Monday, June 5, 2017

"The Weekend Cookbook" - Baked Bean Casserole - Memorial Day

Date I made this recipe:  May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day

The Weekend Cookbook by Jeanne Adams
Published by Hewitt House
© 1970
Purchased at Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks - NYC
Recipe:  Baked Bean Casserole – p. 37

Is there a better time than a long weekend to pull out The Weekend Cookbook?  Nope, don't think so! 

Is there a better excuse to make yet another baked bean casserole than Memorial Day?  Nope, don't think so either!

Although Andy isn't as fond of baked beans as I am, I feel compelled to make them for one of the summer holidays and he eats them without complaint.  That said, I try not to push the envelope too far and so typically substitute my favorite accompaniment, potato salad, with something else.

These baked beans were super easy and were not doctored up like most baked bean recipes I've made (including my mom's) but I liked that it was no fuss, no muss.  You simply open two cans of baked beans/pork and beans, add some sliced onion and sliced tomato and bake.  What I like is that this then leaves you open to engaging in other Memorial Day activities, assuming it doesn't rain.

Although the author doesn't list specifically recipes for various holidays, she does break out her table of contents by seasons as follows:

  • Summer Weekends:  Friday Dinners; Saturday Breakfasts; Saturday Lunches; Saturday Dinners; Sunday Breakfasts; Sunday Lunches.  (Apparently nobody eats Sunday dinner?)
  • Summer Picnic
  • Three-Day Summer Weekend
  • Four-Day Summer Weekend
  • Providing for a Working Husband (Well, this is rather sexist but we can given the woman a break because she wrote this in 1970 when women were generally either absent or invisible in the workplace.)
  • Fall Weekends: Friday Dinners; Saturday Breakfasts; Saturday Lunches; Saturday Dinners; Sunday Brunch; Sunday Lunches.  (Again, cooking on Sunday nights is apparently out of the question. Also notice that one has brunch on fall Sunday's, not "breakfast")
  • Winter Weekends: Friday Dinners; Saturday Breakfasts; Saturday Lunches; Saturday Dinners; Saturday Night Smorgasbord; Sunday Breakfasts; Sunday Lunches.  (Saturday Night Smorgasbords?  No.  Where I grew up, smorgasbords went mostly hand in hand with a Friday Fish Fry.  Some places served them on Saturday but these would be your rogue restaurateurs.)
  • Three-Day Winter Weekend
  • Spring Weekends: Friday Dinners; Saturday Breakfast; Saturday Lunches; Saturday Dinners; Sunday Breakfasts; Sunday Lunches
  • Hors d'Oeuvres
 I was hoping to find a recipe in the "Summer Picnic" or "Three-Day Summer Weekend" category (even though summer doesn't arrive until June 21st, but that didn't happen but the baked beans recipe came from the "Summer Weekend" chapter so that was close enough.  I pondered a few other recipes like Ratatouille but that just didn't seem right for Memorial Day. 

For those of you who are menu-challenged, the book provides you with countless menus so you have an idea of what other items make good accompaniments to your main dishes.  The menu containing the "Baked Bean Casserole," for example, suggested you serve it with "Cold sliced Baked Ham," "Sliced Cucumbers," "Rye Bread," and Frozen Éclairs.   Of course, you are not beholden to using frozen éclairs if fresh ones are available.

My menu was very different than the one suggested in the book as I made bleu cheese hamburgers (see my National Hamburger Day post), the beans, a macaroni salad (see my post from the L&L Hawaiian Cook Book) as is usual and customary.  I even threw in a shrimp cocktail from the Martha's Got Nuthin' On Me cookbook to round out our Memorial Day observance.

One final note:  This cookbook does not list any yields but based on the ingredients, I'd say you have plenty of baked beans to serve 6-8 people

Baked Bean Casserole – serving size unknown
2 jars New England-style baked beans
1 large onion, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
Salt, pepper

Empty one jar of beans into a casserole.  Separate the onion slices into rings and arrange on top of the beans.  Add the other jar of beans to the casserole and cover with sliced tomatoes, overlapping if necessary.  Salt and pepper, then bake uncovered in a 375° oven for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Ann's Notes:  The author likely intended that you use B&M Baked Beans but I was shopping at Trade Joe's and they had their own brand of baked beans and so I used theirs.  And not that I've shopped regularly for these things, but Trader Joe's price was very reasonable – about $1.30 a can – and you can't beat that!

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