring has barely begun to make itself evident even though all the snow is gone (for the time being, anyway -- more is forecasted for later this week).

informative signs along the trail
We did not see much in the way of wildlife on this walk, but we did see evidence of their activity. Helpful signs like this one along the way gave us a better understanding of what to watch for.

one of the several beaver dams we saw
The beavers have been busy making dams along Plum Creek, even with a freeway exit ramp nearby.

taking a closer look with the zoom lens
As we stood gazing at this particular beaver dam, Beloved spied something very special. Can you see it?

what is that in the pink circle?
A mother goose has made a nest on top of the beaver dam and is sitting on her eggs.

a male goose
We have a lot of Canadian geese. This is a male goose standing in the water, not far from the mother goose on her nest.

8-foot wide paved path
We are very blessed to have many paved 8-foot-wide paths all through Castle Rock. As pedestrians, we learn quickly to keep to the right because often a bicyclist will come up behind us and call out, "On your left!" That means to stay to the right so the biker can pass. There is plenty of room for everyone if the rules are obeyed.

the moon on a cloudless day
We could see the moon in the sky at about 2pm when this picture was taken.

view through pedestrian tunnel of Rattlesnake Butte

Castle Rock's first high school is located near the rail road tracks so pedestrian tunnels have been made for students to get safely from home to school.

artwork at the entrance to one of the tunnels
Instead of out-of-control graffiti, these tunnel walls have good artwork, murals, and even pithy quotes.

entrance to one of the tunnels

recording history

good words to ponder while walking to school
This quote is deep inside one of the pedestrian tunnels.

and something else to consider
We were impressed that the town of Castle Rock has been successful in maintaining the cleanliness of these unguarded walls.

Castle Rock from the parking lot of nearby apartments
Beloved and I are continually intrigued that the Rock can look small, much like the cork of a bottle, from some perspectives, and in  other places it is quite long, looking sort of like a shoe.

You can see the star and American flag on the top. The star is there year around and lit up for the Christmas season (from Thanksgiving weekend through the end of the annual Denver Stock Show in January).

By the time we got to this place, we had been hiking over 3 miles. There are two trails a person can take to get to the rock, but we did not have the energy to climb that this time. Denise and I hiked it in the summer of 2013 and it was wonderful.

entering Historic Castle Rock -- see the snow-covered Pikes Peak on the horizon on the right
We walked past Castle Rock (the rock) and at this point, we were walking over a bridge that's above the rail road tracks. Historic Castle Rock was before us (and our car!).

our downtown fire station
It's thrilling any time we see a shining red fire engine roll out of these doors

About 2 blocks from where this picture was taken, our car waited for us. Beloved figured out that we had hiked 3.8 miles on concrete all the way. It was a beautiful walk in fabulous weather  (the mid 60s) and we were ready to go home to take a nap!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Controlled, Counseled, and Conditioned

Last Christmas I asked for this copy of the Bible and knew Beloved would get it for me. Since then, I have spent nearly every weekday morning reading at least one chapter along with the accompanying footnotes and assorted articles that go along with that day's reading.

Due to the current events that bombard us daily, I began with the book of Revelation, and then went on to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and today I finished the second chapter of Luke. I find this to be a fascinating way to read God's Word.  I could read more in a day, but it's good to allow the messages to sink into my mind (also known as meditation).

In reading about Simeon, the man who approached Mary and Joseph at the Temple on the day of the infant Jesus' circumcision, the footnotes said he was "controlled, counseled, and conditioned by the Spirit of God."  

I thought about that and wondered just what that meant.

My conclusions were that controlled could mean Simeon was "caught,  or brought into submission" by God's Spirit. He was counseled, or "taught" by this same Spirit. And lastly he was conditioned, or "trained" in godliness.

As I pondered those thoughts, I wrote them down in the margin of my Bible.  Do you do that?  I do it all the time. It's how I learn, my learning style. When I was a little girl, I saw my Daddy using a red pencil to highlight verses in his Bible and began doing the same when I got older.

The word that stuck with me the most was "conditioned."  How does God condition, or train me?  

Hard experiences. Trial and error. Connecting the dots. 

We do what we think is the right thing. If it works out well, we do it that way again.

If it does not work out well, do we do exactly the same thing again, and over and over, expecting better results?  This is my husband's definition of insanity, by the way. Or do we tweak the method a little? Sometimes we eventually learn that we need to do the matter entirely different, or scrap the whole project and move on to something else!

