Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tante Suzie's Pork and Beans

Feb.25th, 1912 - Jan.25th, 1990

Awhile back I posted a Pork N Beans Recipe...and received many wonderful comments. However, I received one more exceptional comment in my email box, which blew me away. One of our followers identified herself, telling me that she was the DIL of my Tante Suzie. She sent me the original recipe and gave permissions to post it. I am so honored.

Here's a little story about this bean pot....it will always remain a memory. I remember this pot as a small little girl, somewhere between the ages of 6-10. Every summer the annual Schmidt gathering would meet at Berthusan Park, just across the line, close to Lynden WA. I looked forward to this annual event...Do any of you remember that park? They had swings and merry go rounds.

But no one will ever forget Tante Susie's home-made pork and beans. She would always arrive with her home-made Pork N Beans in exactly the same kind of bean pot. I wanted one like this, and somewhere through the years, my mother gifted me a similar pot. They were the best and we would eagerly wait in line for a stash. "The trick was," Tante Suzie said, "They need to be baked in a bean pot." She has passed on to eternity, but the memory has never faded. Every so often I like to surprise my family with this dish.

Meanwhile I made this recipe this past weekend...and brought it to the Schmidt family for Easter. Someone asked me, "Are the beans dark like Tante Suzie's?" "Yes, they are...the key?" "Use tomato juice instead of water."
The Schmidt Boys dug into those beans. First of all...they could not believe that this was from Tante Suzie's recipe. They were blown away...they agreed that the pot looked authentic, except that her's was much bigger. They smelled them, they tasted them, and dug in for more.
Thank-you for this wonderful recipe from the Doerksen Family.

Tante Suzie's Pork & Beans
  • 2 lbs. navy beans (about 5 cups) I could not find navy beans, but Great Northern are the substitute.
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
Soak over night. Drain and rinse.
Add 1 tsp soda and simmer for an hour. Drain and rinse.

Add:
  1. 1/2 pound sliced bacon or salt pork and mix between the beans, bottom, middle and top. Layer the bacon at the bottom and spread evenly through the dish.
  2. 1/4 c. maple syrup
  3. 1/4 c. molasses
  4. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  5. 1 large onion chopped
  6. 1 tsp. dry mustard
  7. 2 C. tomato juice
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 1 clove garlic minced.
Cover with 2 Cups tomato juice and bake with cover on for 5-6 hours in slow oven at 275 degrees. I added a bit more tomato juice in the last hour, just so they would not dry out.
Long and slow baking is the secret to good baked beans.

It might look like extra work, but it's all done in stages....the taste is worth it.

Add a few fresh vegetables and freshly baked home-made buns.
The legacy lives on...

70 comments:

  1. I confess that we have a favorite brand of "baked beans" to which we add many of the same ingredients, baking it in a crock bowl in the oven until it is of the right "doneness". I love my crock casserole bowl and it has many uses in our house. Maybe one day I'll try from "scratch".

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  2. Thanks again for this blog!
    It's quite amazing how many times, you post exactly what I need.
    I make a bean dish about once every 9 months....not very often. Well, last night I decided to soak beans for today's meal, and now I have a recipe to go with it :>) Once again MGCC came through-May God richly Bless you girls!
    ~lisa

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  3. I make these homemade baked beans once in awhile and they are very good but most of the time I cheat with 'canned beans':)
    Marg, I love your bean pot and the story that goes with it!

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  4. You have been such a blessing to us, through your sharing of so many great recipes, and the wonderful memories that you share along the way. Thank you so much!

    Deanna

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  5. You cannot beat the results from an old fashioned bean crock. I still have my grandmothers and I am scared to death to break it. They are difficult to find.
    Kim

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  6. Oh my goodness!! Not many days ago, I told my husband the Van Camp P&B's I had been buying for years just didn't taste the same. I told him I wished I could find a recipe. Guess what, my Mom gave me a crock pot similar to yours that had a note in it that it belonged to my grandmother and she carried pork & beans in it to family gatherings. I just went and got it from my old pie safe, washed it up and I will be trying it soon. I measured it and it only holds 6 cups of water so probably not as big as yours. I think I can cut your recipe in 1/2 and it would be plenty for my husband and me. I wish I could send you a picture of it. I am 65 so just imagine how old the pot is. I am so excited & thanks for the recipe - I will try it the first of next week and will let you'all know. Pat/Texas

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  7. I love the pot and all the stories that come with it! I want some pork & beans please :)

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  8. Excellent. Wonderful! You have been reading my mind. I love old fashioned baked beans, but do NOT like the canned ones. I have had trouble finding the right white beans though that I remember from years gone by. Now, I see only the little pea sized white.

