Friday, July 4, 2014

Go 4th and celebrate

The grass is cut. The weeds are whipped. The house is (mostly) clean. And it's a holiday. Yes, we've got a few chores on the list, but mostly we are loving this cool summer morning. I woke late, walked over to see my neighbor's gardens, and cut some wild things on the way home (wild garlic scapes, native grass and queen anne's lace).

I'm thinking of packing us a picnic lunch and heading into the woods to see what we can see. What's up with you this holiday weekend?


In honor of the holiday, I share this recipe for the most delicious baked beans ever. It comes from a cookbook of Hoffman family recipes, put together in 1992 by Joan Hoffman, mom to my friend Karen. The Hoffman family boasts a number of excellent cooks and I turn to this cookbook often when I need an especially great recipe. My copy is dog-eared and splattered. The cookbook is now out of print, and those that are lucky enough to have a copy treasure it.

Joan Clark's Southern Baked Beans

8 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
1 cup chopped onions
1 can butter beans, drained
1 can lima beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pork and beans, not drained
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown bacon and onion. Combine sugar, vinegar, garlic salt, mustard and peoper. Heat and stir until bubbly. Combine all ingredients ina 3-quart casserole, covered for half the cooking time. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Notes: Because I have a hard time following directions, I've altered this recipe a bit. I use 4 slices of thick-sliced bacon and four cans of my favorite canned beans: usually black beans, lima beans, pinto beans and great northern. I drain all of them. I also use one garlic clove instead of the garlic salt. I add 1 teaspoon salt. 

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