God is always training us. This never stops, at least on this side of Heaven anyway. Are we paying attention? 

For my part, I want to learn from my experiences and stop being stubborn about it. I want to be like Simeon in Luke chapter 2 who submitted to the call of the Holy Spirt, who listened to the counsel, and then who learned from the conditioning of experience.

How about you?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Welcoming the Easter Season with Hodgepodge

"Lamby Pie," from a friend who collects lambs and sheep
This week's Hodgepodge questions from Joyce at From This Side of the Pond focus on aspects of the Easter season. 

1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child?

Yes, we most definitely celebrate Easter in my home. I liked everything about Easter as a child. I suppose in my childish way of thinking, my favorite part was getting new clothes and shoes to wear to church on Easter Sunday. Finding out what the Easter bunny had left for us was also great fun. My mother always made things nice for my sister and me.

Now, as an adult, my favorite part of  Easter is the music.

2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share  your own thoughts on the word hope.

I think of hope as being another way of saying God, and I KNOW He never abandons me. Therefore I would have to say that Hope never abandons me; but I abandon Him when my faith falters.

3. Weigh in with a yay or a nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Yes! Cadbury Creme Eggs? Yes! Peeps? One is plenty, thank you. Reese's Peanut Better Eggs? Peanut butter just doesn't fit my idea of spring and Easter. Jellybeans? Oh! Have you had the jelly beans made by Smuckers (the jam people)?  They are W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L! Coconut Cream Eggs? Yes. Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket? 

Well, in spite of my responses in the previous paragraph  since I now eat mostly vegan, and dairy-and-gluten-free, my carefree days of enjoying candy are gone. But a dark chocolate non-dairy bunny would be really nice.

4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'?

Just today, as a matter of fact. I was shopping for some springy tops at Christopher & Banks where they were having a sale of 40% off. I came home with three.  I plan to wear one of them on Easter Sunday with either a black skirt or black slacks -- depending on if we get snow or sunshine that day!

today's purchases from Christopher and Banks

5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?

I asked my husband to answer this question for me. He said my diet (the way I eat due to food allergies/intolerances) is different from most people. That does not bother me and I try my best to not let it bother others.

6. Palm Springs, CA, Palm Beach, FL, or the PALMetto State ... of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?

First of all, I had to Google "Palmetto State" and learned that refers to South Carolina. I think I may have been in Palm Springs, California very briefly as a young girl when my father landed his employer's airplane to pick up some people. (sometimes, although not often, my mother, sister and I would get to go along) I'd like to see Palm Beach, Florida and would also love to see Charleston, South Carolina. I've never been to South Carolina, but Surfer Girl has been through there and says it's beautiful. I'd love to experience some true 'southern hospitality' and see the beautiful historic homes.

photo credit

7. If you could change the length of a day, would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.

Winter with its shorter days, cooler temperatures, and cozy socks and sweaters is my favorite time of year so my vote would be for sunset around 5pm so I could snuggle by the fireplace.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I missed the Hodgepodge last week because Beloved and I were in Florida meeting our newest granddaughter. Although the quilt I made for her has been finished for months, I have waited until that visit to post a picture of the quilt here on my blog. It was made with a "jelly roll" packet from JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. The professional machine quilting was done by Holly's Quilt Cabin.

Granddaughter with her doggie and quilt; me with Surfer Girl holding her newborn

Click here to see how my blogging friends have replied to these same questions.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Quiet Place

my study desk
A few years ago there was a TV commercial where a homemaker concluded with, "Life is messy. Clean it up!"

Is not that so true? Life is messy! Trouble, pain, confusion, misunderstandings, overreactions, angry outbursts, impatience, and so many other negatives drop in on us, sometimes daily, while we are trying to just stay out of the fray!

Recently I was confronted with stories of a bothersome circumstance, something about which I had nothing to do and for which there was nothing I could do to fix. All the same, it troubled my spirit and I could not easily erase the mental pictures from my mind. 

I am not alone in my experience. We are bombarded with bad news, warnings, threats, and stories of terrible things happening all over the world, sometimes fearfully close to where we are. What is a person to do to maintain their sanity and to keep a healthy perspective?

"Lord, help me! I'm drowning with fear, disgust, anger..."