    **Do any of the MGCC know of farms in Canada where they are growing beans? I once had a chance to get a bag, and although dried, they were 'freshly' dried, not five years ago. What a difference in taste!

    anon1

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  9. My mom gave me a bean pot years ago and i have never used it. I saw this post and had to go dig it out. We will be having baked beans this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  10. wistfully sighing... wishing I had a bean pot! I'm going to try this in my crockpot though!

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  11. More beans please! I love baked beans but my hubby is not a fan. This is just the thing for a bigger gathering, like the next potluck. I can enjoy them and they will be eaten.

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  12. Remember Berthusen Park? I live about 2 mins. from it and we love to play there in the summer!
    Melissa in Lynden

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  13. I know Berthusen well! I am from Lynden :) I see that my sister, Melissa has already commented. It is a beautiful park with awesome walking trails. We love your blog. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    Jenny

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  14. I have a similar bean pot that has been used many times over the past 38 yrs. As I was cleaning out my mom's house recently, I came across hers...a wedding present, 65 yrs ago. I hope to claim it on my next visit. My recipe is similar to yours, but start with VanCamp's beans.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

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  15. I grew up with a similar bean pot and found one for myself a long time ago at a thrift shop. Always, always the baked beans are made in the bean pot. Nothing else will do.

    Jody

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  16. I've been lurking and admiring your recipes for awhile.

    That said, it is hard to beat canned B&M Baked Beans. I get the vegetarian variety and may throw in extras like onions, etc. Most other brands of baked beans are not remotely in the same class.

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  17. I Have This Same Pot! My Grandmother made the same baked beans in it that you have here! Thanks for recalling that loving memory for me! Yummers!

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  18. beans beans,
    the musical fruit,
    the more you eat
    the more you toot.

    we are a very musical family...;^D.
    another good recipe to try...now where to find me one of them bean pots......;-)

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  19. my grandma had a little crock like that - i think se too served prok znd beans in it.. :)

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  20. This sounds like a good recipe! Have you ever tried it in a slow cooker? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you post.

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  21. Ohh .. my mouth is watering !!
    I used to love berry season becasue then Mom would open a pork and beans can for a quick lunch. But I LOVE the smell and taste of 'made-from-scratch' pork and beans...
    I'll make this soon!

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  22. great story, & good recipe too!

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  23. These look great. I'd love to try making Tante Suzie's baked beans...yummy.

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  24. Once again I'm wondering how I let my mom's big bean pot leave my possession .. .I will have to find another. .because this looks just so yummy. Thanks Marg.

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  25. Love the story behind the recipe and the infamous bean pot. Thanks for sharing this with us, Marg

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  26. Your Tante Suzie is my "Omi". I know that this recipe is awesome because I make it all the time! What a nice treat to come home tonight and find that beautiful photo of Omi with the recipe on your website. Thank you for sharing with all your followers.

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  27. Shannon please email me...I would love to meet you..Catch the latest with me on my website blog.

    http://margs-home-again.blogspot.com/

    Marg

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  28. Being a New Englander growing up, Pork and Beans was a weekly staple. Thanks for the recipe, will try this soon.

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  29. Loved this post Marg. The beans sound mouth watering good. Kathy

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  30. You knew her as Tante Suzie, but I knew her as Omi. I never had the privilege of tasting baked beans made by her. She was terminally ill when I met her and I only spoke to her once. It was at a Christmas gathering about a month before she died. I was introduced to her and she said only one thing to me in that wonderful accent of hers: "You will marry my granddaughter, yes?" I did. No one could say no to Omi. Omi passed the baked bean recipe (and many others) down to her grandchildren and I have been enjoying them ever since.

    This past Easter was a tribute to the Mennonite culinary heritage. We had wareneki (sp?), bienenstich, obst moos (cherries and apricots), perishky, plushke,zwiebach and hot cross buns; all recipes from MGCC. They were all fantastic and thank you for the extra 10 pounds.

    One last thing. John and Suzie Doerksen both loved the Lord and their spiritual heritage has reached down 3 generations (so far). Praise God for their faith.

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  31. I can't wait to try this recipe, but it would have to be for a potluck, as my husband and daughters do not care for pork 'n beans. In the picture you show catchup, but the recipe doesn't show it. Is that instead of tomato juice?

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  32. Thank you Five Oh for your wonderful comments about our rich heritage and about OMI. That must of been a very special experience for you to have received those words.
    It' wonderful to see how you celebrated Easter. Yes, there's nothing like eating our traditional food along knowing that these people lived the walk and gave us strong a strong faith.
    There is nothing like sharing our rich heritage.

