The sun was almost down behind the house, and in front of us like a living piece of art was a dusky early evening. How many times have I stopped what I was doing in the house to run out on the porch just for a moment; to soak in the beauty, breath the fresh air, cool my busy mind? Called the children to come and see the pretty sky? So many times that now sometimes they do it, too.
“Mom, come look!”
s h a r e d J O Y i s a d o u b l e J O Y
The darkest of blues and a world washed clean.
A year ago I put together a recipe file of all the baked bean recipes I could find in my cookbook collection. I tried out a few of the recipes and then lost interest in beans for another year. It is interesting to me how we become seasonally predictable. All of a sudden I’m getting the urge to bake beans again–exactly a year later.
I selected the next recipe to try and for this recipe, I needed dark rum. Rich and I drove downtown on Saturday to get some while the beans were soaking on the stovetop and the children played. I sat in the truck while he ran into the liquor store for a nice bottle of rum. Then we went downtown for coffee and a walk.
We ate dinner together around the table at the end of the day. A big pot of homemade baked beans and fresh bread from Price Chopper. The children all ate a plate of beans, so piping hot that they had to spread them all around their plates to cool faster. They all liked them and several of us had seconds. It is a contented feeling to make such simple foods and have them enjoyed.
Rich and Jacob go to the gym three times a week and Rich told me that Jacob should probably not eat beans the night before, ever again. Jacob replied, “It doesn’t matter what I eat, it’s going to happen.”
I thank my Aunt Mary for this recipe, because it came from a wonderful cookbook that she gave to me years ago as a bridal shower gift. I’ve studied and used it so much that it’s falling apart now. Every recipe I’ve made out of this cookbook has been extra delicious.
Molasses and Rum Baked Beans
1 pound dry navy beans or dry great northern beans
1/4 pound bacon (six slices) or salt pork, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup (we used maple syrup)
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
Rince beans. In a 4 1/2 quart dutch oven combine beans and 8 cups cold water. (I also added a bay leaf). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
In the same pan mix beans and 8 cups fresh cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour and 15 minutes or till tender. Drain beans, reserving hot liquid. Transfer beans to a 2 1/2 quart casserole or bean pot.
In a medium saucepan or large skillet, cook bacon or salt pork till fat begins to accumulate. Add onion and garlic. cook and stir over medium heat till onion is tender but not brown. Stir onion mixture into beans along with 1/2 cup of the reserved bean liquid, molasses or maple syrup, catsup, dark rum, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, ground ginger, and pepper.
Bake, covered, in a 300 degree oven about 2 and a half hours or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add additional reserved bean liquid. Makes 10-12 servings.
NOTES: I doubled this recipe. I used a teaspoon of sandwich mustard rather than dry. It took my beans much longer to bake. Plan on this recipe taking an entire day from morning to night. There is nothing worse than under cooked baked beans. When done, the beans should be super soft and everything else in the pot should be melted together. Add liquid as they bake so there is sauce. Very delicious with bread and butter and cold glasses of cider.
recipe source: Stay for Supper (Country Home) Cookbook
photos from walk yesterday, which was a warm fall day
the leaves I brought home with me
“….we must never pretend that things are better than they are-but I do want us to look beneath all that is difficult and see the miracle God has wrought in our hearts. I want us to see that he has placed powerful urges to do good in the deepest recesses of our regenerated hearts. That’s what the New Covenant is all about. Something wonderful and beautiful and resilient is within us that no abuse, rejection, or failure can ever destroy. I want us to relate to one another, not as moralist to sinner or therapist to patient, but as saint to saint, father to child, friend to friend, as true lovers, with the confidence that we can help each other believe that, by the grace of God, there is something good beneath the mess.”