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Homemade Baked Beans

Good food / recipes, Living well on less $

What cookout or casual gathering would be complete without baked beans? Homemade ones are not difficult to make and taste ever so much better than canned. Like most things you make yourself, they are less expensive than canned or deli varieties. I make them a day ahead, starting them in the evening and cooking all night.

This recipe was adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, which called for parboiling and baking, but I make them in a Crockpot.  (1977 was the year of the Crockpot--we received 3 of them as wedding presents!  I still have the same Crockpot and husband, for that matter.)

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Offshore Drilling Doesn't Always = Oil Spills

Energy, Environment, Legislation

When I think of oil spills, my mind goes immediately to the Exxon Valdez. Remember that one? In my mind's eye I can still see volunteers trying to wash off animals and rocks with toothbrushes and Dawn detergent. 

1989 Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef off of Alaska, it was a case of drunk driving!

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The Century Mark

This is my one-hundredth posting.  I don't keep track; the only reason I know is that the software of this program tracks the number of entries and displays it on a file-manager page.  So - I thought I would do some reflecting on the last ninety-nine entries.

Local stories, public health, music, economics, politics, sports, history, and reflections on our culture have constituted my subject matter.  In no particular order, the five most viewed postings of 2008 have been:

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And To This Declaration...........

"And to this Declaration we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor".


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Week Three/Four: DOT and Bluemound Road

Bluemound, city, Town

Work began in early June to improve the safety of Bluemound Road.  The first segment of construction is between Moorland Road and Calhoun Road.  The DOT anticipated that each segment would take about a month to complete.  We are at week four, so the newly configured highway should soon be "open." 

Businesses east of Calhoun should breathe a sigh of relief within a week or so. The learning process will then begin.

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The Death Spiral

Ford - General Motors - Chrysler.  Once American icons - now the Dwindling Three.

Before I go any further I want to indicate how serious this matter is to me on a personal level.  I work for a company that does a lot of business with the domestic automobile manufacturers.  Many people that I am happy to call friends and co-workers depend on that business for their livelihoods.  So I write with that sobering backdrop.

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Farewell Reception for Father Paul

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Introducing Father Ken Knippel

Father Ken Knippel began his second weekend at St. John Vianney by celebrating the combined faith of Peter and preaching of Paul, Apostles to a packed church of parishioners.  It's only fitting that he would begin his second weekend on a beautiful summer day.  One could tell just how excited everybody was by the number of people lining up after church to chat and welcome him to the St. John Vianney community!  Here's some biographical information about Father Knippel:


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Don't miss the SJV Festival!

Upcoming events

SJV PARISH FESTIVAL - June 6th, 7th,& 8!!!

Located at Calhoun & Gebhardt in Brookfield, there’s easy access along with reachable and available parking

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Join our Summer Service Series!

Summer Service Series

Thinking about volunteering this summer?  Consider helping out at one of SJV's several summer service series. Recently, a group of SJV school children and their parents spent the evening over at the Hunger Task Force sorting food.  They sorted 15,000 pounds of food on June 10, 2008.  No lazy summer nights for this group!  Thanks to the Greco Family (Lisa, Tom and R.J.) for organizing this!

 Here are some other opportunites to volunteer during July!   

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Hector and Achilles


I did not think I would ever see a tennis match as good as the Wimbledon Final of 1980, which matched the stoic Swede Bjorn Borg against the brash and temperamental New Yorker John McEnroe.  I remain too jealously protective of the sports legends of my youth to say it was better, but honesty forces me to acknowledge that last Sunday's Wimbledon final between the Swiss Roger Federer and the Spaniard Rafael Nadal was at least its equal.

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Bacon - Nature's Perfect Fruit?

For Laughs, travel

While in line at McDonald's at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, the Spouse and I witnessed the following exchange.  The people involved were a young cashier and an unhappy customer of Indian descent.

Customer:  (holding an uneaten salad in his hand)  I wanted a salad without any meat.  This has meat in it.

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Chess, Model A's and Guided Tours

Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society

Staying close to home this weekend?

If you like chess, there's an opportunity for you at the Dousman Stagecoach Inn on Sunday, July 20.  The Waukesha Chess Club is hosting a Chess Challenge for people of all ages -- and skills.  It's a free event from 1 to 4 pm. - and it will be held indoors.

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I'm a big Sheryl Crow fan and heard her song Steve McQueen the other day.  It's half anthem of rocker-rebellion and half tribute to a Hollywood King of Cool. 

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Electricty generated from manure!

Energy, Going Green, Interesting idea

Back in the 1970s, we were in an energy crisis. Because oil supply was limited and prices high, many alternative fuels and energy generating operations were talked about and tried. Capturing methane gas from rotting garbage was a popular idea at the time--I think it was even featured in Mother Earth News. (My husband and I were subscribers.) I don't remember if many people actually tried it though. Today, oil prices are up again and people are looking for alternatives.

I recently saw an interesting electricity generating operation on Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs show. Host Mike Rowe paid a visit to Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana where Mike helped with all sorts of dirty, grimy, icky, jobs in that "Dairy Cow Midwife*" episode. Mike literally rolled up his sleeves and even got in up past his elbow to help a cow deliver her calf. (Haven't seen that since watching All Creatures Great and Small!)

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Tour Le Jardin

Take a walk in parklike settings.

On Saturday, July 26, 2008, three garden clubs (Mayfair Park, Elm Grove and Elmbrook) are hosting "Tour Le Jardin."  Your family can enjoy six wonderful gardens in Brookfield, Elm Grove, Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls. Tours are offered from 10 am to 3 pm.

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Feeling the Love

Love, Pop Culture

I saw this video on "The View" this morning.  It made me cry.  I must be getting sappy in my old age.

Christian the Lion 

Much Ado about Aldi's

The decision has been made and Aldi's is coming.

There was no reason to deny Aldi's occupancy of that building, and the Town Board's unanimious vote to appove it showed good sense and judgment.  Competition is efficacious for consumers, and our community will now have an additional option for grocery shopping.  This can only be a good thing, particularly at a time of rampant inflation in food prices. 

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Hidden Opportunities in Brookfield

Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society

Some readers might recall past posts about the Elmbrook Historical Society and its Dousman Stagecoach Inn.  The 1843 Greek Revival Inn once stood on the corner of Watertown Plank and Bluemound Road.  This stately home is Brookield's only landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places.The home was given to the city in 1980 and it was relocated to a city park..

The non-profit Elmbrook Historical Society raised funds to move the home, build a bridge to the site about a half mile north. After the move in 1981, members of the historical society restored the inn to the 1850s-1870s when the stagecoach inn was operated by the "Browns."

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A Picnic at All Saints

Summer Service Series

Our Summer Service Series continues with SJV Parishioners most recently organizing a picnic over at The Commons at All Saints Church Milwaukee.

Who doesn't love a picnic? Ashlyn Elizabeth loves one and so does... Ashlynn Elizabeth. The two girls met for the first time on July 26th when a group from The Quad Parishes (St. John Vianney, St. Dominic, St. Joseph and St. Mary Elm Grove) shared a picnic with members of The Commons from All Saints Church, as part of the Summer Service Series.

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