Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Baked Beans

My friend Rachelle would always bring me baked beans when she made them. And I would dutifully eat them. One time, on a partnered grocery trip, she talked me into buying a bag of beans to make my own- that was a disaster. I’ve always thought of them as ‘edible, but why spend time on them.’

Baked beans were part of the menu on our recent camping trip, and I loved them! Suddenly the texture was so interesting: smooth, soft little mounds in a soft homey sauce. The flavour was sweet but not dessert like, and so nutritious.

It was recently cold here (one day only), so I made some baked beans! And they are so good! I feel like a genius, they’re so delicious. But of course I’m just greedy. I’ve been living here for most of my life, and I’ve only just discovered beans- how odd. Baked beans are one of those classic dishes from this region: inexpensive, storable, and everyone has their own recipe, so it’s not as if Rachelle was the only one trying to give me a heads up. This isn’t the first time I seemed to have suddenly awakened to a food that I’ve had before. I’m convinced that our taste buds change- mature, associate, and age.

I used white pea beans, from the “Maritime Beans” company in from Dieppe (about 2 hours from here). There was a recipe on the back which I used as a guideline, but added my own riffs. They're good warm or cold. Here’s an outline of what I did.

Baked Beans
454 g. of white pea beans
¼ C butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ C molasses
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
A few rounds of freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the beans in water for 45 min.You’ll have to add water as they cook.
2. Let sit in the cooking water for 1 hr.
3. Rinse and dump into a casserole dish.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Mix it all up and add enough water to be even with the top of the beans.
6. Cover and cook at 350F until they’re brown and smell delicious, about 1 hr.

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