My Favorite Christmas Themed Interview with Mary Gardner- Ruch!

Last year I had the pleasure to rekindle a friendship with a high school classmate of mine.  Mary Gardner-Ruch was so much fun to interview and her story is a compelling tale of feeling blessed during the holiday season.  Listen for an incredible song from our mutual friend and country musician, Ward Stout.  The song is off of Ward’s album and is titled, “Amanda Lynn” – named for Mary’s daughter.  Don’t miss the Christmas Soup  recipe that feeds hordes of people  ( See below).  Bring tissues as this interview may just make you teary –

Thank you to Mary for allowing me to rebroadcast this interview ( a bit edited).  Happy Holidays Everyone!

Here is the soup recipe that is a favorite at the Christmas Tree Gathering.


3 to 4 pounds of mild Italian sausage, cooked, drained and cumbled
2 sticks of butter or margarine
2 cups of chopped onion
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of all-purpose flour
4 (12 oz.) cans of Evaporated Milk
4 (14.5 oz) cans of chicken broth
4 (15.5 oz) cans of cannellini beans, undrained
black pepper


Melt the butter in a medicum saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in flour.  gradually stir in evaporated milk and broth.  Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Stir it constantly while it is cooking.  Add sausage and beans. Heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields 32 servings or 16 if you are using big bowls.

Ward’s music can be found here:



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