Ten Little Puritans
In this Blog: A Fine Reunion
The BOOB Girls Book VII: Ten Little Puritans
Remember this? Satan and the Puritan
White Bean Chicken Spinach Salad Recipe
Notes From Joy
The BOOB Girl Books
A Fine Reunion
Robinson Leary had her computer open on the table before her. The four girls were in the dining room at Meadow Lakes Retirement Community at their usual place, Table 12. Marge had a large mug of coffee in front of her. Hadley had her travel mug filled with decaf and Mary Rose and Robbie had the regular, dull white but overly clean Meadow Lakes cups steaming hot in front of them.
The conversation had been pleasant and general. There was gossip about Fairly Bainbridge, a new resident, a report that Old Frank was back in the hospital and the juicy item that Zed Zonker was said to be fooling around with Harriet Leadbottom.
Then Robbie spoke up, “Listen to this, girls. It brings back memories and not such great ones.” She took a breath and began to quote:
Ten Little Puritans, dressed up so fine,
One walked on water and then there were nine.
Nine little Puritans afraid they would be late
One hurried off and then there were eight.
Seven Little Puritans, brightest under Heaven
One hurt her neck and then there were seven.
Seven Little Puritans cutting up their tricks
One went to sleep and then there were six.
Five Little Puritans drinking in the bar
One passed out and then there were four.
Four Little Puritans off on a spree
One got fuddled and then there were three.
Three Little Puritans with hot dogs and brew
One spilled his ketchup and then there were two.
Two Little Puritans lying in the sun
One got too hot and then there was one.
One Little Puritan being all alone
That one ran away and then there were none.
They were quiet for what seemed like a long time. Finally, Marge spoke. “The Puritan Reunion in Salem’s Crossing.”
“Where ten Puritans staying at the B&B were kidnapped,” Hadley said, shaking her head.
“And I was kidnapped, too!” Mary Rose said loudly, getting the attention she deserved.
“I am never going to Salem’s Crossing again,” Robbie exclaimed, looking straight at Mary Rose, letting her know she recognized how seriously her kidnapping had been.
“There were those creepy Puritan dolls – ten of them, all lined up on the table waiting for us when we got to the B&B,” Mary Rose said. She shivered a little at the thought.
“And when one of the dolls disappeared, one of the Puritans vanished as well,” Robbie said, her voice low.
“Hey,” Marge said gleefully, “It isn’t all bad. Remember those Puritan names?”
They looked at her. Finally, Hadley smiled. “The two Bahls brothers, Harry Bahls and Buster Bahls.”
Mary Rose smiled back. “And that awful married couple, Ophelia and Royal Payne.”
“Sam and Ella Simptoms,” Hadley remembered.
And the greatest Puritan names, Marge added, “Abstinence Evermore and Patience Evenow.”
They were quiet for a minute, trying to recall the last two Puritans. Mary Rose’s brain clicked in first, “Knott and DieWell Barebones!”
“Six men and six women,” Hadley said.
“Just like those creepy dolls,” Robbie said.
“And Scooter McCooter, who owned the B&B and was nutty as a fruitcake.”
Mary Rose looked off into space. “I remember the kidnapping,” she said in a low voice. “That terrible man in the black Amish buggy with the black horse and how he grabbed me when I went to the outhouse and took me to that old, abandoned church with the Puritans who had been kidnapped, too, and he was holding us hostage.”
Marge was still eager to bring some light into the conversation. “But you were creative, Mary Rose. You found the old bells packed away and all those victims into a bell choir.”
“The worst bell choir God ever heard,” Mary Rose said, and the girls laughed softly.
“That was six years ago,” Hadley mused. “I saw a red-tailed hawk.” She paused. “I saw it twice and the only other times I saw it was when I was at Wes Longbow’s cabin before he died. I feel he sent it to me to let me know that even though we were going to have trouble and danger, he was with us.”
She slipped off into her memories. The other girls knew she was thinking about falling in love with the attractive Indian, Wes Longbow, and how much she missed him still.
They remained quiet for several minutes, each one thinking about the many losses they had each experienced in their lives. They thought about how death is such a part of life and how precious our memories can be.
No one said anything, either, when Geoffrey the Mastiff slowly limped into the dining room, took a quick look around, and quietly lay down, his head resting on Hadley’s feet.
A fabulous recipe from Eveline in Kansas. It comes from Southern Living Magazine
Chicken, White Bean, and Spinach Salad Recipe
The beans, chicken, and dressing can all be made a day ahead in your slow-cooker. Assemble this meal in minutes and round out this light summer salad with a loaf of crusty bread. If you have any leftover, it will make a great lunch the following day. Slow cooking requires little fat, so trim the excess from meats and poultry. Preserve the flavor of fresh herbs by adding them to the dish once it comes out of the slow cooker.
1 pound dried white beans
4 Cups unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper, divided
4 skinless, bone-in chicken breasts
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
4 ounces fresh baby spinach
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
Step 1: combine beans, stock, garlic, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.
Step 2: Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high; add chicken, and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Nestle chicken into beans in slow cooker at the end of the 6-hour bean cook time. Cover and cook until chicken and beans are tender and done, about 2 hours. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; remove meat from bones, and shred. Remove 3 cups of beans, and drain well, reserving any remaining beans in slow cooker for another use. Set chicken and 3 cups beans aside to cool.
Step 3: Squeeze juice from 1 orange to equal 1/4 cup. Peel remaining 2 oranges, and cut into segments. Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, shallots, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a steady stream, whisking until incorporated. Add spinach, shredded chicken, beans, orange segments, almonds, and cheese, and toss with the dressing.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Send me your favorite recipes and we’ll cook together. Joy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember this from The BOOB Girls VII: Ten Little Puritans
Mary Rose’s Puritan joke:
A Puritan walked into his church. There, standing in the center of the aisle, was Satan himself, hoofs shining, red flames around his ankles.
The Puritan walked right by him.
“Hey!” Satan yelled. “Don’t you see me?”
“I see you,” the Puritan said, walking on.
“Do you know who I am?” Satan yelled, his voice low and strong.
I know who you are,” the Puritan said.
“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Satan asked, frustrated.
“Nope,” the Puritan said.
“So why aren’t you terrified of me? I’m the Devil!” Satan said, loudly.
The Puritan looked at him. “Because I’ve been married to your sister for 31 years.”
And the Puritan walked on.