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Monday, August 11, 2008

Baked beans!


Mmmmmm baked beans! I needed to find a way to trick myself into eating more beans because they are cheap and nutritious. For some reason, I get sick of ranch style beans very quickly. Baked beans, on the other hand, I adore.

At a loss for a good recipe, I turned to my favorite TV chef--Alton Brown. His Once and Future Beans recipe is amazing. I made a batch last week (and it's a LARGE batch) and we ate them all in 3 days or something.

They are both molasses-y and spicy. The recipe calls for a pound of bacon, but since I'm cheap I used olive oil instead. I bet they'd be out of this world with bacon. My other major modification to this recipe? I use a blanket box instead of a 250 degree oven to cook the beans.

A blanket box is essentially a crock pot that is not electric. It's a big, insulated box that your pot fits into. You stuff the spaces with fabric or straw, cover, and leave it. Blanket boxes are perfect for slow cooking foods like baked beans, and they conserve a lot of fuel. I'm currently using the bottom of the solar oven--a cardboard box insulated with layers of cardboard. I would like to make a "pretty" blanket box that won't be such an eyesore in the kitchen.

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