Tag Archives: The Quick and Easy Vegatarian Cookbook

Naked Children in the Grass

It’s time to start thinking of salads…

and not just any salads

Summertime Salads

Salads that can be the meal, salads that amuse and delight, salads that have what it takes to be front and center, the star of the show.

Salad with a little more heft then a handful of leafy green, salad with substance, salad with body.

A salad called

Naked Children in the Grass

French cut beansIt starts with French cut beans. I have no idea how they got be called French cut, unless it’s because the cut makes ordinary green beans look more Haricots verts, which is French for ‘green beans’. The whole thing becomes a little circular…

Haricot vert - French green beans - notice that although they don't diet, they are thinner then plain ole American Green Beans

Haricot vert – French green beans – notice that although they don’t diet, they are thinner then plain ole American Green Beans

green beans, not French

green beans, not French

The torture device that turns plain green beans into "Frenched"  - why I buy a frozen box and just be done with it

The torture device that turns plain green beans into “Frenched” – why I buy a frozen box and just be done with it

Since the beans are the grass part,they need to be skinny.

The naked children part is being played by chickpeas.


Admit it – you ‘re seeing how these could resemble naked children

Chick peas have aliases in many languages – in Spanish, they’re garbanzos,  grão de bico in Portuguese; pois chiches in French, channa in India and ceci in Italian.

Ceci is not to be confused with

"This is not a pipe" The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte

“This is not a pipe” The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte

As the image of the pipe is not the pipe, it is not also true the the recipe for the salad is not the salad, but rather the image of the salad?

If that’s not meta enough for you

“The chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea. Discuss.”

Coffee Talk - Saturday Night Live

Coffee Talk – Saturday Night Live

Talk amongst yourselves.

“Does the name of this recipe give you a flash of an old-fashioned, hot summer evening, romping children, and a band playing Sousa in the park? We hope it does, for this recipe, too, belongs behind that nostalgic scrim. It’s wedded to a July evening when all anyone wanted was a refreshing, but satisfying, accompaniment for butter corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes with fresh basil, and chunks of wholegrain bread. We once heard of a Dutch recipe called ‘Naked Children in the Grass’. We don’t remember its makings, but when you prepare this one you’ll see why we named it as we have.”
Manners and Manners, p. 98.


3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

1 small red onion, thinly sliced, (soaked in cold water for 10 minutes takes out the bite and makes them easier to eat)

¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (there used to be only kind of mushrooms….pick a fave)

1 cup French cut green beans, cooked and drained (or however much green bean is in a box of frozen French cut beans – canned is too mushy here and just about anywhere else, except 3 bean salad)

1/2 cup bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 small head leaf lettuce torn into bits (leafy greens of your choice – there didn’t used to be choice….enough to provide cover for the chickpeas)
Lebanese Salad Dressing (p. 104)

1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of lemon juice (2 lemons, more or less)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
5 or 6 grinds of black pepper
4 or 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine
Ruth Ann Manners & William Manners. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cook Book.1978. M. Evans and Co. NY pp.98-9.

Manners Quick and easy


Filed under Books, Recipe

Dark and Handsome

happy birthday candles

Someone has a birthday….OK, we ALL have birthdays, whether we acknowledge them or not , but SOMEONE has a birthday today….and birthdays need cake.

Some people have particular cakes that they share for birthdays. Some people have favorites that are extra special for special occasions, but if you say, “BIRTHDAY CAKE” the only constant will be the candles. And even that isn’t always the same.


Make a wish!

Birthday cake is made special by the occasion of the birthday.  But sometimes the “This Day in History” makes you want the day to go by quickly….

On January 30th

in 1649

Charles I of England was executed

charles1_execution in 1948 – Mahatma Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi
in 1968 – The Viet Cong launched begin the Tet Offensive.
in 1969 The Beatles make their last public performance. (BTW -it was so NOT Yoko’s fault) and then in 1972 – Bloody Sunday  – you get the sad and sorry picture.

So this is a day the needs cake, birthday or no birthday.

One of the cookbooks I first bought when I went out on my own (and I’m pretty sure I got this at Woolworths, no less) was

Manners Quick and easy

RuthAnn Manners and William Manners The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookbook .

40s-old_woolworthsPlymouth MA

Woolworth’s in downtown Plymouth a few year before I went shopping there

Woolworth’s photo from http://www.jabezcorner.com/phs63/pictures.html 

 Much of it was indeed quick and easy and also good, which wasn’t always, or even often, the case in the late 70’s and early 80’s vegetarian cookbooks. That goes for quick and easy, but especially GOOD. There was a whole lot of far too undercooked brown rice in the ’60’s and ’70’s.

Their chocolate pound cake was what my not-crazy-about-frosting brother had as his birthday cake for several years. It’s also a good anytime cake. Ice cream or whipped cream are referred to as lily-gilders by the Manners, and they’re right – it doesn’t need heavy dairy products to be good, but it can make the day much better.

They call their chocolate pound cake Dark and Handsome…..what more could a girl ask for?

Dark and Handsome

A chocolate pound cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Grease a* 8 ½ x 4 ½ x2 ½ inch loaf pan.
  3. 3.   Then in a Pyrex measuring** cup melt 1- 1 oz square unsweetened chocolate with 1 Tablespoon butter (I now use the microwave…)
  4. Sift together 1 cup AP flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  5. Crack 1 egg into the now not so terribly hot chocolaty melt and stir it in.
  6. Add milk (approximately ¾ cup) so that the chocolate/butter/egg milk equals one cup.
  7. Add the wets to the drys and mix thoroughly – no streaks.
  8. Scrape into the greased pan.
  9. Bake about 40-45 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a rack and remove from the pan.  Serves 8. OR
  11. Eat directly from the pan with a spoon while still warm. Serves one (on a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which will then be made significantly better.)

*Spellcheck wants to make this a an an and I disagree.

**or melt it in a whatever/however  and scrape it into a 1 cup measure to continue OR just mix in 3/4 cup of milk with the butter, chocolate and beaten egg and call it a day.


Walter Baker’s – local chocolate – Pa Flynn worked there – not designer or artisanal, but the one I reach for.

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Filed under Birthday, Holiday, The 1980's