Blessed is the man that walketh not
in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither; 
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1:1-3 KJV

It is in times like this that we need to monitor our thoughts. With my strong interest in nutrition, I like to say that we are what we eat.  The same is true for the mind. We are what we think. 

When we allow ourselves to dwell on the unsavory, we become unpleasant ourselves. But when we focus on God's Word, we are blessed with an ability to withstand the bad news and to be both discerning and strong, even winsome, in spite of great hardship.

We must ask ourselves, what does God have to say about [this negative thing] that has captured my attention? 

What I found is that when I focus on scripture and turn over in my mind God's ways of handling things, I am blessed like that tree growing beside water. I am able to produce spiritual fruit such as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Experience has also taught me to pray back to God what I am reading in His Word. When we say back to Him what He has said to us, we know we are praying according to His will.

Lord, I do take delight in Your Word. I see the truth in what You have said. I don't want to be like those who pay attention to ungodly counsel, I don't want to spend the majority of my time with those who ignore You and Your ways; I don't want to be negative and critical.

Instead, I want to be like that healthy tree, feeding on Your goodness, Your mercies, learning to live in obedience to You. I want to honor You and be prosperous in what I do. 

It is important for our spiritual, emotional, mental, and even our physical health to spend time alone with the Lord every single day, and to spend as much time as reasonably possible. We need a daily infusion of reading Scripture and thinking about the personal application those Words are meant for us. We need to pray back to God His very words because that pleases Him and instructs us in the saying of them aloud. 

I have learned to have this quiet time with Him at the very beginning of my day. I need that time to prepare me for whatever will come, even before I read my email or speak to those outside of the walls of my house! To start the day without acknowledging the Lord first is like leaving the house to work in my pajamas -- I'm not adequately prepared!

Life is messy. That is an unavoidable fact.  The enemy of our souls is always at work to defeat us. But our Heavenly Father has given us the tools and instruction we need to face the onslaught. Victory is ours when we take Him at His Word.

Blessed is the person who meditates on God's Word all the time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Help for Menu Planning

this book can be purchased at Williams Sonoma stores or via Internet

Menu planning is something I love to do, and for my detail-oriented personality, I need to do. I am truly at loose ends if 5 p.m. rolls around and I have no idea what to cook for supper. I'm seldom one who can just "wing it," even though there are only two sitting at my supper table.

don't walk away from the skillet while toasting almonds (or any nut) --
they scorch quickly when left unattended

Probably my great interest in good nutrition, combined with avoiding my food allergens, has a lot to do with the need to plan out menus ahead of time. I've found some books over the years that are very helpful with this, but even with that assistance, there are usually menus that call for ingredients Beloved and I don't eat or care for. No one book or plan is perfect for us at all times. 

Currants are like itty bitty raisins
But with that said, I'm using a book now that is fun.  A person needs to enjoy cooking and the challenge of using unfamiliar ingredients, which I do.  In my younger years when the children were still living at home and my schedule was much more strenuous, this style of cooking would have driven me mad with its demands, but now, it's more like a hobby!

This is curly parsley. Flat-leafed parsley is considered more gourmet,
but you use what you can find, right?
The recipes in Williams-Sonoma's Salad of the Day, 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year are defined as gluten-free, so I skip over the ones that don't work for me, or I substitute ingredients if possible.

yellow squash or green zucchini -- either will work well for this recipe
Last week we enjoyed a warm salad combination that I made early in the day, so the flavors could meld. Then at dinnertime I reheated it and served it atop some colorful lettuce greens. For Beloved (the meat-eater), I boiled some sausage to serve on the side, and the meal was complete. It was great! 

But even if a recipe is not that good, the joke around here is that we don't have to eat it again for another year, since this book has something entirely different for 365 days!

sliced leeks display our Creator's beautiful symmetry of design

I adapted this recipe for what I had on hand, for what I could find in my grocery store on a day when I was in a rush to get home, and for the number of people sitting at my table. This is not the original recipe in the book.

the flavor of sautéed leeks is heavenly!
Please note that leeks tend to harbor sand/dirt, so rinse them very well and be on the lookout for additional bits of dirt that may be hiding as you slice them up. Just rinse them off with water.

this is the rice I used

The original recipe called for wild rice and brown rice and cooked them separately before combining them in the final dish. I could not find just wild rice the day I was shopping, so I got this pre-packaged mix that is wonderfully easy and flavorful. It worked out well.  This particular flavor of Uncle Ben's is gluten-free. If that is a concern for you, always be sure to check the labels.