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  33. Thank you so much! After realizing our favorite "so delicious" beans had MSG (no!no!) we have been looking for a good recipe = one that doesn't call for "ketchup". This looks fantastic and I can't *wait* to try it!

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  34. Have to love old loved recipes with a story. Thanks so much, I will be giving thes a try!

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  35. Hi Brenda,
    You are observant. Yes, please do not use ketchup. It's tomato juice.
    I updated the recipe, but not all the pictures.
    Thanks for visiting.
    Marg

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  36. Oh my how I loved this story. Aren't tante's and grandma's recipes just the best! They knew how to cook from scratch!! I miss, miss, MISS grandma's house, the meals shared there. I don't know if there was one particular thing she was known for, other than always having something good to put on the table when we'd come to visit.
    Thank you so much for sharing this story and taking me back to a very special time!! I do have a pretty good P&B recipe, but will definitely be trying this one :)
    Sara

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  37. I love your blog and have enjoyed so many recipes already...
    Last night I put the navy beans in salted water to soak...today I put the rinsed beans in a pot of water w/1 tsp baking soda to simmer and just checked them to see that most have exploded....oops, what did I do wrong??

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  38. Oh My!
    Did you by any chance put a lid on?
    I just looked up your question on the internet... I just let them simmer in an open pot on the stove for about 45-60 minutes. They have never burst.
    Does anyone else have any suggestions?

    Marg

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  39. I have a Tante Suzy too. Just wondering, you show a bottle of ketchup and mustard in your bean pot picture. Do you add a squeeze of these to the mixture?

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  40. Hi Ang,
    You are observant. Omit the ketchup. It's tomato juice, instead.
    I updated the recipe, but not all the pictures.
    Thanks for visiting.
    Marg

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  41. I love hearing stories that go with food! Now I have to search for a bean pot!! Thank you so much for your site - it's the most delightful and uplifting blog there is.

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  42. I am just about to put the beans in the oven but I'm not sure if it's 2 cups of tomato juice or 4 in total? Help???
    Avril

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  43. Hi,

    I reread the instructions....and I see that it says to add 2 Cups of Tomato juice..as I said, you may add abit in the last hour, just to avoid it from drying out.
    Hope your beans have been a success.

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  44. These look wonderful! Putting them in the crock pot today, with home grown pork too. Can't wait to taste them! Thank you for sharing. I'll be coming back for more recipes soon.

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  45. I was about to soak the beans to make this recipe, measured out 5 cups of beans and weighed them to be double sure that I got it right - well, they weighed over 2 pounds! I found that 1 pound of dry navy beans is actually about 2 1/3 cups. I'm assuming that is the right amount for this recipe. You might want to make that correction to avoid confusion : )

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  46. Thank-you Elsie for your correction. That is an oversight...and I changed it to two pounds which is close to 5 cups, give or take a bit.
    I hope that you could still make the necessary adjustments to your recipe and that it was tasty.

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  47. Oh, that changes everything! I made them with half the beans and it was OK but now I'm going to have to make them again so I get the real deal : ) Thanks!

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  48. I am a Dutch woman who spend six months in Northern Alberta for MCC with an American Mennonite girl, many years ago. She taught me how to make cookies and bread! I still cook from the More with Less cookbook.
    I noticed the "Tante" and "Omi" titles and was struck by how many Dutch words apparently still survive overseas... Tante being aunt. For Omi, we use it in different ways: either for grandmother's mother or in the Frisian name for grandma. I used to call my grandma "oma".
    Do the words "oom" (uncle) and "opa" (grandfather) survive as well?

    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. Yes both 'oom' and 'opa' do survive.. my kids dont use them, but I grew up with them. It was actually the older generation that used them the most.. I knew when my dad said, 'oom Peta', that it was his uncle peter, mine was..uncle Peter.

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  49. I have been looking for a bean recipe and I will definitely try it this week!! I have a question though... I now have a slow cooker and am wondering if I can use it? If so, would you kindly let me know how to adjust this wonderful recipe? Like, should I use this recipe on low or high heat, etc?

    Thank you for being a blessing to me MGCC... I am a Mennonite girl who left my hometown of Altona, Manitoba to a small city in Orillia, ON three years ago and I miss the Mennonites and our food! Hugs to all...

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  50. Hi Anonymous,

    I have never owned a slow cooker. But I surely don't know why you could not simmer them on a slow heat, just making sure you have enough moisture.
    In fact if it works, please let me know the results, then I can add a tip at the end of my post, about the slow cooking method.
    Cooking involves experimenting and I hope this works for you.
    Have a good day.

