From The Past, Saturday Comfort Food
Just Like Grandma Use to Make
So many years ago, my great grandma would make homemade beans for us all on Saturday. Usually during the winter months, because summer time on the weekends were usually BBQ's and picnics!
The recipe below is almost identical to the one she would make, sadly, I couldn't find hers, so this is the one I use which is almost identical, and if I do say so, almost as good as hers.
Homemade Baked Beans
2 cups dried navy beans
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup Molasses
1 tablespoon Ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. dried mustard
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 strips of bacon sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
* I like to cut up 2 old smokie sausages into bite size pieces and add to the beans!
Soak 2 cups of dried navy beans in water overnight.
The next day, drain the beans, put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the skins break when you blow on them).
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot or bean crock.
Mix together and pour over the beans: brown sugar, molasses, salt, dry mustard and pepper, ketchup, chopped onion, and bacon pieces and *old smokie sausages.
Pour boiling water over the beans just enough to cover.
Cover the pot and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking.
Homemade Brown Bread
While many people prefer to have wieners with their beans, I actually like having homemade brown bread, and also like Homemade Mac and Cheese! I think one of the best side dishes to go with homemade beans has to be warm Homemade Brown Bread. Nothing beats dipping buttered up brown bread into the sauce of homemade beans.
It's Easy, and It's Good!
The Mac and Cheese can be enjoyed all on its own, but it does go well with the beans! Homemade Mac and Cheese is easy, and if you're like me, you can always add your own special touch to it, after all, you are going to be eating it, make it the way you want!
Mac And Cheese
Memories Of Days Gone By
Saturday was hockey day those many years ago during the winter months. All of us local boys would head out to the local arena on Saturday mornings, hauling a duffel bags with our hockey gear, and hauling our sticks with our skates tied fast.
There didn't seem to be a big enough snowstorm to keep us from the rink on those Saturday mornings! We'd arrive at the rink for 7am, and practice till noon! The practice was the warm up for Saturday evenings when the games were played. There was a league with several divisions, and each division usually had 4 to 6 teams. Each division was divided by age.
Passing The Legacy
It was between the hockey practice and the games themselves when grandma would serve us up her Homemade beans. She always baked fresh homemade brown bread to serve up with her beans, and usually made wieners to go with them. That lady was such a great cook, and the smells of that homemade brown bread still lingers in my mind today.
Yes, those days are gone now, but the memories will last forever, and that in itself is a comfort. I miss those days, and the people who have went on before me, but I'm sure they know, that they left a lasting impression and in me, a love for cooking and experimenting with different recipes.
I've actually become a pretty good cook myself, and I've passed my cooking skills on to my boys. I'm hopeful they will do the same with their children as well. After all, one can never have enough comfort food on hand, it's just the way things should be!
Just a word of warning here, we all know that beans can produce gas, which by that I mean once they've been eaten. We are not talking good gas, and I've been accused of passing some pretty bad "high test gas" after a big meal of beans.
So if you're a single guy and have asked a lady over for dinner, I wouldn't recommend making homemade beans on a first date, maybe not even on a second date, not if you want to impress the lady, so order a pizza in! It will be much safer.