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3 variations on baked beans: sweet, smoky, spicy

Christmas-Lima-heirloom-beanTHE FREEZERS WERE too tightly packed till now to do anything but choose the forward-facing foods. (Sound familiar?) But I’ve eaten my way to some wiggle room, and it’s clear I have some cooking—a.k.a. restocking–to do. I’ve always got dry beans in the pantry, since I’ve eaten them almost daily for decades, but I’m running low on portions of my ready-made favorite foods: three variations on a baked-bean theme, from sweet to smoky to spicy. The recipes are down below, plus a nudge to try growing beans for drying next year, too.

a p.s. in april 2020

THE EDITORS at a new “quaranzine” (aka a magazine for a time of quarantine) called “The Pandemic Post,” created by two young women I know and a friend of theirs, emailed to ask to run some of my bean recipes in their next issue, since beans have become a “thing.” The three are creative types who were (like most everyone) laid off, and decided to put their talents and energy to good. Learn more about the publication that Dashiell, Kate and Lucy are making in order to give back–all profits from their project are being donated to COVID-19 relief efforts for service workers. Some of my beans will be in Issue 2, which is about to go to press.

(In the slideshow above, toggle between slides by clicking a thumbnail image, or hover over the right edge of the big photos to reveal navigational arrows.)

the recipes, and dry-bean how-to

ALL THE RECIPES are easy, and delicious as a side dish or even as a whole meal-in-a-bowl, served over brown rice with something green tucked alongside.

frozen tomatoesBonus: My freezer check revealed a few bags of whole paste tomatoes that will go into the mix—meaning more room for the incoming bean concoctions, alongside portion-sized jars still remaining (but going fast) of the soups I make especially during harvest season to stash. The bean recipes:

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