Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday baked beans

January is easy to love. After the holidays have galloped past, with all their attendant stress and bustle, you wake up one happy Sunday with nothing on the docket. There are no have-tos, no to-dos. The day is yours to fill as you please. It's a good feeling. Partly because I love to, and partly because it was too cold and wet to leave the house yesterday, I committed to a fuzzy-slippers-and-pajama-pants day. Patrick, clearly following my lead, chose wool socks and a fleece-lined hoodie. Thus outfitted, we ensconced ourselves on the couch, with quilt and tea and Netflix on demand. It was, in every way, the perfect January Sunday.

Of course, our dinner plans had to fit the cheerful slothness of the day. I dumped a pile of beans into the slow cooker, drowned them in maple syrup and tomatoes, threw in some other stuff, and pushed start. Slow cookers were brought into the world for exactly this type of day.

Here's the recipe I used.

Maple Baked Beans
1 lb navy or kidney beans, soaked overnight, cooked until nearly tender, and drained
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes
3 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf

Dump everything into your slow cooker and mix together well. Make sure the bay leaf is buried somewhere, and not on the surface, otherwise it won't impart its sweet goodness. On top of everything, add enough water to cover the beans. Cook 6-8 hours on the low temperature setting. It's that easy.

Notes: Sometimes I like to saute the onion and garlic before adding it to the pot. It adds another layer of sweetness, but is not necessary. We almost always eat these alongside veggie dogs and homemade three-bean salad. Building a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and falling asleep to the sound of owls/loons/bears afterwards is a nice, authentic touch. Strictly optional.


Anonymous said...

This sounds exactly like my kind of Sunday. Ours was very similar, but we headed out to the movies. Your beans look super-extra yummy. I might have to try them!
~Coll :}

Lisa-Marie said...


Kyrie said...

Yum, these look delish!

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