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  51. I just read Judithann said she lived in Altona MB. and moved to Ont. My name is Eileen Bartsch and I grew up in Winkler which is approximately 20 miles from Altona. We have also moved first to Saskatchewan and then 2 years ago to Oliver B.C. I am a full fledged Mennonite and enjoy comparing my recipes with yours. you have no idea how many people speak about your site. Keep up the good work. i have a daughter who lives in Abbotsford and also uses your site.

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  52. I noticed some of the comments said that it was hard to find bean pots to buy. I found them on Amazon.com. If you shop online they are easy to find.

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  53. Wonderful story and recipe...thank you!

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  54. I have a set of handmade pottery canister/crocks with lids that say "microwave and dishwasher safe " on bottom. Are these bean pots? Look to be about 1/2 and 1 gallon containers. They currently hold serving spoons, etc.

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  55. I see another commenter mentioned MSG (or now relabeled as modified food starch or natural flavor...thanks FDA), that said, there are no beans anywhere here that do not have one or the other, so tonight....beans from scratch. Your recipe looks just right.
    thanks,
    Frank in AZ

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  56. This may be a silly question, but when I simmer the beans is it baking soda I'm adding or pop (soda). And when I simmer do I add more water? Thanks! First timer :)

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  57. Do you cook the bacon first?

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  58. I am more than happy to answer you, especially when you are a first timer. Congratulations for taking a big step forward.
    After the beans have soaked over night...drain them with cold water. Put the beans back in the pot, cover them with water, add baking soda, and simmer them for about 1 hour. Keep the beans covered with water.

    I do not cook the bacon first. I just cut it up and lay it in the pot between the beans. Hope this has been helpful. Let me know how they turn out.

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  59. Thanks for this great recipe! I have been looking for a "from scratch" pork and beans recipe for some time now and I stumbled on this one. I love your website and cook from it often. I am a "from scratch" cook and most of your recipes are as well, or I can modify them. I don't have a bean pot, but will sure look for one!!

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  60. Thank you for the recipe, I'm looking forward to trying it. I have to say though if it wasn't for reading the comments I'd be a bit lost on how to make this. So thank you readers and your comments!

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  61. I made this recipe today and found it to be excellent. I only varied in the amount of tomato juice by adding more, something like 12 ounces more since it was really thick. I used my cast iron Dutch oven and the recipe fit perfect in it. After the hour of stove top simmering it was out of the oven in four hours. The beans were a little more broken down then I would have liked so next time less stove top time and keep the oven time the same. Most excellent and it will go well with my smoked brisket and the cored and seasoned cabbage head, that should be done around 2:00 this morning : ) Happy 4th of July to any BeanHeads that should read this in time.

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  62. Is the temp F or C.

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  63. Marg is unavailable to answer your question at the moment, but a slow oven at 275 would be Fahrenheit. It is a most delicious recipe I have made it myself and even bought a bean pot at a thrift store, just because. :)

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  64. I have only made them in a crock pot and they take about 6-7 hours to cook. they turned out excellent..it is the only way I do them....I used your same recipe...thank you.....

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  65. This sounds more like Boston Baked Beans than it does Pork N Beans. This is what my mother in law madee for years as Boston Baked Beans.

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  66. Tried this for first time (cooking as I type). Two pounds is too many for two of us so I halved the beans but FORGOT to halve everything else. Doing it in crock pot on high as well. I will advise as to my results later.

    Oh, I also substituted a half pound of smoked pork (leftover ribs cut off when trimming St Louis spares).

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  67. Update: beans on hi in crock pot were done in 3 hr. All that juice "steamed off" but I want them a bit drier so it's cooking on low for ~ another hour.

    I find it way too sweet for my tastes so will halve the maple syrup next time. I also found it needed some salt so added 3/4t of sea salt. It's also bland to my taste so I added 1t of cumin.

    I think I got fresh dried beans as these were soft after 8hr soak. Last time I made beans (different recipe), they were still like buckshot after 8hr on high.

    Good srecipe for a starting point. Thanks!

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  68. 2nd update: after sitting for a day, these are great!! My 20 mo old granddaughter made a meal out of them.

    As stated, I halved the beans but every other quantity remained the same (in effect, doubled the spices & liquid). It works.

    A keeper :)

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  69. I made these beans about a month ago. They went over VERY well, and taste GREAT with brisket!!! Everyone really enjoyed them - even our daughter who tries to be a picky eater. Am making these again tomorrow (soaking tonight). I'll be adding a little extra tomato juice as I found they dried out a bit. YUM!

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