Baked Beans recipe from my Mother (her favourite):
OLD-FASHIONED BAKED BEANS
5 cups dried white beans
1 tblsp. baking soda
6 oz. salt pork, cubed
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tblsp. brown sugar
4 tblsp. molasses
5.5 oz. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
Wash beans in several washes of cold water. Cover with cold water and soak overnight.
Next morning, bring to a slow boil, cook slowly for twenty minutes. Stir in soda and watch carefully that it doesn’t foam over. Drain, then rinse in cold water. Place beans in bean pot, layering with the salt pork.
Stir enough hot water into the remaining ingredients, except the onions, to cover the beans. Add extra water to level of lid area. Place onions on top and bake uncovered in a 220 degree F. oven for about six hours. Improves by re-heating. Freezes well.
The several washes stems from when beans often were home-grown and dried, but even when store-bought, often had bits of leaf, etc. in the bag. Not to mention small bits of stone and the like. I remember picking through to make sure only beans went into my pot!
If you want to speed up the soaking, put the dry beans in a heavy pot (the bean pot is perfect) and cover with boiling water (I often add soda at this stage, too). After the water cools to room temperature, proceed from “Next morning,”
If you don’t care for salt pork, or are vegetarian, you can omit that or use something you do like that is similar.
I’m not entirely sure what is meant by ‘level of lid area’, but keep in mind that you will be adding the onion last and allow enough room for that and to not spill as you transfer the pot to your oven.
If you want to cook this slower, you can put the lid on at first, then remove it to let some of the juice evaporate. Or put the pot in after supper, but at a reduced heat, then test in the early afternoon the next day and adjust heat higher if needed.
The soda helps to eliminate the gas-producing qualities of beans. Adding herbs such as savoury helps with that, too, but you have to use your own taste as a guide. Try Googling “How do you make beans less gassy?” and you will find plenty of links and ideas.
I love baked beans and we had these often when I was growing up. I have my own recipe that sort of evolved from this one. My favourite accompaniment is steamed brown bread, which I used to make in 48 oz. tomato juice tins. I don’t think you can buy them anymore. I’m not sure what I would use these days, as now I know that many tins are not safe to cook in, too. But I would think that anything safe and about that shape and size would do, or perhaps a pudding mould.
Let me know what you think. ~ Linne
My morning coffee (weekend treat)
I love to use the coffeepot my Aunty gave me about four years ago, just before she turned ninety.
First I add water up to the mark on the spindle.
Then the coffee (I grind it in my Magic Bullet, then store it in a small glass jar. (saves waking people when I want coffee after breakfast on the weekend)
Put the coffee basket onto the spindle.
Put on the lid.
Now on a back burner on high until it starts to ‘perc’ (why they are called ‘percolators). Then turn down until it just bubbles softly along.
When it’s done to your liking, enjoy. My percolator makes two coffee cups full or one and a half mugs. I love to use it when my Aunty is up for a visit! She loves it, too!!
I have my dad’s percolater–in the hall closet–can’t part with it. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. Thanks for the trip back to my mom’s kitchen and the smell of coffee percolating on the stove.
I love that have a percolator, too. I like coffee a lot, but am trying not to drink it too often. Too bad it gets me through stressful times and those days when I haven’t had enough sleep . . . I think the smell is one of my favourite things about a percolator. That and frying bacon . . . We woke up to the smell of coffee when I was a kid; Mum got up early and filled Dad’s thermos for work. I have a lot of memories associated with percolators, too.
I am trying your bean recipe—tonight for dinner since I have a pot of beans from an organic farm in Wisconsin that I soaked a few days ago and forgot about….robbie
I love simple foods like your recipe for baked beans – I will definitely give it a try! And what a sweet little coffee perculator – my mom had a rather more 80’s version when we were kids and still maintains that it made the best coffee. I think something broke in it… I wonder is it around somewhere and just needs repaired…
Let me know what you think of them. Ghey are especially good with steamed brown bread! Cornbread is a good complement as well; either of those will increase the usable protein.
I didn’t give exact measurements as I usually cook to taste. I’d be interested in any variations you come up with, too.
i have actually never heard of steamed brown bread, is it similar to boston brown bread? It sounds ridiculous but I’ve never made cornbread either! LOL!
Yes, I think the original Boston Brown Bread was steamed; not sure where my recipe is these days [likely in a storage unit with umpteen other precious things 😉 ] or I’d post it for you. I’ll have to see if I can dig one up. Cornbread is SO easy; it’s basically a quickbread. I prefer to bake mine in the oven in a cast iron skillet. Hot, with butter on it; nothing like it! And maybe a wee bit of homemade jam . . . One note; if you are using a rough ground cornmeal, try soaking it in the milk for a bit before adding the wet stuff to the dry . . . it will be a bit less coarse. I like the coarse variety, but not everyone does. ~ Linne
I just found out that I can use polenta instead of cornmeal, because I would have no clue where to start looking. I bought quick-cook polenta so I guess that is quite finely ground. How cool!
Polenta is Italian for cornmeal, so that should be perfect! I have never tried the quick-cooking type; let me know what you think.
Polenta is also the name for cornmeal cooked into a porridge (which I make often for breakfast, but just call ‘cornmeal’). ‘Polenta’ to me means the porridge after it is put in a loaf pan, left to cool and ‘set’, then sliced and fried. I checked online and the slices can also be baked or grilled.
I rarely use white flour; I use whole wheat and adjust the liquids a bit if needed. That gives better nutrition and flavour. So my cornbread has whole wheat flour in it.
