Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tonight, I'm revisiting some happy childhood memories. Saturday nights were always baked beans and fried bologna night at our house. I didn't find out until later that Saturday is the traditional night for Maritimers to serve baked beans - I was part of something more widespread than our little household).

I can vividly recall the sounds and smells of dinner cooking - the burble-burble of the beans simmering in the pot, the sizzle of the bologna in the frying pan. To wrap up the evening, I'd rush through taking a bath, so I wouldn't miss the beginning of Wayne and Shuster. was pretty simple back then.

But, back to the present: Dave's mom bought a big round of bologna, and said I could take what I wanted of it. I went out and picked up some beans to go with them, and tonight, I will have a traditional "bean night" dinner. :)

If you want to be REALLY traditional, however, you can make your own baked beans from scratch. Following is a pretty good recipe, from the Thompson's white pea beans bag. (note: Pea beans are just another name for navy beans - it took me a while wandering around the bean aisle in vain before I asked an employee, who told me this little informational tidbit). :)

This recipe requires an OVERNIGHT SOAKING and an ALL DAY BAKING! Plan ahead.


Thompson's Old Fashioned Baked Beans
Serves 8
2 cups pea/navy beans
5 cups cold water
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 tb salt
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup tomato ketchup (they recommend no salt added ketchup)
pinch of black pepper
1/4 lb pork or bacon, sliced (they recommend low salt bacon/pork bellies or lean pork)

Sort and rinse beans. Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain. Add 5 cups cold water, cover, heat to boiling, then simmer 30 minutes or until nearly tender. Drain.
Place onion slices on bottom of 6 cup flameproof casserole dish. Add remaining 7 ingredients in with the beans, stirring gently to combine, then pour entire mixture into casserole dish.

Add enough water to cover mixture, then place sliced lean pork on top. Cover with lid and bake in oven at 250 deg F for 7 hours.

When beans are tender, remove 1 cup of beans, mash, then stir back into pot carefully. Cover and continue to bake. Add water as needed to keep beans covered. One hour before serving, remove cover to darken up the beans. Salt to taste.


Making your own beans is a bit of an art form. It's a difficult thing to ensure that your beans are not too firm, but not too mushy, either. And they can BURN, so for goodness sake, keep an eye on them - not the sort of thing you can put in the oven and forget about all day. They can be fiddly, but many people swear they're worth the effort!

I like them, myself, but unless it's a special occasion, I stick with the canned kind. :)

1 comment:

mister anchovy said...

We have an earthenware bean pot kicking around Anchovy World Headquarters and I've been threatening to make baked beans for years. The problem is that I need lots of people to enjoy the maybe it's time for a bbq!