~ Comfort Food Bliss ~

Mmm... baked beans

Mmm… baked beans (Photo credit: jeffreyw)

It is cold. It is the last week of January. It is time for a comforting recipe that is easy and good and goes with all kinds of entrées. What is this magic bean of a recipe? Why Baked Beans of course.

I love baked beans though I have to be careful not to eat them when I have to cover a municipal council meeting for my newspaper at night. I am sure I do not have to explain any further.

In fact, I have a stomach that is a bit “delicate” so when I have to work at night I do not eat before I go so that it does not do something unexpected. It is funny how we have to adapt to things in life. Nine times out of ten my stomach survives a meal successfully, but it is that tenth time that makes one take precautions. But I digress (I often think that if I did not digress, I would not have much of a post).

This recipe was given to me by my sister, hence the name:

Great Baked Beans à la Peggy

4 – 15 oz. cans of baked beans (any kind you like; if I am feeling virtuous I choose the kind without pork—if I need comfort, I choose pork and beans)

1 onion, diced

3 tbsp. vinegar

¾ cup molasses

1 tsp. dry mustard

¼ cup ketchup

Bacon on top

Bake one hour at 350 degrees then 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

So simple, yet so good. You may think the magic ingredient in this is the bacon, but the real ingredient that makes all the difference in the world is molasses. Seriously—it gives it the right “body” and makes it kind of velvety—words I know not usually ascribed to baked beans, but it is true.

Sometimes I do not use this official recipe because I do not always have all the ingredients—if you have no dry mustard, use the yellow stuff. No molasses, throw in some brown sugar or maple syrup. No bacon? Cry a little—then make it anyway. Sometimes I crisp the bacon and put it right in with the beans. You can get as creative as you want.

I use this recipe when I have family dinners and it always disappears. For these dinners I serve it with spiral cut ham, cranberries, coleslaw, green stuff (I will give you the recipe for this some day), and roasted potatoes.

Cappuccino at Black Star Pastry Newtown

(Photo credit: sachman75)

I have two questions for you today. The first is existential: Would you consider someone a coffee lover if they have to use 3 teaspoons of sugar and a pint of milk in their morning coffee?

The second is: What is your favourite comfort food bliss? Feel free to answer one or both questions—and if you want to leave a recipe, feel free.

~ Grave Concerns ~

Coat of arms of the town of Kingsville, Ontario.

Coat of arms of the town of Kingsville, Ontario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that many of you have never been to a municipal council meeting in your lives. Well, truly you have not lived until you have attended one. As I am a “municipal reporter” (sounds so official doesn’t it?) I have attended hundreds of these meetings over the years. They tend to run 3 1/2 to 4 hours now, as they have been cut from three meetings a month to two in my town of Kingsville.

Admittedly, a lot of the things I report on are rather mundane, but not particularly mundane to those affected by the story–be it about drains, sewers, a new subdivision, business development, or neighbours really mad at other neighbours for building a fence that blocks their view of the lake.

This being Halloween week got the best of me and I just could not stop myself from trying to zip up a news story about weeds in the local cemetery–and it was published on the front page of the Kingsville Reporter! Without further ado, here is me having a little fun with the story:

Weeds (TV series)

Weeds (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)NO, NOT THIS KIND OF WEED!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Council Wants Weeds Controlled at Greenhill

Weed control at Greenhill Cemetery is a topic of grave concern to Kingsville Council and a report presented by the Manager of Public Works…at the October 22nd meeting did not provide them with a satisfactory solution.”

Now if you did not catch it–I said that the topic at the cemetery was of “grave concern”. Truly, I am easily amused.

Have you ever written something you knew was silly in an otherwise sombre story?

Day 20 ~ 200 Words Or: Getting Desperate

City Hall

City Hall (Photo credit: Will Ellis)

Part of my job at the newspaper I freelance for is attending Municipal Council meetings. On Monday night I had the pleasure of partaking in a bimonthly meeting and the topics du jour were, if not scintillating, a window into what is important to us.

People were upset that their yards were not landscaped after some roadwork had been completed on their streets. Waist high weeds and grass seed that refused to grow were their major complaints. Then the always crucial issue of drainage was addressed ad nauseam—and while I understand that the issue is important, it is during these discussions that I catch up on my doodling. After about 40 minutes of hearing arguments about whose property drains where and why, I have generally produced a number of works of art. It almost goes without saying, that reporting on drainage is not a high priority for me unless a new lake has been produced by an errant engineer.

As much as I complain about attending Council meetings, I do enjoy knowing what is going on in my little corner of the world.

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 2:20 am  Comments (17)  
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