Summertime BBQs always stir up childhood memories of the Fourth of July: parades, bikes with streamers and crepe paper woven between the spokes, saluting and honoring veterans and flying the “Red, White and Blue!” high. A true favorite was always my mother Shirley’s Baked Beans served on a redwood picnic table at our backyard parties. These can be made the day before and simply reheated. I still use Mom’s old McCoy Bean Pot which has been in the family for over 60 years.
Mom’s Baked Beans
Servings: 12 – 16
1/2 lb. bacon
2 medium Spanish onions, medium dice
4-16 oz. cans baked beans of your choice
1 cup root beer, (adds sweetness, and a hit of peppery flavor), or 1/4 cup dark brown sugar.*
3/4 cup catsup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
Drain the beans well in a colander, remove pork fat if included.
Place bacon on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees, until slightly crisp, remove and drain on paper towel, retain drippings and cut the bacon into a fine dice, and reserve.
Using a heavy fry pan, take 1/2 of the bacon drippings, and sauté the chopped onions until transparent in color, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Mix all the ingredients together and put in a slightly greased, oven proof 4 qt dish. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 50 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
*If using root beer, find one that is produced with cane sugar. Buy extra and use for a root beer float which is always a great dessert on a hot summer day!
Every family has a recipe, and every recipe has a story!
Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!