This summer was, hands down, the busiest summer of my life. I wanted to spend more time with Justin, who was home for the summer, before he headed off for his senior year of college. I also wanted to spend time with my mother-in-law, Lenore, who spent five weeks here visiting from Florida.
We packed a lot in and while I’m glad the hectic summer is over, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with the family. It’s truly a blessing to have a parent – in their 80s – who is in excellent health!
And she wears some pretty kick ass shoes. See!
I do have one bone to pick with Lenore. I LOVE baked beans and hers are one of my favorites. A few years back, I called and asked for her recipe. She gave it to me. I made the beans and they turned out okay. I called to tell her that they didn’t taste like hers only to find out that she left out a few key instructions.
I decided not to take any chances this summer. She planned a family get together and said she was going to make her baked beans. I know how she operates. She doesn’t keep recipes in her head. So while she was entertaining, I did a little bit of sleuthing (okay, so I rifled through her kitchen drawers) and FOUND THE RECIPE!!!!
Score: Daughter-in-Law 1; Mother-in-Law . . . well, there’s no keeping score there.
Why are these beans so good? For starters, you use a whole pound of bacon. ONE POUND! The vinegar and brown sugar create just the right tang and for those of us who are bean lovers, we get to use FIVE different kinds of beans – including lima beans!!!!
These beans are colorful, flavorful and just plain tasty.
Aren’t they purty???
Lenore said I could share the recipe. A few recipe notes – use smoked bacon. The smoky flavor makes a real difference in the recipe. Also don’t be afraid of the amount of vinegar. You need the vinegar to brighten the flavors of the salt/smoky bacon and the sweetness from the brown sugar and onions.
Here ya go . . .
- 1 lb. smoked bacon
- ½ cup vinegar
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 large can of B&M beans or 4 small ones
- 1 can each - butter beans, chili beans, green lima beans, kidney beans
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a 5 quart Dutch oven, fry the bacon. Remove and drain bacon fat.
- In a separate pot, combine the vinegar, onions, brown sugar, garlic salt and dry mustard. Simmer until onions are translucent.
- Place the beans, vinegar/brown sugar mixture and bacon back in the Dutch oven. Stir.
- Cover and bake for 2 hours.
- Cook's note: If needed, add an extra can of your favorite beans to fill the pot.