Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The No-Broccoli Zone

Since my parents moved into the assisted living facility last fall, they've been generally impressed with the food - with one exception.  It's sometimes (in their words) "too healthy."  My father in particular, not a big fan of vegetables, feels that broccoli and brussels sprouts appear on the menu far too often.  (If he knew that I sometimes eat nothing but a large bowl of steamed broccoli for dinner, he would probably disown me.)  To celebrate Fathers Day, then, my sister and I fed them one of their favorite unhealthy meals - bratwurst and buns, greasy fried potato chips, homemade baked beans, and made-from-scratch chocolate cupcakes.  The cupcakes were from this recipe by Giadi de Laurentiis; the baked beans were mine (below), adapted from the version my mother used to make.

No broccoli was served.

Beth's Baked Beans

1 16oz package dried Great Northern beans
1 cup chopped ham or bacon
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbl molasses
2 Tbl prepared yellow mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Rinse the beans and discard any small pebbles.  Cover with water in a large bowl and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the beans and mix them with the other ingredients.  Place in a stoneware beanpot or medium casserole and add water to cover.  Bake at 350 degrees, adding more water if necessary, until the beans are soft but not mushy or soupy. (How long this will take depends largely on how old the beans are, which you have no way of knowing, but it will probably be several hours.)

To speed up the process, cook for 1 hour in a pressure cooker before transferring to the beanpot.  The beans will only take about another hour in the pot.

“He could do this. He'd survived boot camp. He'd survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive broccoli. Probably.” ~ Shannon Stacey, Yours to Keep

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