Posts made in November, 2013

Autumn in a Bowl

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Soup | 2 comments

Autumn in a Bowl

I confess to tearing recipes out of magazines and hoarding them in growing numbers.  The bundles multiply and years fly by.  Our tastes change as well as food trends—but I am forever a pushover for beans, legumes, hearty grains and root vegetables.

I scramble through bits, pieces, and snippets, for inspiration; and then concoct a nourishing meal.









Friday night is not usually a soup or stew night at our house (that would be Monday).  After two super warm days it was cooler—a perfect night for an autumn dinner before going over the river and through the woods to see our little fledgling actor, Izzy (Lucille) perform in Cinderella at Starlight Theatre Co.










Accumulate these provisions or similar ones from what you have on hand for the Lentil and Barley Stew with Root Vegetables. A one-pot wonder is not a science but a delightful way to nourish yourself with your countenance in mind.








The lentils are a French green heirloom variety from Twin Falls, Idaho.  Use brown or green lentils; yellow or red ones get too mushy.








I had a half an ounce of dried shiitake mushrooms in the pantry.  I covered them with a cup of boiling water.








While the mushrooms plump up sauté the sliced leek in a little olive oil.








Then begin layering in the remaining ingredients. Remember to season each layer for the best flavor.








Mushroom cooking liquid, stock, dark beer (if you want--it adds a lovely dimension).








Barley, thyme, and fresh bay leaves (MP bought me my very own tree)!








Bring the soup to a simmer; cover and cook for about 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.








Stir in the lentils and reserved mushrooms and cook until the lentils are tender.








Check the seasoning one more time; remove the leaves and stems before finishing with a little Balsamic vinegar.








Hearty barley and lentils with an off sweetness from the parsnip and layers of woodsy flavors created a satisfying bowl of deep autumn deliciousness.

Izzy debuted as a budding comedienne.  We are along for the ride...

Lentil and Barley Stew with Root Vegetables


  • ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle dark beer (optional)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2-three stalks celery including tender leaves, sliced
  • 1 fat or 2 medium parsnips, sliced
  • ¼ cup barley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup French green lentils
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Place the mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the mushrooms and let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add leek to pan; season to taste; sauté 2 minutes or so. Add the mushroom cooking liquid, beer if using, broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips, barley, thyme and bay leaves. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the lentils and cook for 30 minutes longer, adding more water if necessary to accommodate the vegetables. When lentils are tender turn off heat and stir in vinegar; and adjust seasonings.
  3. Serves 4 but don’t count on it—
  4. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved


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The Turkey is on the move…

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Holiday, Thanksgiving | 2 comments

The Turkey is on the move…

Graciously Ty phoned to say,” Mom, I am working on Thanksgiving.  It is my regular shift.  Could we celebrate on Friday?”

My accommodating heart did not miss a beat.  I said what I always say, “Of course whatever works for your family.”











There was something else—Ty wants dinner to be at their home this year. He wants to take on the turkey.  Move over MP!

Thanksgiving pleasures-treasured recipes, turkey tales, and fading stars will morph into homespun stuffing and spectacular sides. I know for sure, there will be an epic bird, retooled traditions with familiar dishes; and tongue-in-cheek drama saturated in the precious part of generational love.

Meanwhile, consider this, Bart Simpson.








Sweet and Savory Cranberry Catsup








Simply combine the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan.















Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.








Give it a whirl.









Spice it up to your taste...








A new fangled condiment for the holidays could be this sweet savory pungent and slightly spicy blend of cranberries and shallots.








Serve the catsup with sweet potato fries, pork, meatloaf or burgers.

How about cocktail-sized turkey meatballs with cranberry catsup dipping sauce?

Sriracha -cha!

Cranberry Catsup


  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped shallots (2-3 ounces)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Hot chili sauce such as Sriracha to taste


  1. Combine cranberries, brown sugar, chopped shallots, cinnamon stick, cider vinegar, water, and salt, in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add hot chili sauce to taste. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Makes about 3 cups
  3. --adapted from—Cooking Light



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Typhoon (Yolanda)

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in New | 0 comments

This is a very long post, I know.

My cousin, Steve, his wife Barbara, and their two sons serve the family of God in the Philippines. Like many family and friends, we waited and prayed for Super Typhoon Haiyan to pass by last Friday.

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake had just ravaged the area in mid-October.

Through social media, we waited and hung on bits and pieces of information Steve or Barbara posted—knowing if they took a devastating hit power and internet would be lost.

They prepared and hunkered down for the night.  Barbara posted this on Thursday night:

“Typhoon preparedness is complete. We have stocked up on canned food, water, batteries, and any medicines we might need. We have charged all phones and electric gadgets. We have gotten the flashlights and candles out. We have brought in the bicycles and battened down everything outside that might blow away. We have filled many buckets with water for washing and CR use. I guess we are ready. Please pray for the Philippines and for the countless millions who do not have a sturdy house like the one we do to protect them from the storm. We might be out of contact for a while if the internet and power go down, which we fully expect. May God protect our country.”

By the morning after the massive typhoon collided with land the sun was shining in Cebu where they live in a sturdy home. Communication was minimal-- the extent of the damage was slow to come.  The aftermath was and-- is of suffering and destruction.  The storm surge ravaged Tacloban City, Leyte Island.

Silent prayers and those sent through Facebook ask for the health and safety of the aid workers in Cebu and Leyte.

Boots are on the ground.  Pray for this area in Leyte where food is scarce and families are struck with devastation, trauma, shock, and hurting hearts.


Steve’s colleague, Peter Varberg posted this reality yesterday.” Prayer is really needed right now. My dad just updated that most of the city is pretty much out of food and another typhoon is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. It will not have strong winds or be as destructive as Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) but now that most buildings have had, their roofs torn off and windows shattered any rain can still be traumatic. My dad and the teachers at the school are camping in our living room. The difficulty is that even if there were financial donations to help, the infrastructure in Tacloban is destroyed so money is worthless now. Dead bodies scatter the streets and the government is contemplating declaring martial law to help with the looting. Spread the word and pray. As soon as more ways to help become available I will let you know.”

Now for those of us in America Steve suggests we help by directing our gifts to collaborate with relief.

We cannot do it all-- but each of us can do --something.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond if you can ♥

xx coco


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Home Grown Heros

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in New | 0 comments

Home Grown Heros


Father God,

On this 11th day of November, we remember those who fearlessly and proudly serve our country.

Today, our hands rise up and we salute the brave men and women who preserved our precious liberties and fiercely guard our future freedoms.

Bless their selfless devotion.  We place them in your eternal care.

My mother, 1st Lt. Bertha C. Wilkinson and my father, SSgt. William E. Barrett.



Their legacy tells a love story of ordinary people stepping forward in extraordinary times and saying, “Here I am.”






I have my father’s hands and my mother’s laugh…


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Kind Words

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in New | 4 comments

Kind Words

We are remembering our mother in her third heavenly year…

Kind words are like jewels that live in the heart and soul and remain as blessed memories years after they have been spoken.

-- Marvea Johnson

The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

--Proverbs 25:11-12  The Message (MSG)

We miss you, Mommy

Bertha Cordella Wilkinson

May 8, 1923 ~ November 8, 2010



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