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Traditionally, pinto beans are used but all I had were black beans.

4-5 cups cooked black or pinto beans (drained, if you used canned ones)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (next time I won’t use this)
1/4 cup lard or oil
1 t salt, if you cook your own beans
water

Heat the lard over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly until softened. Add the beans, a few spoonfuls at a time, and mash them with a fork or potato masher as they fry. Continue mashing and adding beans until all the beans are incorporated. Stir in the salt and enough water to make the consistancy of mashed potatoes, maybe 1/3 cup? Remove from heat and serve. Supposedly these freeze well. Haven’t tried it yet but I will.

Yield: about 4 cups

These are butternut squash babes.

Wash them and cut off their tops.

After cutting them in half from top to bottom, scoop out the seeds into your son's bowl of uneaten oatmeal. This is good chicken food. You could also roast the seeds. I wasn't hungry for pumpkin seeds yesterday.

Place them cut side down on a cookie sheet (with sides) or a baking dish. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour or until they are very soft when poked with a fork.

10 minutes after oven removal, there's a good chance your squash will collapse.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh.

Puree until very smooth with the appliance of your choice...food processor, stick blender, or regular blender.

A note – from these two rather small squashes, I got about 3 cups of puree.

I got this recipe from the Baers. Apparently it is really easy to make syrup, so I shouldn’t buy it. I did not know this and finally made some today to go along with our french toast at lunch.

Stir together in your heavy 2 quart kettle:

1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar for a lighter syrup or dark brown sugar for a darker syrup

Cover and over medium heat bring to a boil stirring a time or two making sure the sugar is dissolved. After it comes to a boil allow to simmer with the lid still on for a few minutes.

Off heat and add a slightly generous half teaspoon of the maple flavoring / vanilla mixture Zoe sent to you*. Keep covered until cooled.

Store in a canning jar.

*Updated: Obviously Zoe did not send you a mixture. This is copy/pasted from an email. It is two parts vanilla extract and one part maple flavoring (preferably shank’s vanilla).