When I was a little kid, I hated baked beans. Mom made them with molasses and onions and all kinds of stuff that made my nose twitch, and according to family legend I once sat in front of the same plate of cold baked beans for two days’ worth of meals before relenting and eating them. Then, only because my father threatened to serve them in my oatmeal the third day. Out of necessity, my mom fed us on$50/month for a family of five; the sooner I learned to like beans and hate wasted food, the better.
Ironically, I now enjoy baked beans. Especially this multi-bean casserole I learned to make from my friend Carol Garborg. She grew up on the mission field (Brazil), in a Christian community where food was always cooked in quantity. So whenever I have to feed a large group of people, I whip out this tried-and-true favorite. Throw it in the crock in the morning, whip up a vat of slaw, and toss a few burgers or chicken legs on the Bar-B when you’re ready to eat, and you’ve got yourself a party!
Easy-Peasy Beans by Carol Garborg
6-8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
2 large onions, cut in thin rings
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 C ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 C cider vinegar
2-15 oz cans butter beans
1 pkg (16 oz) green lima beans (frozen or canned)
1-16 oz can kidney beans w/juice
1 large can (28 oz or so) baked beans (I use Bush’s New England variety)
Saute onions in a little olive oil or bacon grease. Add sugar, mustard, ketchup, garlic, and vinegar. Pour all beans into crock pot, pour onion mixture over all. Stir, and cook 4 hours on low heat; alternatively, you can put them in a covered baking dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.
For simple supper, serve with corn bread and salad. (During Lent, just omit bacon.)