Wow! I didn’t realize that there were so many barbecue loving blog readers! I received a ton of emails from readers who were so excited to share their barbecue stories including one email from a woman this morning detailing how to barbecue a whole pig that involved a bathtub, beer and a truck. These are my kind of people.
Because I live in Par-ee, I didn’t realize that it is Memorial Day weekend back in the states! I wish I had thought of this barbecue blog series sooner so I could share all of my family recipes before the big weekend. Alas, we have a whole summer of barbecue ahead of us so not to worry.
I thought it would be fun to take a few days and share my mother’s, my grandmother’s and my great grandmother’s recipes with you that we have used for generations. These are the recipes we use for summer barbecues. Even though I like to go to dumpy barbecue joints, if we are doing barbecue at home, we still make it a formal affair because that’s just how my family is. Even though my grandmother’s recipe calls for a white trash can of Pork n Beans, it was always served on beautiful china in the formal dining room. Isn’t that funny?Okay, these next few blogs are all about the barbecue fixin’s… The sides. These aren’t fancy recipes, they are not gourmet… They are real and they are delicious. However, I must warn you… My mother wrote out all of these recipes and with that comes a whole lot of funny. My mother has self diagnosed dyslexia, is a horrible speller and is just overall confusing. You have to have had to live a lifetime with her to actually understand what she’s talking about. I don’t know how she taught cooking classes because I know how frustrated she gets when we mere mortals don’t know what she’s talking about. She just assumes that everyone is or should be a master chef. When I was growing up, 90% of my life was spent in the kitchen with my mother watching her cook. Rarely, very rarely, she would let me stir a sauce but then she would take the spoon out of my hand and tell me that I was stirring it wrong. I’m pretty sure I do the same thing to my daughter, Grace.
My mother is the type of cook who “feels.” She doesn’t really follow recipes, no two meals are the same, she uses all of her senses to cook and the results are… Extraordinary. So, with that being said… I’m just going to let her recipes be themselves… Confusion, misspellings, improper verb tenses, condescension, assumption and all. She will most likely not tell you what temperature the oven should be because she assumes you should just know. And my God, you better be using the proper cookware or heads will roll. Doesn’t this sound like fun? Just kidding, trust me, it is fun because my mother has a wonderful characteristic of being able to laugh at herself.
Today’s recipe from my mother, Anne:
O’Connell Family Baked Beans
This recipe was my Mom's (Ellie’s grandmother) and I have never had a actual written recipe. It was just as you go!
So here it is..as I go!
1 large can of Pork n Beans (I pour most of the liquid off) actually, make that two large cans.
about I/2 cup of ketchup
about 1/2 cup of brown sugar
about 1/2 of a green pepper cut in small sizes
about 1/2 of a large onion
a few splashes of Worchestershire Sauce
about 8 to 10 slices of bacon
Pour the pork n beans into a large bowl. Add all of the ingredients, except the bacon, and mix together. you might like to add more or less of each of them. This is just how I start. I probable add more ketchup and brown sugar and a whole onion and whole green pepper. I probably add more worchestershire because I like it to be a dark color and have a rich taste. But it does add salt so be careful. Taste it and see how you like it...a little sweet but a richness to it. I usually double this recipe. Love the leftover beans the next day.
Now put it in a glass baking dish. Round or rectangle.... any size. It is better to have it in a smaller dish that will give it some depth instead of longer and not as deep. Now place 4 or 5 slices of bacon across the dish and then the other 4 or 5 across the dish in the other direction to form a basket weave pattern. Makes it look special! The bacon is important to this recipe.
Bake in a 400 oven for about 45 to 60 minutes. Don't let the beans over cook and dry out. You want them to be moist. I have burned them many times so be careful. Put the timer on....Anne
Voilà! My grandmother’s baked beans via my mother. Welcome to my world. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe… My great grandmother’s summer barbecue corn casserole.