Monday 18th of October 2010 08:10 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
I am about to lose my nomination for the Farm Wife of the Year Award with this admission, but here goes: Taking meals to the field is getting really old.
Getting a meal ready is nothing out of the ordinary around here. But meal delivery adds a whole other dimension. There's packing the hot stuff in a thermal container and the cold stuff in a cooler and schlepping all the carriers to the pickup for delivery. (And, then, there's remembering to include a fork ... and a napkin.) Then you reverse the process and tote it all back in the house, where the pile of dirty dishes awaits. Sigh ... big, BIG sigh!
On my Bible study day last week, I needed to come up with a plan that I could accomplish while I was gone all morning. Slow cookers to the rescue! In fact, I used two of them.
I cooked a roast in one slow cooker. After it was tender, I shredded it and combined it with commercial barbecue sauce to make BBQ Sandwiches. In the other Crock Pot, I did a variation of baked beans, since I was looking for a change-of-pace side dish for my lunch crew.
The Sweet and Sour Beans would be a great potluck dish to take to a church dinner, too.
Maybe I made inroads toward a nomination for the fictitious award with the tasty meal. (I was always losing my Mother of the Year Award nomination when the kids were home, too, but that's another story!) For the record, the guys have been appreciative. And I do know it's helped speed up at least part of the wheat planting and milo harvesting process.
As usual, I made a few variations to the original recipe, which I've detailed below.
Sweet & Sour Beans
1 can butter beans
1 can yellow wax beans
1 can pork and beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can green beans
1 lb. bacon
1 large onion
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
Drain all beans but the pork and beans.
The original recipe said to cook 1 pound bacon until crisp; drain and set aside. Then, saute the onion in the bacon grease. I didn't do that. I used some jarred, already prepared real bacon bits and I stirred in some minced onion. I'm sure it would have been tasty the other way, but I just didn't have the time and I didn't figure anyone needed the grease.
So ... going on: If you've sauted the onion in the skillet, add all the ingredients except the beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
Pour sauce over beans in casserole dish. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
As you can see from the photo, I dumped everything into a Crock Pot and cooked it on low while I was gone all morning. It worked just fine.
For more information about me and my family, check out my personal blog, www.kimscountyline.blogspot.com