Mama, pass those baked beans and keep them coming!

On a Thursday night when you are waiting for Friday you could just pretend it’s the weekend already and make a great big mess of beans and chicken and cornbread and coleslaw with lemon meringue pie for dessert! If you have feelings of wanting to kick me to the curb for even mentioning that much cooking on a Thursday, then forget that and make an egg and sausage fry up while you’re waiting. You could have it with broccoli rabe and garlic and hot buttered toast on the side and apple crisp for dessert. (But get the beans ready for Friday; don’t miss the beans).
There is nothing easier or tastier than the best baked beans known to woman, man or child, and they are the kind of thing that will remind you what a weekend is meant for (eating). When I was offered these, I was somewhere in Minnesotta and there was coleslaw offered alongside with a barbecue pit out back smoking the meat. I sat and ate until I could eat no more.

For the beans:
1 16 ounce can of lima beans
1 16 ounce can of kidney beans
1 can 31 ounce of pork and bans
1 can of butter beans
3/4 pound of bacon diced and fried
4 onions chopped fine (you can saute these a little with the bacon, but you don’t have to)
Combine everything in a baking dish, add 1/3 cup of cider vinegar, 3/4 cup of brown sugar adn 1 tablespoon of dry mustard. Bake for 2 hours at 325. It’s going to serve 10-12 people, so you could eat it on Friday too, if you wanted.

For the slaw:
mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 1 teaspoon dry mustard, a pinch of celery seeds, salt to taste, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of oil

For the chicken, you can buy a jar of the best barbecue sauce you know, or just mix some ketchup with dark brown sugar, a little soy sauce, a little dijon mustard, some fresh chopped ginger, a little fresh chopped garlic, a spill of vinegar, a spill of orange juice, spoonful of chili powder and some chopped onions to taste. If it needs something, add it. I like to season the chicken, sear it, then let the chicken roll around in the th sauce , before roasting it off at 375 degrees until it is cooked through.

For the pie, make your favorite crust, bake it in the oven with no filling, just line it with parchment and fill it with raw beans until it is set. Remove the beans and bake another few minutes until golden. Make your filling, and pour it in. Bake til set. Separately, make your meringue on a sheet pan, lined with parchment. When the meringue is done, and pie is done, slip the meringue onto the pie and serve. That way you get no shrinkage.

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