Leeks are large and have a wonderful aroma raw and well as cooked.
Be sure to rinse them well, allowing the water to run down
between the layers to remove all the sandy dirt.

Wild Rice and Leek Salad (for 2)

1 large leek, well washed 
1 package Uncle Ben's Ready Whole Grain Medley 
1/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup slivered and blanched almonds
extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow summer squash (or green zucchini)
1 sprig fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne pepper)
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a dry skillet heat the almond slivers for about 3 minutes (or less), stirring often, until toasted. Remove the almonds to a bowl to cool. 

Thinly slice the white and pale green portion of a leek. (Save the tougher dark part for soup on another day.) Put about 1/3 cup oil in the skillet, add the sliced leeks and salt to taste. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Transfer the leeks to a large bowl.

Cook the brown rice and wild rice according to package directions (90 seconds in the microwave and they're done!) and then add the rice to the bowl with the leeks. 

Cut the squash (or zucchini) into 1/2-inch slices.  Add more oil as may be needed to the skillet and cook the squash until they are tender-crisp, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add the squash to the bowl with the leeks and rice.

Add the remaining ingredients (the chopped parsley, ground cumin, ground allspice, ground coriander, red pepper, the toasted almonds, and lemon juice, stirring to combine well. Adjust the seasonings as may be desired.

You can serve this immediately or refrigerate all day for the flavors to meld.  I spooned this mixture over a colorful lettuce mixture for a beautiful presentation. 

Wild Rice and Leek Salad over mixed salad greens
Let's eat!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Life-Blessing Verses

a rose near our mailbox, several years ago

In trying to decide what to write for my birthday weekend, many topics vied for my attention, yesterday's post being a case in point. (smile)

What I finally settled upon is to share with my readers the scripture verses that most often come to my mind when my Bible is not in front of me.  They are verses tucked into memory over the years, many of them when I was a young girl, and kept fresh with meditation since then. I don't always remember the "address" (where it is found in the Bible) but I do know these words and they comfort me like nothing else.  

Many times the words to these verses say exactly what is in my heart, and often they are exactly what needs to be said in prayer when my heart is broken with disappointment, worry, fear, or my own sin. Praying God's Word back to Him is very powerful.

You will probably recognize these scriptures. Perhaps they have given you much-needed comfort over the years. I share them in the King James Version because that is how I learned them.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world 
that He gave His only begotten Son
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish but have
everlasting life.

Psalm 119:9
Wherewithal shall a young man 
cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 19:4
Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord, my strength,
and my redeemer.

Nehemiah 8:10
... the joy of the Lord
is your strength.

Isaiah 26:3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call unto me,
and I will answer thee,
and show thee great and
mighty things, 
which thou knowest not.

Matthew 6:34
... Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that walketh not
in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted 
by the rivers of water, 
that bringeth forth is fruit
in his season; 
his leaf also shall not wither'
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

II Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro
throughout the whole earth,
to shew himself strong in the behalf 
of them whose heart is 
perfect toward him.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; 
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: 
for thou are with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me 
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy 
shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house 
of the Lord forever.

III John 4
I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children walk in truth.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will direct your paths.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's My Party

Whimsey has come out with this blog post. My birthday is this Monday, March 16th and it's THE BIG ONE, so I'm throwing myself a party. Pick up your party hat as you come in the door and find a seat in the dining room ...
Eves Dropping, Home and Garden Editor of the Whistlestop Weekly

This is Eves Dropping, reporting to you from Grammy's Place Bed and Breakfast where a huge social event is in progress and expected to last for the entire weekend. 

Family and many friends from both far and wide have gathered in our quaint little mountain town of Whistlestop to throw a surprise birthday party for Grammy Bear herself.  How they were able to pull this off is a mystery yet to be told since Grammy holds a tight rein on this retirement business she owns with her husband, Grandad Bear.

Grandad Bear and Spud, the handyman

We suspect there is more going on beneath his furry head and thick spectacles than meets the eye -- Grandad Bear and his dependable handyman, Spud, must have been busy behind-the-scenes to pull off a regalia of this magnitude.

