To complete our picnic I make baked beans. This was one of my mother’s favorite meals and we think of her as we sit down to dinner. We have changed our baked bean recipe through time and have adjusted it to suit our taste. There are certain things that are constant and certain things that we vary according to what we have on hand and what we feel like. It is always a variation of the ingredients listed below.
- 4 cans of beans, 15 to 16 ounces each
- 1 red kidney beans
- 1 black beans
- 2 white beans, I like to use butter beans and navy beans. Not garbanzos
- ½ pound of bacon or 1 cup of diced ham (cut with the best kitchen utility knives)
- 1 medium onion chopped (in the best food chopper)
- 1 Tablespoon of dried Mustard
- 1 cup of brown sugar, or some honey can replace part of the brown sugar. How much you add will depend on how sweet your family likes things.
- 1 8 ounce jar of salsa – medium or hot depending on your taste.
Drain and rinse the canned beans (after opening with the best can opener) in a seive. Put them in a large dish.
If you are using bacon, cut two strips in half for the top, and the rest into smaller pieces. . (using kitchen shears makes cutting easier)
Sauté the onion and bacon and add to the mixed beans, reserving the larger pieces of bacon or some of the ham.
Add the salsa, mustard and sugar. Mix well and transfer to a large greased casserole placing the reserved bacon or ham on the top.
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Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for an hour and a half. Remove the lid for the last fifteen minutes and check the mixture. If it seems to have more liquid than you want thicken with some cornstarch stirred into cold water and mixed into the beans, returning them to the oven for the last fifteen minutes.
Adjust this recipe to your own family’s taste by changing the beans, the salsa or the sugar/honey mixture.
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