Old Florida Peninsula

“Glades Silhouette”, 30×40, oil painting, ca. 1946

This painting by the late A. E. “Bean” Backus of Fort Pierce, Florida, was exhibited at Bean’s first Fairchild Tropical Garden’s show in 1946. This view is like much of the scenery on the Kennedy Space Center (which is in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge).

~ from the 2001 book “Southern Skies, Gentle Breezes, The Artistry of A.E. Backus” Sherry and Glenn Firestone

More October Stuff . . .

Pumpkin Apple Baked Beans

Just in time for a chilly October weekend, here is a recipe I found on PBS Foods for a hearty meal while the sounds of college football play in the background.

  • 6 cups cooked white navy beans or great northern beans (about 2 cups / 1 pound dry beans)
  • 1 cup of bean cooking water
  • 1 apple cored and cubed
  • 3 cups peeled pumpkin flesh
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (or 1/2 cup tomato sauce)
  • 1 small head of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups sweet apple cider
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak the dry beans for 12 hours, making sure there is at least 3 inches of water above the beans. Drain the beans and place them in a saucepan filled with enough water to cover 2 inches above the beans. Simmer the beans on medium-low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until tender and fully cooked. Drain the beans but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. In a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, sautée the onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Turn the heat to low and add the tomato paste, molasses, honey, dijon mustard, minced garlic, and pumpkin purée. Cook for a few minutes, stirring well until smooth. Whisk in the apple cider and add the beans and reserved cup of cooking liquid. Mix well.
  3. To cook the beans, you can either simmer them on your stovetop on low heat or bake them in the oven at 300F. Cook them for one hour, and then add the chopped pumpkin, chopped apple, and the butter. Cook them for another 1 to 2 hours, or until the beans have reached the desired consistency. If you prefer your baked beans to be very thick, you can remove the lid for the final hour of cooking so that more liquid evaporates (in which case give them a stir every now and again to make sure they don’t burn at the bottom). In the last hour, you can add the salt and pepper and make any flavor adjustments needed.
  4. Serve warm.

In Remembrance . . .

r. Queen Elizabeth, a grandiflora c. 1953
Rosemary offficinalis

“Rosemary for Remembrance”

Sprig of Myrtle

Ancient symbol of happy marriage

English Oak

Strength of love

These are among the foliage, herbs, and late summer flowers featured in the spray spread on top of the casket of Queen Elizabeth II, several of which had been cut from the gardens of the various royal residences.

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