Thursday, 16 June 2011

And Grumpy Old Farts

I love my Papa, and although he is getting on in his years, I would never ever call him a grumpy old fart.

He is so kind and generous. And one of the best things about him is the number of amazing stories he has to share with me. 

He's lived through so many adventures and his memory is spot on about them all. 

I get to hear about everything from recipes he's cooked up with my Nana to vacations they've gone on together, and life as a young boy growing up on a farm. 

I am not sure what my favourite stories are because it's hard to choose from such a great selection, but I do know that it's very hard to buy a present for someone who's lived as much as he has. 

That's why for Christmas last year I decided to be extra creative and save my pennies with a homemade and heartfelt gift. 

My mom had decided to give him a slow cooker and when I heard that I knew I had my gift. With all the stories Papa has shared with me about food, I know he loves to cook and bake as much as I do.

So I got out my list of favourite slow cooker recipes and wrote them by hand on recipe cards. I packed them up and sent them off in hopes that he liked them.

I think he did and now it's time to share one of my favourite of the bunch with you.

So let's get to it.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans 

I hope you're not thinking why are you making baked beans when you can just open a can, because these beans are so much healthier and tastier than anything from a can. Try them and see!

Plus you can throw in bacon, or anything else flavourful, that your heart desires. 

1 1/4 cups dry white navy beans
3 cups water
1 finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 cup molasses 
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup 

1. Soak beans in slow cooker overnight.

2. In the morning, check to see how much water has been soaked up. I like my beans with a lot of sauce so I usually don't drain the water out, but you may want to drain some or all of the water. 

3. Next, add all the other ingredients. Stir to combine and turn your slow cooker on low for about seven hours. If I'm out at work for longer than seven hours, I just put it on anyway. That might be why my beans taste great even though I don't the drain the water. 

This recipe is good for a small slow cooker or you could make double the size of the recipe for a larger slow cooker. 

So now for the song my brother used to sing without holding back every time my mom made a big pot of baked beans.

Beans, beans,
They're good for your heart.
The more you eat them,
The more you fart.

The more you fart,
The better you feel.
So let's eat beans
With every meal!

And just so you know, that little ditty is true. Beans really are one of the most heart healthy foods.

So I guess that meant that my gift of my favourite slow cooker baked beans recipe with not only heartfelt, but also heart healthy.

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