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Around the Table & Cheesy Bean Dip Recipe

Around the Table

I hope you have had the life pleasures of making countless memories ..."Around the Table". In our family there's a table my parents bought in 1955. I am fortunate to have been in possession of this table and the matching buffet with hutch for many years now. It has scratches and dings all over it from everyday meals to gourmet delights, glitter from who knows what kind of projects, stains from art painting and science projects, rough areas that are worn and even some initials that where carved by a child just learning to write.

When this table was acquired way back then, it came with eight chairs, and oh how those chairs were used over more than fifty years. I just wonder how many times Mother told the guys to “stop leaning back in that chair.” They finally got so worn out (not the guys but the chairs) and Daddy had repaired them so many times over those fifty years that Mother decided, a few years back, to buy new chairs. We had a special family gathering and built a bonfire with those chairs that had been so much in the center of our family. Oh, what a blaze they made! It was like a burnt offering of endless memories, to a Heavenly Father who has always been in the midst of and for our family and blessed us beyond words. Memories forever etched in our minds and hearts that were made Around That Table and along each of our life Adventures.

It seems that sometimes...after a meal with family and friends... the chairs Around the Table become .... well sort of ... magnetized. Our bottoms seem to be leaded (from stuffing ourselves with the good food set before us, often with my Famous Cheesy Bean Dip) … for no one wants to get up and move to...say... the den and more comfortable seating. The sharing ... whether its light hearted or heart wrenching is what keeps us gathered Around the Table. Those experiences are so rich and irreplaceable!

A vital interweaving of what makes us the Family we are!!!

Then there are other times this Table has been the essential support for all types of projects or games being played. There's no telling how many garments or curtains have been dreamed up, designed, cut out and assembled on this Table. Family and Friends have wonderful memories of sitting and playing games of all types Around The Table. And of course if Ronnie, my brother, was involved he was probably winning, for he was always so lucky at games.

Dreams and ideas have been shared and plans made for all types of Adventures ... hours of laughter ... tears of joy and pain ... and even final tributes to loved ones have been planned ...Around the Table.

This Table is much like a good friend. It's there when you need it, does not complain about what is placed on it, supports a montage of activities and can look beautiful when it needs to. Even though it is the center of many activities it does it quietly, without expecting anything in return.

So, as you approach your next gathering Around the Table in your home, whether it’s a week night supper, holiday event, life changing news or a science project … don’t just think of that Table as a piece of furniture but rather an opportunity to Live Your Adventure ... Around The Table!

Making Memories Around The Table

Check out the "Memory Tablecloth" with names of folks that have shared Around my Table embroidered on it. Just wished I had started it when I first started having Gatherings.

Check out the "Memory Tablecloth" with names of folks that have shared Around my Table embroidered on it. Just wished I had started it when I first started having Gatherings.


Appetizers, Hors d’oeuvres, Nibblers, Tasters … known affectionately in my family as…SNACKIEDOOS. Not really sure when we adopted that word as the expression we use for the first round in the meal but Snackiedoo has been declared official for a number of years now.

The great thing about Snackiedoos is how yummy they are. The not so great thing is sometimes we have too many of them and the meal we have created ends up with lots of leftovers because we’re not hungry after all the sampling. However, a sometime good thing is, those many leftovers get to be divvied up and enjoyed later on.

Unlike many of the regular food things we bring to gatherings which often never change, Snackiedoos are frequently changing. We are always experimenting with some new culinary delight and it must be shared with the family. However, among the new treats, there are a few that have remained a constant and requested often. Pat's Famous Cheesy Bean Dip is one of those expectations. Hope you enjoy this taste Adventure and if it becomes a food tradition in your family, I will consider it an honor!

Pat's Famous Cheesy Bean Dip

So named by my friend, Charlotte, many years ago

In this recipe don’t skimp and use canned beans. I've tried them and they are flat and dull compared to cooking the beans from scratch. The great taste of the beans cooked with all the spices is the secret to why this has remained a favorite for so many years by so many folks and is frequently requested at gatherings.

Cooking the Beans

1 lb. Dried Pinto Beans

1 Large Onion

4-6 Large Garlic Gloves

1-2 Teaspoon Cumin (Ground or Whole)

2 Tablespoons Paprika

Dash Cayenne Pepper, optional

Black Pepper, 5-6 turns on the mill

Salt to taste

Wash and soak beans 4-5 hours or overnight (not really necessary to soak, but doing so shortens cooking time). In large pan, cover beans with water. Add next seven ingredients. Cook beans until VERY done, adding more water as necessary (as little as possible).

Putting it Together

1 ½ Cup Good Picante Salsa – your choice mild, med or hot

2 Cups Cheese – Mix Cheddar and Monterrey Jack or the Mexican blend

Jalapeno Pepper slices and Sour Cream

It’s really best to use food processor but you can use a masher of some kind (I used to have to mash them by hand). Drain beans, reserving the soup. Process beans and salsa together, adding soup if necessary, until a very thick paste like consistency, but not too smooth, slightly lumpy. Place half the mixture in baking dish. Add half the cheese then the remaining bean mixture. Top with remaining cheese and jalapeno pepper slices if desired. Right before serving, heat in microwave or 350-400 oven until hot. Serve with corn chips. For extra special treat, top with a dollop of sour cream.

NOTE: The dip freezes very well. Make a double batch and freeze part of it for later. I often make a batch and divvy up in small containers to share.

Tasty Treats Shared Around My Table

  • Lemon Parmesan Pasta & Girls Night Out
    A quick & easy meal with your favorite girlfriends is a great way to end any kind of week, especially one filled with stress & deadlines.
  • Frozen Caramel - Coconut Dessert
    A little of your time some Caramel, Nuts, Coconut, a little flour and butter can make this lusciously rich Frozen Caramel Dessert a new requested family favorite.
  • Mother's Pecan Pie
    Southern Pecan Pie - and family gatherings go hand in hand. One of the great things too is the ease of making this family favorite!
Thanks For Stopping By

Comments Welcome

Pat Materna (author) from Memphis, Tennessee, USA on October 20, 2012:

Cogerson -- Please let me know when you try the Bean Dip. I made it for years before ever putting it on paper a couple of years ago. Folks were always asking me for it. I am very proud of the Table. Hope when I no longer need it that it stays in the family. I think it will.Thanks for stopping by tonight!

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on October 20, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this recipe and the story about the table...that is very cool and glad you still have it after all of these years....I am bookmarking it for future reference when we give this recipe a spin...voted up and useful.

Pat Materna (author) from Memphis, Tennessee, USA on August 29, 2012:

Thanks Pollybird.

Pollybird on August 25, 2012:

This is great. I can't wait to see more.

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