Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
The other day, I got to thinking. I know. It happens sometimes, usually when I least expect it. I was thinking, pondering, marinating if you will, on food. Yup. Food. That glorious stuff I’m really learning to enjoy mightily now that I’ve taken the plunge to really notice what I’m putting in my body. And you know what they say: You are what you eat. For too many years, I was a Big Mac with fries and a Diet Coke. Now I’m more of a veggie pita with iced sun tea!
So, anyway, I was thinking about food from my past. Like, for example, that red velvet cake I had for my seventh birthday, Uncle Bill’s chocolate chip cookies, Midge’s waldorf salad, Gramma Barbie’s pot roast, Mom’s eggnog, and Dad’s baked beans. You know, food that has a specific time and date and memory attached to them? Yeah, those kinds. Eggnog from 1994, that’s what I’m looking for … figuratively speaking, of course.
So, I was pretty thrilled to find that I can actually earn a Recipes badge for something I planned to do anyway. Now I have no excuse for not collecting all those family recipes and putting them all in one place!
Some were a bear to get. Turns out, Dad thinks he’s the next ingredient master for Bush’s or something, and trying to cajole him into letting me in on the secret of his baked beans was time consuming and exhausting. That man is stubborn! After I finally got the recipe out of him, he insisted on coming over the first time I made them. Mostly to peek over my shoulder and smack salt outta my hands and say things like, humph, and grr, and how old are these molasses? Since baked beans take, oh, I don’t know, like, four years to make, it was a lot of grumbling to endure. I finally passed him a plate of Uncle Bill’s chocolate chip cookies and then he perked up and even let me slice the bacon without too much interference.
In case you’re hankering for some of these delicious, mouth-watering beans, I’ll include the basic recipe. If a strange man drops by to offer advice and/or opinions, it’s just Dad. Hand him a cookie and send him on his way.
DAD’S BAKED BEANS
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 1 HOUR
MAKES: 10-12 SERVNGS
1 lb uncured bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 lb beans, soaked and cooked (any kind will do—I like red or calico. Or navy. Or black. Or white. Whatevah!
Or crack open 3 or 4 cans if you like ‘em that way. Just don’t tell Dad.)
1 T thyme leaves
8 sage leaves, minced
2 sprigs rosemary, minced
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon, onion, and garlic until the bacon is crisp and the onions are not. Add cooked beans, thyme, sage, rosemary, brown sugar, and molasses. Stir to combine.
2. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.