Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sweet and Sour Baked Beans

Oh, was there a debate last night?  Let’s discuss something less contentious.  Let’s talk about beans.  Just kidding, let's talk about sports.

I consider myself a Big-3 Sports fan because my interest doesn’t range far from baseball, basketball and football.  I have my favorite teams in each category (Yankees (playoffs!!), Duke (obvs), and Panthers (Cam), respectively) but I love nothing more than a lazy fall weekend watching game after game of football.  It’s how I know the difference between the Fox and CBS football jingles after all.  Dunna-dun dunna-dunnnnnnn (pause) dunna-dun dunna-dunnnnn (pause) dunna-dun dunna-dun DUN DUN DUN is Fox while CBS is dooo do-do dooo do (pause) dooooo do-do do-do-do do (pause) dooooo do-do dooooo do (pause) doooooo do do do-do-do do is CBS.  And this is why I need a Podcast.

This year’s NFL season has been even more engaging because I joined my first Fantasy Football Draft. Two weeks after the season started of course, but, hey, at least I am engaged.  I, of course, picked too many players of the same team and towards the end of the draft just started going with whichever player looked the nicest -- and then somehow ended up with Michael Vick as my back-up quarterback.   Not since the movie Labyrinth has something that calls itself ‘Fantasy’ caught my attention so much.  Ok, maybe since the Twilight series.

So what does this have to do with Sweet and Sour Baked Beans?  Not much, really.  Only that the moment I hear one of the two football jingles in my Sunday afternoon vegetating state, I want a bowl of these.  If you can throw it together in the slow cooker that morning, the dish will be ready after just a couple of hours – and, unlike the Sanchez/Tebow duo, it only gets better with time (trash talk, that’s right).  I may have lost my first week’s Fantasy Football match up by over 30 points but I will win the stomachs of those in the league with me. 

Sweet and Sour Baked Beans
Adapted from my Aunt Linda’s recipe found in the Beth Eden Lutheran Church Cookbook, Volume 1 (I’m on a roll with this one.)

8 slices of bacon
2 large onions
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 can kidney beans
1 can canary beans (original called for green limas but, incredibly, my grocery store did not have them)
1 can white limas (I used butter beans and told myself they were the same thing.)
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 cans pork & beans

Fry bacon until crisp and drain.  Set on paper towels and let cool.  Crumble once cool.  In a small amount of bacon drippings (or large amount – your call), sauté onions and add brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder.  Stir it until mixed.  Add mixture to a crock pot.  Add crumbled bacon, drained beans and pork and beans to the same crock pot.  Stir carefully.  Turn crock pot on High and cook for two hours.  Each day you reheat these, they will get better and better. 

Note – I’m putting this recipe under both the ‘sides’ and ‘main dishes’ category because, honestly, it could go either way.  I ate it at as a main dish but did I crave a hot dog or hamburger to share the plate alongside my pile of beans?  Maybe.

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