Category Archives: Recipes

Beans doesn’t have to mean Heinz

I don’t like baked beans.

Never have. Now this is, I know, somewhat surprising.  There a very few of us out there who aren’t a fan of the things.  Chuckle if you like but we can feel a little left out!!

I can’t really put my finger on why I don’t like them.  I used to think it was a texture thing.  I was never too keen on the way that beans would mush up in my mouth. However as time has gone on this has become less of an issue and has been replaced by a dislike of the watery, sweet but otherwise tasteless sauce that the beans are drowned in.

So how to overcome this problem?  Afterall, I’d love to be able to get home after work and in 5 minutes have a tasty, nutritious snack of beans on toast in front of me.  Or cook myself a big weekend breakfast without having to forego the option of beans .

The best solution I could find was to bake my own beans – somewhat obvious, I know but sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees; and when browsing any supermarket or local store there seems to be forests of tins of baked beans.

By making my own I was also able to flood them with flavours I like. So armed with strong smokey bacon, lashings of Lancashire Sauce and a good helping of mustard powder I set about attempting to reverse a lifelong held opinion about beans.

As a starting point I again visited The Lone Gourmet (see blog roll) and adapted the recipe I found there for Boston Beans to suit my own tastes.  If you want to know exactly what I did click here.

And the result?  A thick, flavour filled sauce, lovely soft beans and a feeling that I could finally join the party!

So what to do with the beans? Well there was no sense in over complicating anything, so beans on toast anyone?  And on a day when the weather had returned to its wintery worst a few spoonsful of beans atop some thick granary toast smothered in butter, absolutely hit the spot.

Now, not being something I buy I cannot tell you the price of a tin of baked beans.  However this large batch was put together inexpensively and the comment from a friend,

“I’m not sure I could go back to eating Heinz baked beans again.”

made any extra pennies spent very much worth it.

I DO like beans – and made like this I always would have.  Looks like I’ve got some missed easy lunches and quick snacks to catch up on.

Ta tah



Child’s Play

“The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves”  W.C. Fields

Shrove Tuesday.  Pancake day.

As a kid the day was genuinely exciting.  All day long spent in anticipation of those sugary, lemony rolled beauties, wolfed down as quickly as possible with glasses of milk to aid the process.  I was a skinny kid with hollow legs and could eat a surprising amount of these things.  With 6 of us kids my mum would be at the stove with three pans on the go, usually assisted by an elder sibling or two.

As the years rolled on new toppings found their way onto the menu, chocolate spread, marshmallows, maple syrup and various fruits with ice cream.  As my own journey through food went further still the addition of alcohol infused flavours, nuts or the multitude of savoury options came knocking on the door.

But STOP. And this is a purely personal thing. It need go no further than lemon and sugar. The only thing that has changed since my youth is that instead of waiting for each individual pancake, 3 or 4 are now rolled together to make a greedy pig satisfying pancake cigar!

Now don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with any of the plethera of available options to accompany, fill or top a pancake. But keep them for another day.  For me Shrove Tuesday is about rekindling that feeling of excitment that I felt as a kid. Goodness knows that as we grow up we lose it elsewhere.