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National Night Out, October 6th

This will be the 26th National Night Out and a tremendous opportunity to showcase your community pride. What a great time to get together with your neighbors and support local crime apprehension/prevention programs and a mutual concern for safety. Why not have a block party and pull up your lawn chairs and share some good food? Place a flyer on your neighbor’s doors stating the time (7:00–10:00 p.m.) and place to gather and suggest bringing a dish. Our block has a Mexican theme, so I will be offering ...

Frijoles a la Charra
1 pound pack pinto beans
5–6 slices bacon, fried and drained and cut into pieces (See note.)
1 chopped yellow onion
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup your favorite salsa
Garlic salt and pepper to taste
Fresh or dried cilantro (optional)

Sort and pick beans for rocks. Wash beans and soak for 6–8 hours or overnight.
Pour off water. Cover with hot water up to two inches. Cook over medium low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add onions, Rotel, seasoning, salsa, and bacon pieces. Cook for one or 1 and 1/2 more hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with additional salsa, extra onions, jalapenos, and rice. This reheats nicely the next day and can be made ahead. In place of bacon, link sausage slices or a small slab of pork salt can be substituted.