Sunday, August 19, 2007
The Trouble With Beans
I now know why baked beans cost so much at the store! Here's how I know. First you have to soak the beans for 12-18 hours. Ok. If you begin at 9 am then you have two options, you can start the next phase at 9 pm or at 3 am. Let's take the 9 pm option. Next you simmer the beans until the skin cracks. That's about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You also have to slice onions, chop the ham, add the molassas (the whole container), brown sugar, salt and other seasonings. Everything is now in the baking dish and it is 10:30 pm. Now you bake for 3 1/2 hours at 350. Beans are done and cooked and ready to serve at 2:30 am. Now, who wants baked beans for breakfast at 2:30 in the morning? Not I! So, I took the other option. I began at 9 am, soaked until 8 am (the next day), simmered until 9 am, chopped, sliced, mixed, and added until 10:15 ( I didn't know how long it would take to simmer), then missed church because I wasn't ready to go on time, and baked the beans until 1:30 pm. On top of that, I decided to can most of it for later (don't want to do this again any time soon!) which requires that everything be hot to begin with, jars and all, then filling all the jars, and processing them in the hot water canner (boy I wish I had the pressure canner about now!) for 3 hours. That's about 9 hours straight of cooking. I don't even do that for Thanksgiving Turkey! I haven't gotten to the canning stage yet, so we will eat some of this hard work before I do! Wish me luck!