Saturday, April 25, 2009

Following a recipe is very important if you want something to turn out right

It's gotten cold the last few days and as an excuse to turn the oven on, I started homemade baked beans yesterday. But I missed a really important step (cooking the beans for 30 minutes after soaking) and after baking for NINE HOURS, they're still al dente. Not sure what I was thinking about, but obviously not the recipe!

I also have no idea how to set my oven to the right temperature. All the writing has been rubbed off the knob, plus in Argentina they typically don't have graduated heat temperatures anyway, rather just low, medium and high. I guess cooks just learn where to set the knob through trial and error.

Before I went to bed last night I threw a pork roast into the crockpot on low and this morning I shredded the meat, mixed in some homemade bar-b-q sauce (since I can't buy it here) and put it all back in the crockpot for a while. I made cornbread for the first time since we came, using "polenta" I found at Disco and it came out great.

Every once in a while I just get a hankerin' for good southern food! Especially after reading about Robin's travel adventures in Savannah where SHE ATE AT THE LADY & SONS (can you tell that the very idea makes me swoon?!). Savannah's one of those places I'd love to visit.

Even though baked beans are cold weather food for me, they're also a good picnic staple and with the temperatures rising in the U.S., I thought y'all might like a good baked bean recipe. Instead of opening a can of Van Camp's or Bush's, try serving your family honest-to-goodness-homemade baked beans and you'll go way, way up in their estimation. [This recipe is another from my favorite cookbook, Home-Cooking Sampler by Peggy Glass] Just make sure you don't miss that all important "cook for 30 minutes" step ☺


1 lb. small white dried beans
1/2 cup maple syrup or molasses
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 pound salt pork, scored and cut in chunks
hot water, as needed

Soak beans overnight in water to cover by three times the depth of the beans.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Drain beans and put into a pot, adding more water to amply cover. Bring to a boil, simmer partially covered until softened but not cooked through, about 30 minutes. Drain the beans well and transfer to 2-quart bean pot or heavy ovenproof casserole with a lid.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Add hot water to cover beans by one inch. Partially cover pot or casserole.
Bake 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally and added more water as needed to keep beans moist.
NOTE: I'm of the opinion that baked beans are best made the day before, then re-heated. They just taste better the second day.

The rain has let up so today I'm catching up on laundry. The one load I washed yesterday spent the day on the line under the patio and still wasn't dry by last night when I was getting ready for bed. Just too damp and cold. But today we have sun and a brisk breeze so it's perfect for hanging out the clothes.

Last night our co-workers came over and brought a young friend, Anna from Norway. After a year at the Palabra de Vida (Word of Life Bible Institute) in Buenos Aires, Anna is going to help a ministry in Cordoba for a while.

So Anna had her little Spanish/Norwegian dictionary, I had my Spanish/English one and everyone else spoke Spanish with ease ☺ We played a game, ordered in empanadas, and had a great time visiting.

This is turning out to be a very nice weekend. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too ☺


Mari said...

Sorry about your beans - doesn't it make you mad when you do something like that? The prk BBQ sounds good though!

sara said...

too bad about your beans! but the pork sounds great! I love my crockpot!!

I also love Savannah and I have eaten at Lady and sons!!! It was fabulous!

skoots1mom said...

oh that sounds me some cornbread with beans...they don't like me but I love them!

rita said...

I still have frozen portions from when I tried that recipe, also 'al dente' :(
Norwegian, eh? Well, we just accepted taking in one of the visiting Basque students this summer!