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!


Sheila_T said...

Hey Rana,
I love it. It gave me smiles and yup, I was out of breath just thinking of all the work that simple... ok, not simple, baked beans take to make.
Love ya bunches,

roniarch said...

Yikes! Sometimes it is so worth it to pay the extra money to save yourself a lot of time and headache! Some things are just worth paying for. I remember Mom soaking beans many times for different kinds of dishes. I think it was always overnight. But then she was always an early riser so the beans were always done in time for lunch. I don't remember her canning them, though.

Rana said...

Yup, those "simple" baked beans that a lot of work! By the way, they tasted sooooo good. As for canning them, I thought I'd try it since it's in my canning recipe book. Next time, we'll just eat them. I was able to get 4 quarts, but I'm not sure that they turned out the way I thought they would. I guess I'll just have to open one sometime and serve it for dinner!

sharmaine said...

Here in Newfoundland, Baked beans are a specialty for breakfast - many of the folks here love it with fried balogna, all warmed over an open fire (when in the woods of course) and a cup of tea and fresh "lassy" bread (a slice of homemade bread with fancy molasis, butter and for a special treat, topped with tin 'heavy' cream). That's a real Newfie Mug-up.

Rana said...

Sharmaine,I love it! Of course, I love baked beans anyway, but 2 am was just too early, or maybe that's too late? I think we will take them camping with us next time. Life in NF just sounds so "romantic". Someday, we will come visit. I really want to.