Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Best Baked Beans

We thankfully made it through many rounds of storms the last couple of weeks.  We had lots of wind and  rain, but thankfully no large hail and tornadoes like so many other places.  Living in Kansas you somewhat expect this weather this time of year, but nothing ever quite prepares you for a tornado. I've seen several over the years and they are some kind of amazing force! Our prayers are with those that lost loved ones and homes.  There are many small towns that had damage and even deaths, but no media coverage, because bigger towns had more damage and more deaths.  So remember those towns that are so small that no one hears about because they still need help as well.  It is awesome to watch how a community comes together, and even complete strangers, to help one another through these terrible trajedies.  I remember when I was young there was a huge tornado that killed many people and demolished miles of houses and we didn't live that far away from it, and my parents got my brother and I in the car and we spent many hours helping to clean and go through wreckage that the tornado left.  That was one of the first times when I was a kid that I learned that you put others first, especially in times of need.  I saw what devastation those poor people had gone through and they literally had nothing left, not even a pair of shoes or a toothbrush.  I remember finding old pictures and old love letters that a married couple had written one another during the war and I made it my mission that day to track down who they belonged to and I finally found the old lady they belonged to and she just cried and cried and thanked me.  I'm so thankful that my parents always found ways to get my brother and I involved in helping others, it really helped open my eyes that there is a huge world of people in need and there is so much more to life than being selfish and only focusing on what I want.  We each can make a huge difference in people's lives if we just take the time to look and listen to others.  One of the best things we can teach our children is to do for others, this helps them to be thankful and thoughtful and to really see how blessed they are.

This recipe is wonderful and I like to make it ahead a couple days so it can sit and mingle flavors together.  You can cook it in the oven or the crockpot.
The Best Baked Beans
6cans pork-n-beans, or 3 large Bush's baked beans
1 chopped onion, optional
2T mustard
1C ketchup
1/3C brown sugar
1pd cooked and crumbled bacon
I love to add around 2-3T liquid smoke, but this is optional
I also save around 2T bacon grease and throw it in
Combine all of the ingredients and bake at 350 for one hour, or place in a crockpot on low for a few hours to heat through.

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