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Reader's response offers 12 beans and countless delicious meals


This 13 may turn out to be a lucky number for you.

Sally Turner of Severna Park, requested a 13-bean soup "in which you put the dried beans, the recipe and the spice bag in a canister and give it for a present," she wrote.

Her response came from Vivian Stock of Prineville, Ore., who wrote that she layered the dry beans in a clear jar "and they looked very pretty that way," she wrote.

Her recipe, Back to Basics Bean Soup, called for 12 beans: 2 tablespoons each of garbanzo beans, black beans, brown lentils, red lentils, small red kidney beans, green split peas, yellow split peas and black-eyed peas. Also 3 tablespoons each pinto beans and barley grain and 4 tablespoons each navy and lima beans.

A 13th bean, 2 tablespoons of soybeans, may be added. If red lentils cannot be found, use 4 tablespoons brown lentils. No spice bag ingredients were given.

Back to Basics Bean Soup

1 pound bean soup mix

water to cover beans

2 quarts water

1 1/2 pounds ham or 4 ham hocks

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion chopped

1 large red, dry pepper

1 (24-ounce) can tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1 splash of Burgundy wine, a tablespoon or slightly more if desired, may be used if on hand

sour cream for garnish.

Wash beans. Put in large pot and cover with water. Soak 10 to 12 hours then add 2 quarts more water. Add ham and all ingredients except ground beef and wine. Simmer 3 hours or until beans are tender. Remove ham hocks. Cool and remove meat. Chop meat and return to pot. Brown ground beef. Drain well. Add to soup. Add wine, if desired and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Allow soup to cool and store in refrigerator overnight -- this improves flavor. Reheat and serve hot in bowls or mugs with a dollop of sour cream.


A coffeecake made with wheat germ and a topping made with cornflakes, sugar and butter "which my mother made in the 1950s," was the request from MaryLee Reagan of West View, Ky.

Her answer came from Michelle Buza of Rosedale who noted that her family really enjoyed it.

"One of the nice things is you can prepare everything but the topping and refrigerate overnight then pop in the oven in the morning," she wrote.

Grandma's Early Morning Coffeecake

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg beaten

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup wheat germ


2 tablespoons wheat germ

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

5 tablespoons crushed corn flakes

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and then dry ingredients. Blend well. Grease an 8-inch square or round cake pan and pour batter in pan. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over batter. Bake in 375-degree oven 25-30 minutes or until it tests done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.

Recipe requests

* Anne Wolf of Baltimore wants a Chicken Firenze recipe similar to the one she orders every time she eats at Bravo's Restaurant in the Golden Ring Mall. "I promise myself I will order some other entree but I never do," she writes.

* Georgia Walton of Locke, N.Y., is looking for a "recipe that you use on Texas hots or Coney's on a bun. It's made with tomato sauce and real fine ground hamburger. It had pickle relish and onions chopped fine. I attended a party in a park in Erin, N.Y., about 40 years ago and they sold hot dogs with this mixture on it. I'd sure like a copy of the recipe," she wrote.

* Joanne Lowry of Glen Burnie wants a recipe for "hot and spicy wings that you bake in the oven. My family enjoys them," she wrote.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

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