If you use a cast iron skillet to bake your cornbread in, try heating it in the oven first, then wipe it with cooking oil (a pastry brush is good for this or you can use a bit of cotton cloth or paper towel; just be quick). I lower the oven temperature by 25 or 50 degrees, too, as the skillet holds heat well. Experiment and see what you prefer.
I really like cornbread warm from the oven, with butter and honey, too!
One thing I ‘specially like about the old percs is that the whole house smells like coffee when they are working; nothing like it, particularly first thing in the morning. There are probably reasons not to use them, but I don’t care; I love the memories (from home when I was growing up and of my Aunty, who is now 93). The new makers say nothing to me; NOTHING! And that’s what I care about most; the thoughts and memories. There is one piece missing; there used to be a sort of lid that fitted on top of the basket and kept the grounds out of the coffee. It had lots of holes in it to allow the water to run through. But it works just fine as is, at least for me. ~ Linne
We call it wombling in our house Fran, my husband and eldest son are world class Wombles. One of the kids bikes was from the tip (although they call it transfer station these days 😉 ) and I am itching for something particular (just give me a reason) to go look for at the Daylesford tip to justify the trip.
Your coffee pot is lovely Linne. If I ever come to visit then you shall have to make me one or WHEN (positive thinking) you come out, I’m sure theyre will be room in the suitcase for it to come for a holiday too. 😉 I shall buy it some lovely Australian grown coffee and then some Fair trade organic Jasper coffee too. 🙂
I’m a world class Wombler, too (makes me think of Wombats lol; that would be a goid logo for us all: wombat, bums-up in a dumpster). I abhor waste (to the despair and embarrassment of many of my family and friendd). I tend to think of what I do as ‘rescuing’. Poor things, discarded in a tip ’cause people lack imagination to upcrcle or repair, or the will to recycle.
Here there are now ‘sanitary’ laws ro prevent us from rescuing things from the dump/tip. But years ago . . . I once found a new pair of men’s workboots in my size in a dump; right when I needed them, too! Thete was often furniture and other good stuff.
In Vancouver, BC, there are a couple of days a year when the garbage trucks will take large itms away. The night before, people like me (not me, sadly; I’ve never lived there) can be seen driving sliely through the alleys, scrounging for ‘treasures’. Unfortunately, some are antiques dealers looking for a find, but at least things are saved for a new life.
Melbourne (and possibly other cities, I don’t know) has a hard rubbish collection once or twice a year as dictated by local council. You can also book up to 2 (in our old council) days a year where they do a run just to yours. Sadly it’s illegal to grab “street rubbish” (stealing) but I knocked on someone’s door once and scored a single bed frame and I e sent Martin out to scrounge items for me before. 🙂
The question of ‘stealing’ has come up here, too, but I think the general consensus is that once you throw it away (which is what you are doing when you put it to the curb for collection by the garbagemen), you have given up rights to it. In your place, I would have gone up and asked, too. Sure beats buying poorly made stuff new for big bucks, doesn’t it? Not to mention the satisfaction . . .
Now you have me guessing that your mother is Norwegian???
You bet! Her Mum was born in Trondheim and came to North Dakota in 1900 at the age of nine (with her family). Mum’s Dad was born in Lillehammer and came to North Dakota in his late teens or very early twenties. He worked on the Panama Canal for a bit, did various odd jobs, made a bit of money boxing, all the usual for a young man in those days. Met my grandmother and they married and had two kids before most of the clan emigrated again, this time to southern Saskatchewan, where they had eight more kids, one of whom died at 10 or so. Here comes Mum. Bye for now. ~ Linne
Thats a really lovely coffee pot Linne :). I love scouring thrift shops to see if I can find discarded beautiful objects like this and you would be surprised what people throw away here in Tasmania and think is worthless. I found some really lovely long handled old spoons not so long back and am always hunting for bits and pieces to rescue. This coffee pot is something to treasure and a really wonderful way to share a love of coffee with your aunt 🙂
Glad you like it, too. It’s a tiny bit beat up, but to me, that’s value-added. No, I would NOT be surprised. What would surprise me would be to go to a dump or rubbish tip and NOT find anything that could be used or up-cycled. We are not allowed to go through stuff in a dump anymore here; fears of being sued for whatever, I suppose . . . but years ago my friends and I all did it; once I found a new pair of men’s work boots that just fit me! That was in my penniless days and was I ever grateful! I have ‘picked’ furniture, china and other bits and pieces. I remember my Dad being so shocked when a neighbour told him that he (the neighbour) had taken an old Victrola (with the horn) to the dump! He never even thought to offer it to anyone. Seems that most people figure that if it’s junk to them, it’s junk to everyone . . . You should (could LOL) post a pic of your spoons. I will try not to drool on the keyboard . . . How funny, I, too, think of it as ‘rescuing’! I feel the life in them and I want them to be loved as they deserve. This does not extend to what my British friends call ‘tat’, though. Newish, badly made out of cheap materials stuff . . . yucchhhhh. No life there to love. But the old things . . . and esp the handmade ones . . . oh, my! Life and to spare . . . ~ Linne
Tasmanians don’t prize the old stuff, they are too busy buying more and more tat and thinking that they are doing well. I love the older stuff and garage sales, tip shops (we can still fossick here 😉 ) and thrift shops are treasure troves of cheap amazing finds. I will post a pic of my lovely spoons and you can drool…I know I did when I found them and managed to get them for 20c each! 😉
Oh, Narf, if I ever get down your way, promise me we will go thrifting and fossicking! What fun!!
20 cents each!! Lucky doesn’t even come close . . . ~ Linne