Saturday, August 12, 2017

Partial weekend acheivements

I made the baked beans last night.

They were quite good. My only complaint is they were a BIT on the sweet side - but remember, I tend to like things less sweet than the average person. If I made them again I might increase the mustard, or add a tiny bit of either hot sauce or cayenne pepper to cut the "sweet" a little - and maybe use a tiny bit less maple syrup.

I am giving the recipe as written - I left out the salt and I didn't use the ham hock. (I am guessing you could also put cut-up already-cooked pork or even chicken in at the end if you wanted them to be meaty, like the "beans and bits" some barbecue places do.

It makes a LOT. The recipe says 8 servings but those must be big servings. I am going to freeze some of them - beans usually freeze pretty well.


2 cups dried navy beans (I used Great Northern, which are slightly smaller and in my experience, work up more tender).

Either soak overnight, do the boil-and-sit (that's what I do - boil a couple minutes, let sit an hour, rinse and drain) or cover the beans with water and boil 30 minutes.

Drain the beans and discard the water (it has some of the indigestible stuff in it so you don't want it anyway)


1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon dry mustart
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of water

Mix these together

Chop up an onion

Cut up 6 strips of bacon and put them in the bottom of a Dutch Oven. Put half the beans on top of that, and half of the onion. Then add the ham hock and put the rest of the beans and the onion on top of it.

Pour the maple syrup mixture over the whole thing, cover, cook at 325 F for 3 hours. Check periodically and add water if necessary (I had to).

Take the pot out. If you used a hamhock, take it out, let it cool, and pull and shred the meat off it, then put it back into the beans (or add the cut up other meat - I might do chicken in these some time)

Combine 2 Tablespoons of softened butter and 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar (really, you probably need more....) and dot on top of the beans. Put them BACK in the oven, uncovered, for 1/2 hour until the topping melts into a glaze.

One other thing I did differently: I just coarsely cut the onion (into quarters) because I generally do not eat the onion cooked in baked beans. It's mainly there to flavor them.

These would be good, I think, with barbecued meat or with brown bread and maybe something a little salty on the side to cut the sweetness. That said, I think I prefer maple syrup to molasses in baked beans because it's more "delicate."

 I dropped the Mary Engelbreit quilt top off at the quilter's yesterday. She said "maybe 8 weeks, maybe faster" (her sister does the quilting and was out of town.

I'm excited to get this one done; I forgot how cute the top was. It's ALMOST Christmas colors (red and green and yellow, but pastels rather than the darker colors more typically used).

I also feel motivated to consider working on the "birb" quilt again, which may be my NEXT "drop off to get quilted" top.

I also changed out my nail polish for the new Ponified ones. I'm pretty happy with how they look (photographs later on) and they seem to dry v. fast (maybe that's the clay added in?) I will have to see in the coming days how it holds up - if it holds up BETTER than average, this may be my new go-to brand. Especially if it helps keep my nails from breaking.

And glitter! I love glitter nail polish and so the glitter lifts my spirits. "Hey, Girl, Hey" is VERY subtle - it's clear with whitish glitter - so you don't notice it unless you're paying attention.

Lemme see if I can get a quick and dirty webcam shot for now:


I am sewing up Hagrid but forgot how long that process took, especially when you are using floss that is not a 100% color match.

Am still debating whether pushing ahead with Grasse Matinee when this is done, or giving in to startitis - I am thinking of all the great sweaters in my queue that I already have yarn for....

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