This week's column is dedicated to all the people who are suffering from "winter ailments" — may you soon feel a lot better.

Bean pots can result in more than beans!

Spaghetti Casserole Meal

1 cup thin spaghetti, broken up and cooked

1 cup cooked turkey, chicken or diced roast meat

1 cup julienned cooked ham

1 cup diced sharp cheddar

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

salt and pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1 Bermuda onion sliced thin


Make a cream sauce with the butter, flour, and milk, seasoning to taste. Stir into the sauce the meat and cheese, the well-drained spaghetti and the cream. Pour into bean pot. Top with layers of onion carefully arranged. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 20 minutes in a slow oven, 325 degrees.


Baked Beans with No Molasses

1 cup dried pea (navy) beans, water to cover

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 pound salt pork scored on one side

1/2 cup ketchup

Wash and sort beans. Soak overnight in water to cover. In the morning, drain and add fresh water. Cover and simmer until soft; about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, pour into bean pot; add just enough water to cover beans — heat, then stir in all the remaining ingredients. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 5 to 7 hours. Uncover the last hour to let liquid thicken.


Lentils, Tuscany Style

8 ounces low-calorie breakfast sausage

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 1/2 cups water or fat skimmed broth

2 tablespoons chopped celery

2 tablespoons parsley

2 bay leaves

1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed

Salt or lemon pepper to taste (optional)

Brown sausages under broiler; discard fat. Combine all ingredients in covered bean pot and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Remove bay leaves before serving.


Baked Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked rice

4 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease bean pot. Measure 1/2 cup uncooked rice into strainer. Wash under running water. Shake strainer to drain off all water. Put rice into mixing bowl. Add 4 cups milk. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the ingredients and pour into bean pot.

Bake in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and scatter 1 cup raisins over top of the pudding. Return pot to oven. Bake about 1 1/2 hours longer or until a brown film covers the top of the pudding. When done, take it out and sprinkle top lightly with nutmeg. Serves 6.

Our thought for the week: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead