The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just A Bit Tart!

Every time there's a holiday, my mind goes back to some childhood memory. Labor Day is the time of year when we prepare for the End~of~Summer. This year, more than in years past, I am so~o~o ready for this Season to come to a close.

Whenever there's a celebration On Crooked Creek, it always involves food. Good home cooked meals. "Mr. Ed" loves baked beans. I love baked beans with a grilled hot dog.

Indulge me, while I take a stroll down memory lane. My MoMa never had any children. She adopted me at age five. My Grandmother had an only grandchild, a grandson, before my MoMa married my Dad. It was a treat for my MoMa to take me to stay a week with my Grandmother at least once during each Summer. I have such treasured memories of those times I spent with Grandmother.

The Summer I was eight, MoMa had begun to let me help with the cooking, mostly the clean~up of the preparation of our meals. At least, I was allowed in the kitchen. Occasionally, I even got to stir a recipe in the big mixing bowl. Seems this particular Summer, MoMa made a lot of baked beans.

Grandmother always fixed a big meal when MoMa and Dad were coming to pick me up and take me home. On this Sunday, I got to help make baked beans. Grandmother pulled the metal stool over to the counter and I was allowed to stand on the little steps that folded out from the underneath. The ingredients were put out on the counter into little bowls.

Just like MoMa made them. . . almost!
Four cans of Van Camps Pork and Beans. Golden Brown C and H Sugar. Heinz Ketchup. Chopped white onion. Dark Molasses. Strips of fresh Bacon. French's Classic Yellow Mustard. French's Classic Yellow Mustard???

So~o~o. . .  Grandmother gently handed me each small bowl of ingredients to place into the huge white mixing bowl, while she stirred. First, we dumped in the four cans of pork and beans.

Next, came the brown sugar. Followed by the ketchup and molasses. Then the onions.

Now, the French's Classic Yellow Mustard.

I stopped.
Grandmother urged me to add the mustard. I commented, "Grandmother, MoMa don't put mustard in our baked beans."

Grandmother stopped. Her reply, "Yes she does."

I swallowed.
"MoMa don't put mustard in the baked beans, Grandmother." I repeated.

Grandmother put her hand on her hip and said, "Yes she does, young lady."

I balked.
I sat down on that stool and I wasn't going to put that French's Classic Yellow Mustard in that bowl, even if it meant Grandmother might swat my behind.

Here came the lecture. . .
"Now listen here, young lady, who do you think taught your MoMa to cook?"

"You did Grandmother." I answered softly.

"Yes, I did. I taught your MoMa to make baked beans". . .all the while she was just squeezing that French's Classic Yellow Mustard bottle with all her might. . . "and I taught her to add the mustard to cut some of that sweetness of the sugar and the molasses!"


I was wise, even at age eight. I knew not to question authority. I loved Grandmother. I didn't want Grandmother to be upset with me. So there I sat on that stool.


It was Grandmother who broke the silence. Right after she finished putting the slices of bacon across the top of the beans and slid the pan into the oven.

 "Slide over here off that stool and grab the dishtowel."

There wasn't much said between the two of us. Grandmother was fixed on washing those dishes. I was sure not to leave one drop of water on any of the dishes I dried.

My Moma arrived with Dad a short while later. After we had eaten, dishes were done, and Dad sleeping in the chair; MoMa and Grandmother had a discussion. Usually a discussion ended in me getting a swat on my behind or sent to my room. Since we weren't in our home, I was preparing for the worst.

"Carmen, your daughter tried to tell me how to make baked beans today." Grandmother began.

MoMa replied, "She did"?

"Yes, she did! She told me you don't put mustard in your baked beans."

"I don't", my MoMa replied.

"You don't"! Why, I taught you how to cook baked beans and you know darn well that you have to put the mustard in to cut that sugar and molasses." Grandmother was using her lecture tone.

MoMa smiled,
"Yes, Mother, I know. . .but Mac doesn't like the mustard. .. he likes them sweet."

Grandmother quickly said, "Oh"!

I didn't move.
I did look at Grandmother. Grandmother looked at me. Then, Grandmother laughed! MoMa laughed!
Me, I smiled!

We make baked beans pretty much the same way On Crooked Creek.
I prefer Grandmother's recipe. . .with the French's Classic Yellow Mustard. . . just a bit tart!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our gracious hostess, Yvonne @ StoneGable for On The Menu Monday! Be sure to stop by for a visit and be inspired to bake or cook  a home cooked meal for your family using one of Yvonne's  delicious recipes or those of the participants!


Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Cute story! Happy Labor Day-enjoy the beans:@)

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I LOVE that!!! What a great story!! It sounds as though your grandmother was quite a lady!! That's so gunny!!


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I make baked beans just like your grandmother with the mustard. Such a cute story. I loved it. Brings back such sweet memories. Hugs, Marty

Designs By Pinky said...

Oh Pat, your beans sound wonderful! I make a 3 bean baked beans. I thought I had posted the recipe but don't see it. I will check again. Loved the story!!!! XO, Pinky

Martha said...

A great story! And classic baked beans!

Marigene said...

I love the story...and baked beans!

Jacqueline said...

Truly charming story. You are a great storyteller!!!!!!

Shelia said...

Aw, Pat, what a sweet little story! I put mustard in my baked beans too! ;) I can just your tiny little girl face! :)
Thanks for popping in to see me.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Malli said...

Happy Labor Day and awesome spruced up Pork and Beans!! Cheers

labbie1 said...

How CUTE! What a great memory!

Anonymous said...

Love it! As much as I baked beans.