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Thursday, 4 February 2016


The winner of “The Grouchy Ladybug Game” is the player who has collected the most aphids.  To collect them you have to say “Please.” 

 It really tickles Bryan when he thanks Kepler for giving him an aphid and Kepler says, “You’re welcome.”

When your spin lands you in the whale’s mouth, however, you lose an aphid. 
We have played the Grouchy Ladybug game 3 times now and, from the very first time, Kepler hasn’t gotten upset about losing the aphids he has picked up.  

But yesterday when Bryan landed in the whale’s mouth, I said Kepler should take one of Bryan’s aphids for the whale. 

 “The whale’s hungry,” I said.  

Kepler picked up one of Bryan’s aphids.  

Trudging over to drop it onto the cache of aphids, Kepler said quietly, “He’s sorry.”   



          From: Jeff Smith’s THE FRUGAL GOURMET on OUR IMMIGRANT 

1 cup pinto beans
2 tbsp veg oil
½ pound smoked ham
3 cloves garlic
1 med yellow onion
8 cups beef stock (I used vegetable broth and 2 beef bouillon cubes)
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp Hungarian style paprika
2 to 3 cups sauerkraut, drained 
Salt to taste
Yogurt or sour cream for garnish

·        Put beans into large soup pot.  Add 3 cups cold water.  Cover & bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat & let sit for one hour.  Then drain. 
·        Return beans to the pot and add the beef stock.
·        Finely chop garlic and onion.
·        Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion & garlic until tender.
·        Add onion and garlic to the soup pot.
·        Chop ham.
·        Add ham, pepper, and paprika to the soup pot.
·        Bring to the boil.  Lower heat.  Cover and simmer for one hour. 
·        Pour soup into a large bowl through a strainer. 
·        Put about ¾ of the drained beans into a food processor, add a little soup liquid, and blend until smooth.
·        Return all the liquid, beans, and pureed beans to the pot.
·        Add the sauerkraut.  Cover and simmer for one hour.
·        Taste for salt. 

·        Serve with a dollop of yogurt.  VERY tasty!