I love beans. Love, love, love! I could eat beans at every meal (which ironically is suggested in the paean to legumes that every kid knows and which some in my house sing to me frequently). So, I’m sort of jaded when it comes to this recipe when I say that you will love it! Nobody has not liked it (yep, that double-negative was intentional).
My relationship with meatloaf runs the gamut from love to hate depending on whose meatloaf it is. First and foremost, anything called mystery meatloaf is out. Served at a cafeteria? Ditto. Any meatloaf made by a person who is less than particular about the sorts of ground parts than I am comfortable with (innards? animals not normally consumed in identifiable cuts? skin and feathers? You hear me McDonald’s?! … oh, sorry, off on a toot. Though in that vein, thank the gods they aren’t in the meatloaf business. Could you just imagine? I shudder to think).
Beans. The Rodney Dangerfield of of the food world. They get no respect. Though poems have been written about them, they are the sort of poesy that brings unwanted parental attention upon recitation.: Beans, beans, the musical fruit …. Beans, beans, good for your heart … You can sing them both, can’t you? Beans need the PR that prunes got a few years back … dried plums, anyone? Though beans are highlighted in practically every cuisine worth mention, for most of us, they are relegated to side dish just meant to round out a meal. And here I am … relegating them to side dish. Irony. Well, no, I am not relegating anything. Pat is. How to get in good with your mother-in-law? Throw her under the bus. These are Pat’s beans. Pat Smith is my mother-in-law and she introduced me, nay, opened my eyes to the deliciousness that is these baked beans. Though the pic above has the beans as a side, these beans are my main. Fresh and hot? to die for. Cold out of the fridge for breakfast? move over coffee. Yes, these beans are that good.
Casseroles have a bad rap. And rightly so if the spokesmodel for the category is that tan viscous, flaccid-noodled, hot tuna dish with potato chip topping. Oh, the inhumanity. I know people love the stuff. I, however, am of the other camp. Just entering Lent, I have had my share of flashbacks to Fridays when chances were at least a few of them would feature tuna casserole in Mom’s go-to red Pyrex bowl with gold embellishments. Lipstick that pig all you want, the stuff was horrid. No offense to Bunny, generally an awesome cook (discounting the liver and onions fiasco of my youth and her wayward foray into lima beans; bletch). The upside was that I would always consider eating the casserole as my Lenten penance for the day, freeing up whatever chocolate was around for guilt-free consumption.