Each year, the Girls’ Friendly Society in Los Angeles participates in the Super Bowl of Caring. Some of our branches make a packaged soup mix and sell it at church to raise money for the food pantries in our area. Below is a recipe for Bean Soup adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.


Basic Bean Soup Mix


Dried-bean mix:
1 pound dried kidney beans
1 pound dried yellow lentils
1 pound green split peas
1 pound dried black beans
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
Spice mix:
5 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons dried basil
5 teaspoons dried rosemary
5 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
5 bay leaves


To prepare dried-bean mix, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide the bean mixture into 5 equal portions (about 2 1/2 cups each), and place in airtight containers.
To prepare spice mix, combine the salt and the next 6 ingredients (salt through bay leaves) in a bowl. Divide spice mix into 5 equal portions. Package separately from the died beans and combine the packages for sale.


Include the recipe card available here for the soup below.

Basic Bean Soup
1 package dried bean mix
8 cups water
1 package spice mix
1 smoked ham hock (about 1/2 pound) (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
1 12 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

To prepare the soup, place bean mix in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.
Combine the drained bean mixture, 8 cups water, and the ham hock in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add 1 packet spice mix, onion, and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Uncover; cook 1 hour. Discard bay leaf. Remove ham hock from soup. Remove meat from bone; shred meat with 2 forks. Return meat to soup.

Cooking Light April 1999


Halftime Chili


Here is another great recipe for your Souper Bowl Sunday fund drive. This one is adapted from Food.com and is used by the GFS at St. John’s in Costa Mesa.

Submitted by Charlotte J



3 cups dried pink beans or 3 cups dried red beans or 3 cups dried kidney beans

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons dehydrated onion

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes


  1. Put beans into a jar or large bag.
  2. Combine spices into a small bag.
  3. Place the cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes in your gift basket.
  4. LABEL:.
  5. Wash beans. Put into pot with spices.
  6. Cook until done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, brown 1 pound of ground beef and drain.
  8. Add meat, tomatoes and sauce to the beans.
  9. Simmer to blend flavors.

Here is a link to the recipe cards created by Marie Greatorex for this recipe.

Red eggs are traditional in any Greek Easter celebration. The deep red represents the blood of Christ and rebirth.

Make the dye with the onion skins: In a stainless saucepan, place skins of 15 yellow onions and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in 4½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature. although the color of the dye is not red, the final product will be.

Rinse 12 eggs to remove anything that might be clinging to the eggs.

In a stainless saucepan, add the cooled strained dye and eggs at room temperature. The eggs should be in one layer and covered by the dye.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer.

Dyeing time will be affected by the color of the eggs. Start checking for color at 12-15 minutes. Do not simmer longer than 20 minutes. If eggs are not a red enough color after 20 minutes, leave in the pot and remove from heat. When the pot as cooled enough, place in refrigerator and let sit until desired color is reached.

When eggs are the right color, remove eggs with a slotted spoon and cool on racks.

When they can be handled, coat lightly with olive (or other edible) oil and polish with paper toweling.

Refrigerate until time to use.

When your eggs are cooled, you may choose to celebrate with a traditional Greek Easter game called tsougrisma. The word tsougrisma means “clinking together” or “clashing.” It is pronounced TSOO-grees-mah.

Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her/his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg while saying  Khristós Anésti! (Christ is Risen) while the other responds Alithós Anésti! (He is Risen Indeed!) The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her/his egg to try to crack the other end of the next opponent’s egg. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and, it is said, will have good luck during the year.

Pumpkin Pie MakingMake pumpkin pies at your branch meeting just before Thanksgiving! If you use frozen pie crusts and canned pumpkin, the project will be as easy as – you guessed it – pie!

The girls learn basic cooking skills – using a can opener, cracking eggs, measuring ingredients, following a recipe, and working together. They can easily master this recipe and be proud of the results. Our family secret is to using heaping spoonfuls of the spices.

Since pies take about 50 minutes to cook, have the girls mix up their pies at the beginning of the meeting, even before snack. Everything will be done and ready to go home at the end of the meeting. Mom and Dad will be so happy to have a fresh pie either for dinner or perhaps for the Thanksgiving meal!

Tip: type out the directions from the back of the can and enlarge so the girls can read the directions more easily.

Yum, yum, yum!!!!

In a scene of Light in the Piazza, Clara admonishes lovers to fight for the one they love. Even though another woman is tempting her new husband away from her, Clara fights to keep the  man she loves. She says everyone should fight to keep their true love.

I saw this show almost 10 years ago, once. That scene comes back to me now and then. Do we fight for the ones we love, or do we prefer to be a victim and let them slip away while we cry with self-righteous anger and indignation? We act as if we can’t help that they are gone. Did we really try? Did we try again, and again, and again?

I encourage you to keep seeking after the youth of our church and not to give in when other activities and interests seek their time and energy. Doesn’t the Good Shepherd seek after the lamb that has wandered away? Maybe the lamb saw an interesting flower or blade of grass somewhere else. Does He just give in? No! The Good Shepherd is tireless in seeking the lamb that wandered away.

Energize your efforts to hold on to the young people in your church and don’t give in to the discouragement. Are you not stronger than that? I believe that we must continue to seek bring the love of God to young people. One of the ways we can do that is by continually seeking them and inviting them to join GFS.

-Margaret Nolde

If your child is already on track to compete in the Olympics or go on a tour as a world class entertainer, then they should skip GFS camp and focus on their art or sport. Otherwise, consider your child’s whole self and show her that balance is important in her life.

GFS Camp offers girls and leaders an opportunity to “unplug” from the here and now and focus on the eternal. Blue skies during the day and glittering stars at night help them see their place in the world.

Having raised 5 daughters who participated in highly competitive extra-curricular activities, I know the pressure from coaches and teachers to never miss a class and never skip a game. But remember, coaches must say this in order to get the best participation possible. Surely, they can already see which kids are destined to play in the World Cup and which ones are learning a useful skill and enjoying a rewarding activity, but nevertheless, it is just for fun.

Responsibility to the team is certainly a life skill that should be taught, but consider also teaching the value of putting Jesus Christ and one’s church community as number one in your child’s life. In good times and bad, your church community will pray for you, support you and treat you with respect.

Send your daughter to GFS camp and support the leaders that are giving their time because they value the eternal. Registration forms are available on the Forms You will Need page in the Leaders Section of this website.

See you at Camp! from Margaret Nolde