It was nearing lunchtime and Grammy Bear was in the entry hall of the B and B, checking the guest registry, wondering if the guests expected for the weekend would be arriving in time for lunch. She had understood them to say they would be hungry upon arrival. They had requested her famous chicken salad made with crushed pineapple and delicately toasted pecans tucked into finger sandwiches accompanied with spinach salad, pink lemonade, and for dessert, the B and B's famous cherry pie.*

Mrs Berniece Mertz, B and B Chef
Although she had not been into the dining room since enjoying her morning cup of tea, Grammy Bear knew all was ready because the Bed and Breakfast chef, Mrs Berniece Mertz could always be depended upon to produce the finest fare in Whistlestop Valley.

Hmm. With that said, Grammy Bear decided she should take a peek into the dining room to see if Mandy Sue and Lily had set the tables with the pink cloth napkins she had set aside to match the pink lemonade. Lily was made of the most dependable stuff, but Mandy Sue could be distracted by the slightest of whims and it was not unusual for her to forget important matters on the To Do Lists issued by her employer. This proprietress had learned long ago to check up on her young protege  often and hold her accountable when things went awry.

Grammy Bear's surprised reaction

As Grammy Bear opened the blue Columbine stained glass French doors leading into the dining room... SURPRISE! 

Grammy Bear discovers her party

Every family member every born and every friend she ever had in her entire life shouted out to her with such enthusiastic volume that  the air in her lungs whooshed out, her eyes rolled back toward her ears and her legs slipped out from under her like well-done spaghetti, causing her to fall backward in a dead faint onto the floor.  There she lay, to the shock and amazement of all, staring with unseeing eyes at the tray ceiling and her mouth agape.

Resuscitation effort
While everyone stood like stone with fear, Grandad Bear lost no time and climbed over the table, only briefly stopping to untangle his feet from the mountain of decorative curly ribbon, to run to the aid of his dear one. This laid back man can give the impression of slow response, but when it's important, he springs into action like the Man of Steel himself.  Once he was in her face, he knew what was required and he quickly took the matter in hand. 

A rapturous kiss was all Grammy needed to make her eyelids flutter and her limp hands to clasp above her chest. Yes, she was alive indeed and, aside from a nasty bump on the back of her furry head, she was going to be okay!  Bring on a glass of that pink lemonade and get this lady into a chair!  Let the party begin! 

Eves Dropping interviews Mrs Bernice Mertz
After the birthday party luncheon was well under way and the many guests seemed content with the food, I was able to steal a few quiet minutes with the chef, Mrs Berniece Mertz, to inquire about her part in the plans for this gala event. Had she any idea as to just how much of a surprise this would be for her employer?  "Mercy, no!" was her response.  But in retrospect, they did know ahead of time that this particular birthday was "the big one" for Grammy Bear. Perhaps they all should have taken that into serious consideration beforehand.

This wraps up my story.  As I packed up my camera gear and trusty pencil with writing pad, I was reminded ...

... he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15

Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Make a Good Winter Soup

Winter Soup How-to
Most likely I am not alone when I say we are looking forward to spring.... and more so, now that we have sprung forward with our clocks this past weekend. 

Beloved and I came mighty close to living in the past, however. We set our clocks back one hour and were just settling into our chairs when we realized we should have set the clocks forward one hour! So we got back up and fixed our mistake. Whew!

Whether it's spring or fall, winter or summer, all homemakers should have a dependable soup recipe, and the ingredients for that soup on hand, for when we don't feel like having to think to put dinner together, or for when it's just 'soup weather.'

Here is a soup we had recently and we loved it. I think the secret to this soup tasting so good is to sauté the vegetables first. Get a bit of caramelization on them for a richer flavor.

Winter Soup How-to

1. Chop up whatever vegetables you have on hand (2 cups of hard vegetables such as winter squash, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, etc). I like to include a chopped yellow onion in there, too.

2. Sauté these chopped vegetables in olive oil in a big pot and add the seasoning of your choice such as red pepper flakes (mine is always garlic).

3. Add a can of drained and well-rinsed beans* and sauté for another minute or two.

4. Add vegetable stock (or tomato juice — yum!) to cover by half an inch, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.

5. Since I’m a gluten-free kinda gal, I don’t add noodles but you can at this point if you want. I prefer to add quinoa (which is technically a seed), and allow to cook long enough for that to be tender. Ladle into big bowls and enjoy with rice crackers.

*my secret to avoiding flatulence from canned beans is to thoroughly rinse them about 3 times, to get rid of the canning juices that can cause intestinal gas.