Probably the best bang for yourpreparedness buck is the common dried bean. Cheap, accessible,  easy to store, nutritious, delicious, so why doesn’t everybody have beans in their pantry? I suspect that a lot of folks have purchased them, then just let them sit around because they take some preplanning (soaking and long cooking) and it’s easier to grab a can of beans. I have done some other posts on canning beans at home and I think I have posted some recipes but I want to get down to basics and give you my recipe for baked beans. Well, it’s actually a hybrid of my recipe, Sherri’s recipe and a recipe I found in a cookbook from the 1950′s. I am thinking about beans because I can smell mine cooking and just checked on my Indian Woman beans out in the garden. I have beans on the brain today.

I started the beans yesterday afternoon. I soaked a pound of navy beans in a couple of quarts of water for 6 hours, drained the water, put in fresh water and simmered the beans for an hour and a half. Then I got out my trusty crock pot which I think uses less energy than my oven. I layered sliced onions on the bottom, put in the beans and a cup fo the reserved cooking liquid. I chopped up  a hunk of slab bacon and mixed that into the beans. I added a half cup of maple syrup,a 1/4 cup cider vinegar, some ground mustard and a 1/2 cup  barbeque sauce to this. Because I like my beans nice and brown, I also added 1/8 cup of blackstrap molasses. This sat on high in the crock pot until the beans were simmering, then I  reduced the heat to low and let the beans cook overnight. Right now they are really brown and smell amazing.

This recipe makes a lot. It’s a good thing as we like bean soup around here.

On this Memorial Day, I want to take a moment to remember not just our fallen military members but all of the men and woman who give their lives for a cause. I have been touched and led by heroes in the movement to lead us to a more sane and sustainable life. Carla Emery was one of  the first for me. I cried the day I found out she had died.

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