A New Year

May your year ahead be filled with laughter, fat chickens and just the right amount of snow, with an early spring, with plenty of love, a summer of abundant garden produce, a good apple season, and a warm home.  May you always be able to find the good, and may you always steer through any rough spots with grace.  May you manage to find goodwill and grace towards all.


Recipe: French meat pie in a home made crust!


  • Two pounds beef hamburg
  • Medium onion, chopped fine
  • Small rutabaga, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes and then simmered in water until soft 
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (peel and slice thin and simmer in water for ten minutes or so until soft and then mash
  • Tablespoon salt
  • Lots of pepper
  • Teaspoon cinnamon
  • Tablespoon-plus of ground coriander (grind fresh with a mortar and pestle)
  • Pie crust (here is our recipe)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Sauté onion and hamburger until cooked through.  Add salt and seasonings.  

Combine meat with cooked rutabaga and mashed potatoes.  

Grease a round pie pan. Roll out bottom crust and fit into pan, pile meat and rutabaga and potato mixture into pie pan.  Top with second rolled out crust. Slash vents int the top crust and brush with milk.  

Bake 40 minutes until crust is lightly browned.  Enjoy. 

We eat with a side of steamed snow peas or broccoli.  

Searching for Grace

Bean & Bantam all rights reserved

Outrage sells news. Outrage makes you click a link, and rakes in on-line profit. We tend to click on headlines that serve up outrage more than any other type. Outrage fuels resentment. Resentment fuels more resentment.

We have enough resentment. We have enough to be outraged about. We have enough divisiveness. We have more than enough derision, bullying, and snarkery. We have plenty. We don’t need more snark. We don’t need outrage. We don’t need resentment. We don’t need walls. We don’t need registries. We don’t need bullhorns. We don’t need hate. On the flip side, we don’t need peace or love as much as we need something else. Why something else? Why not peace and love, and “all you need is love”? Because at this point, at this time, in this world, I’m pretty sure peace and love are… well, maybe just too far out of reach for right now.

What we need is grace. Can we start with just a little bit of grace?

In trying to figure out how to define grace, or how to explain this idea of grace as the thing that we need more than anything else right now, I poked around in search of what grace really means. Merriam Webster wasn’t helpful at all. I mean, not at ALL, which surprised me. Their definition doesn’t grasp even a little bit of what I mean by grace. 1) “Simple elegance or refinement of movement.” No. 2) (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” Uh, I think I mean grace is a more secular way. We can’t bestow blessings on others without god or christian belief? 3)”do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence.” By one’s presence? Really? Not by one’s gifts or one’s humor or one’s talent? To do honor or credit just by showing up? What about the factor of doing whatever it is WELL. So Merriam Webster has some work to do in my opinion. Their nuance on grace is completely missing, somewhat like the grace I’m thinking of is just about almost but not quite missing in the modern world, or specifically in 2016 and 2017 in the United States.

Continue reading “Searching for Grace”