Archive for November, 2008

Gypsy Stew

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Suzanne’s Vegetarian Gypsy Stew
(Based on Moosewood’s Gypsy Soup)

Serves 6


3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups peeled/cubed sweet potatoes or winter squash

2 Tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon tumeric
1 Tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 bay leaf
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of cayenne

2 cups chopped fresh (or canned) tomoatoes
1 cup chopped sweet peppers
2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3 cups stock or water


1. Sauté onions, garlic, sweet potatoes/winter squash and celery in olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add seasonings and the stock/water. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.

3. Add remaining vegetables. Simmer another 10-15 minutes, until all of the veggies are tender to your liking.

Review of Chequers, Saugatuck, Mi

Friday, November 21st, 2008

By Guest Blogger, Bev Gengler

A few weeks ago my friends and I went to Saugatuck for a weekend getaway. We stayed at the Ship ‘n Shore Motel conveniently located in town within walking distance to the shopping and restaurants district. It was a fabulous day of walking, eating, browsing, photographing, walking the shoreline of Oval Beach, playing cards, talking, laughing and drinking wine.
We had been given recommendations on restaurants, so in the early evening we set out on foot to have dinner. We came upon two places that had peaked our interest, but the wait was too long or the line was out the door onto the sidewalk. Eventually we came to Chequers, a quaint and cozy little place, described on their website as a Gastropub, a British word for pub with good quality food and known to have a relaxed atmosphere. Upon our entry, we noticed that is was small, warm and felt yummy. We noticed the couple that we’d talked to on the street seated at a table for two and even though they hadn’t arrived too long before us, they were sipping on drinks. After the hostess told us there would be a wait, I suggested “what about the long table for four that was open, and put a chair on the end for the fifth person in our party”. She replied with “that doesn’t leave room for the waitress to get around”. We were good with that and decided to belly up to the bar, and have a cocktail while we waited.

Five minutes passed before we, the only people sitting at the bar, were acknowledged. After observing there were only two of the eleven tables that could accommodate our party, we asked if we could eat at the bar. The seemingly disheveled lady server sort of mumbled a yes and took our drink order. About ten minutes later, and before our drinks arrived, the man server led us to a table that has freed up. So obviously there hadn’t been any communication between the man server and the lady server that we’d discussed eating at the bar. The lady server brought us our drinks within five minutes after being seated, gave us our menus and walked away. At this point there was very little talking between our group and the server. No “welcome, how are you doing” or “these are our menu features”. We decided relatively quickly our choices from the menu, and gave the order to lady server on her next visit. We were having fun in the dark corner where we were seated, sipping our drinks, but forever went by before we were served our food. At about this point I noticed that the couple that had come in just before us was finishing up and paying their bill.

Some of us were nearly finished eating before lady server sort of leaned around the corner and asked in passing if all was well. Meanwhile the “couple table” had two new people with drinks in hand and lady server was chatting it up with them. Lady server finally came by with our check, never asked if we wanted anything else, coffee, another cocktail, or dessert. I asked if she could split up the bill because we had two debit cards in our party, and she said “no, I’m in the weeds and don’t have time”. Although we felt slighted on service, we left a 20% tip on our $100 bill. As we were leaving I noticed the new people at the “couple table” were just finishing up and waiting for their check.

In summary, Chequers maybe needed another server working that night, maybe a bar tender would’ve served the bar better, lady server didn’t like working a party of more than four, lady server assumed our food was delicious, and that we weren’t really thirsty, and $5 in tips would have been more accurate. We did find cocktails, coffee’s and desserts elsewhere, and fun was had by all.

Theme a Month

Monday, November 10th, 2008

The online photo group I belong to (Photo a Week) has started something new … Theme a Month. November’s theme is Uniformity. I started shooting two weekends ago and got a few shots while in Saugatuck. My photo buddy, Bev, has also joined and as we wandered the town shooting we were digging the assignment. To see what’s there for the month of November so far go here:

Snow and Sun

Monday, November 10th, 2008

It snowed Sunday night and stuck around all day today. It was cold and dreary … those gray miserable clouds hanging around all day denying the sun any face time. Not looking forward to all those winter days strung one after another for the next few months. More than anything, I miss the sunshine.

Micro-Lending at

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Not too long ago the book club I belong to read Banker to the Poor. The author, Muhammad Yunus, witnessed the cycle of poverty and did something to reverse that cycle. He loaned money, small amounts and specifically to woman, to help them start a business and improve their lives. His bank was wildly successful and this idea of micro-lending has become a model for other parts and organizations.

One place that makes it easy for you to contribute to micro-lending around the world is The website is easy to navigate. They’ve done a great job showing what kinds of supplies or services each organization is able to supply at each donation level. As little as $10 goes a long way. Each short description is linked to another page that describes each project in more detail, has a world map with the location of the project and there are pictures of some of the recipients of the micro-loans.

Take a look and see what you think.

Ten Commandments – Here they are!

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

At lunch the other day, we remembered seven of the ten commandments. Here are all ten:
One: I am the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods before me.
Two: You shall not take God’s name in vain.
Three: Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Four: Honor your father and mother
Five: Thou shall not murder
Six: Thou shall not commit adultery
Seven: Thou shall not steal
Eight: Thou shall not bear false witness
Nine: Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s house
Ten: Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or any of his stuff.

How many did you remember?