Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beans, Beans...

We talk and think a lot about food in our household (a surprise, right?). We have conversations over the dinner table, talking about what we want to make next. We discuss what our weekly farm share will bring, what enjoyment it brings us, and how we want to cook the fresh provisions it contains. We glowingly dream about all the berries and fruit in season right now and all the cooking, baking, and preserving possibilities they present us.

Ben’s eyes will grow wide, his speech will become a bit faster, and I know he’s hooked on a particular idea. These ideas take various forms, from gluten free doughnuts with lemon cream filling (which, we still haven’t done, so I continue to hear about it) to gluten free onion rings (which we did last weekend with sweet walla walla onions). He was, in fact, the impetus behind our strawberry-jam-making session last month.

For the past two weeks, he has talked about beans. Beans, beans, the musical fruit… (sorry, I can’t talk about beans without hearing that childhood song in my head). We received a generous bag of dried pinto beans in our first farm share this summer and that started his wheels turning. The wheels got stuck on home-made baked beans. He envisioned slow-cooking them in the crockpot with bacon and sweet walla walla onions.

I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve had baked beans since I moved out of my parents house, but there is something so very Americana about them – something that reminds me of summers and fourth of July family gatherings with corn-on-the-cob, paper plates, soda and beer in the cooler on the deck, and lawn chairs in the grass. And, I have certainly never had any other baked beans than Busch’s baked beans from a can.

So Ben set about pulling together the ingredients and threw them all into the crockpot Monday morning before he left for work. We were greeted at home later that evening by a mingling of sweet and savory aromas…and well, the rest is history. Delicious, sweet, salty history. We ate them with gluten-free bratwurst and my home-made gluten-free bread rolls.

Baked beans:

1 pound dried pinto beans

1 pound raw bacon, cut into small pieces

½ sweet onion, diced

¼ cup raw sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

The night before, rinse and sort your beans. Place them in a large pot of water and bring to boil for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight (this is called “heat-soaking” and removes a larger amount of the sugary starches from the beans, which reduces their musical tendencies :) )

When you are ready to assemble the ingredients, rinse the beans well with cool water and place in the crockpot. Add the rest of your ingredients and stir to mix.

Turn your crockpot on low and cook for about 10-12 hours.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try Blue Diamond Natural Almond Nut-Thins. They are a very tasty wheat and gluten-free snack cracker. I bought them to have at my staff meeting for a teacher who is doing a gluten-free diet. Everyone really liked them.

Mom Kulp