You can't make everything from scratch

...but you can sure try!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Winter comfort food

Until this past week, the weather here in New Brunswick had been unseasonably warm. But that didn't mean I wasn't craving solid, hearty winter food. Even though there was no snow, the days were still short which meant I still had an urge to cocoon.

Winter is all about leaving the oven on for long periods of time. And baked beans seemed like a good excuse to do so.

For me, baked beans have always been a canned food item, so they fit in very nicely with the theme of this blog. They also scream comfort food, so they're perfect for this time of year. This was my first attempt at making them, and I didn't really know where to begin. In my preliminary searches for a recipe, I had one overriding criterion: no molasses, because my husband doesn't like the flavour of them. I ended up using the recipe from the Gourmet cookbook, which calls for maple syrup instead.

The end result was okay, but I don't think I'd use the same recipe again. They were definitely hearty, but a little on the sweet side for my tastes. Also, the bacon produced some grey foam as it simmered, so I'd make a point of blanching or frying it next time. Fortunately, it looks like it's going to be a long, cold winter from here on out, so I imagine I'll have some opportunity to experiment with variations.