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Wednesday night dinner and Charro beans

for about a year and a half we have been having an open dinner in our home.  we call it Wednesday night family dinner.  it all started when i was struggling with how ‘the church’ was handling my situation and the realization that i really don’t have a family…now, when i say that, i get crazy looks because, of course, i have a family of 9 children.  what i mean when i say that is that i don’t have anyone to stand shoulder to shoulder with me and be MY family….does that make sense?  so, one day, i was feeling particularly sorry for my self:(and i was pouring my heart out to god.  he so tenderly spoke to my heart:  ‘if you want to have family, you will need to make one’….then he just downloaded this idea….to open our home to anyone who wanted family and/or needed family.  we have had so many people just pass through our home on those nights and so many more are hanging around and we are making a new picture of family.  i don’t cook anything fancy and try not to go to too much trouble to get my house clean…of course, you know how it is…if company is coming, it kinda makes you do things that you put off anyway, so much more gets done:) I told everyone from the beginning that we would have just what i would be fixing for my own family…sometimes, its scrambled eggs!!  i try to make enough of the main thing, so that if no one else came or no one brought anything else to eat, we would be good.

god has been so good to provide for us.  i have been unemployed during a lot of this time….been on food stamps (how humbling) and have learned to receive food from others(again..how humbling)….people bring what we need (you know how god does that for potlucks)….

we are learning to share our hearts, share our children, share our food and share our burdens.  we have had as many as 25 kids here and it takes many of us to keep the fort safe:)we are {slowly, but surely} becoming a family–people who will be there for you no matter what…people who don’t understand our quirks and love us anyway.

we had a mexican dinner last night and i made some beans…charro beans.  i have been wanting to try my hand at these for a long time, as the only place i could find them is at a good mexican food place.  i googled and found several recipes and came up with the common denominator of what became a hit of a recipe!  i was asked by several to share it, so decided to put it here….

  • 2 lbs dried pinto beans, sorted and soaked overnight or at least 2 hours
  • 2 cans chicken stock
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 8 roma tomatoes or 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1-12 oz can of beer (brand and cost is up to you-i don’t drink it so it is CHEAP)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped


cover beans with water and cook until almost tender.  Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet.  when almost crisp, add onion, bell pepper and garlic.  finish cooking until onion is tender.  when beans are almost tender, add bacon mixture, chicken broth, tomatoes, beer and spices.  cook until beans are completely tender.  add cilantro and stir thoroughly.  adjust seasoning to your preference

this makes a soupish consistency, so it can be eating either way:)


these are things that i have learned to do with many small children around:  I usually blend my onion, peppers and tomatoes up in the blender using a little liquid.  i do this ALL the time, since they usually complain about chunks of veggies….

I also use a pizza cutter to cut my cilantro, basil or any other fresh herb/spice.  I use it to cut pancakes, french toast or anything like that that i need to cut huge masses of food in a very short amount of time.

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April - July 1, 2010 - 1:10 pm

I’m so glad you posted this recipe! We LOVED these beans if they are the same ones you cooked for us. I’ve been meaning to write you for the recipe.

April - July 2, 2010 - 7:50 am

I just read your post. It gave me goosebumps. It is hard to imagine that people love us just the way we are faults and all. I love that about Wed night and about Monday too. We just share life together and try and help each other out. I love love love it. =)Its such a nice feeling know that I am “fully known and fully loved”. I am so grateful for you and your friendship. Hopefully next week we can stay longer than 10 minutes tho. =)

[…] soon as my ring came in, he came over and proposed to me. once our wednesday night dinner friends found out, the kids were completely covered for two weeks. we had friends volunteer […]

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