It may seem spur of the moment but it’s been on my mind for some time so a move to a new home is now imminent. Yes, I LOVE my home and I’ve shed many tears at the thought of leaving it but leaving it I am. It’s simply too big and too much work and without my kids living here anymore, it’s simply more than one person needs. I will probably howl at the moon a bit because I’m so torn but I’m moving forward at the same time.
One thing I vowed to myself this week was to make a super conscientious effort to prepare everything I can using goods from my pantry and my freezer. I had some thawed ground beef and went to pull some diced tomatoes out of the pantry…but no, say it ain’t so… there weren’t any! By the way, I have a feeling that vow will be broken; I need my tomatoes.
Still, I did spy two cans of Bush’s Baked Beans and I was quickly transported to those years of making casseroles and quick meals for two young girls. I honestly think versions of this recipe have been around for a gazillion years. If I’m not mistaken my mom made it for us as kids too; dishes like this were our idea of ‘Hamburger Helper.’ It’s funny; I’ve always loved this dish but never think of making it without a young family to feed. Well, I corrected that faux pas today…and I still loved it. It is requisite that it be served with corn muffins and in keeping with my trip down memory lane I made some from a box of Jiffy mix. No judging!
I did mix it up just a bit; substituting barbecue sauce for ketchup and kicking it up a notch with the addition of some chili powder and a dash or two of liquid smoke. Who says you can’t go home again? I did but just did a bit of renovating in the process!
I can’t deny that the sweet element is what I’ve always found appealing; something about that mixture of molasses and brown sugar with a touch of mustard and a hint of smokiness that transports this dish far beyond mere baked beans; the addition of ground beef makes it a whole meal in a bowl. I garnished them last night with some caramelized onions but it can be bare or even topped with a dollop of sour cream. Perfect right?