Pork and Bean Bread, and The Birthday Exchange

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I have a favorite son and because I am truly blessed, I have a favorite daughter. I will make something for one of them when they come to Sunday dinner and have been known to say, as I put it on the table, “ because you are my favorite son”, or “for you, favorite daughter”. My daughter has reminded me more than once that, ahem, she is my only daughter. And I tell her, “yes dear, I know”. My son has never made that comment to me, I guess it is just one of the ways that boys are different than girls.

I did tell them what I had been told by a co-worker, she said without any emotion at all:

“ I wasn’t my Mother's favorite child, but I was, her only child”.

You see, having such a blessing, as two favorites can be interesting, and convenient as well. When they were little and I made cake frosting, each was given a beater to lick. When there was only one of something each wanted, cutting in half frequently worked well. Then there was scouting, even though each had a group and the opportunity to join,  wouldn’t you know it, neither wanted to. Go figure.

They, my favorite son and my favorite daughter think that they are very different. But of course, as their favorite Mother, I know better. They are close, more so than they realize. For instance: he was born in September, she in October. There was however a four-year gap, I’m good, but not that good!

My favorite son got married in June and my favorite daughter in August. If you are wondering, yes, that was the same year. Two weddings, same summer, held in two different states, and I lived out of town, each time. I  made the food served at the Groom’s dinner, for my favorite son. I also made a lot of the food for the outdoor buffet, which was a part of my daughter’s wedding. Excuse me, I mean, my favorite daughter.

They share a few other things in common also. Each is 6 feet tall. And each has sizable feet on the other end as well! And they share a love of practical jokes…..

Many, many years ago, the three of us went out to dinner to celebrate the favorite son’s 18th birthday. We went to our local Mexican restaurant, well known for its loud round of Happy Birthday to celebrate and embarrass the birthday person.  It actually had been my favorite daughter’s idea, to eat there. She couldn’t wait. Of course, I had thought it a good idea, as well. When the dinner plates are cleared, that is usually when someone will “excuse” themselves from the table and to go and make the "secret" arrangements. 

It was at that exact moment that the favorite daughter excused herself to go to the ladies' room. She had no more gotten out of sight when my favorite son turns to me and says……

“Let's tell the waiter it’s Jessica’s birthday and they will come and sing happy birthday to her.” I am sure he knew that she had planned on summoning the birthday singers to give him the business! And with that, a waiter walked by and forevermore the dirty deed, was done.

My favorite daughter returned to the table, and just then, the singing crew came streaming over to our table. She must have thought that I had asked them to come and sing to her brother, while she was away. She had a smile on her face, and was waiting for the big sombrero to be placed on her brother’s head, when, all at once the loud music started and plunk, that big sombrero (shaped like a 3 layer birthday cake)  was on her head!

She sat there politely and endured what was suppose to be “Happy Birthday”. Sang off-key on purpose and it seemed to never end! She was furious, in a quiet slow-burning, sort of way.
Man-o-mister! Whereas, the two of us could not stop laughing.

She has spoken of that night, often, in the years that have passed. And I can’t say she is any less annoyed with me. But could it be that for a short time………….

I was her only Mother, just not her favorite Mother?

Oh my.

This would be the one recipe that is an absolute favorite of both my kids.
I have posted this recipe before, but no one few readers were reading this blog back then, so we will just pretend it is just like a new recipe!
This recipe will surprise you, it is delicious and no one knows the secret ingredient but you.

a delicious quick bread made with Van Camp's Pork and Beans!
The roasted nuts on top, are delicious!

Our Favorite Pork and Bean bread aka, The Van Camps Loaf
adapted from the Van Camps can, I believe!
325-degree oven

1 c raisins
1 c boiling water

1 16 oz can pork and beans

2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
3 eggs
1 t vanilla

2 c flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda

1 c chopped walnuts, optional

Place the raisins in a small bowl, cover with the boiling water, set aside.

 Place the pork and beans in a large mixing bowl, beat until beans have broken apart and the mixture is smooth.

Beat in the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

Place dry ingredients, in a medium bowl, whisk to combine.

Add to bean mixture and combine gently.

Drain raisins, and squeeze them gently to remove as much water as possible. Add the raisins and nuts if using to the batter, fold in. You may also leave the nuts for the top of the loaf, or because they are so good and good for you, add a few more to the top of the loaf before baking...

Pour into 2 prepared loaf pans. Add more chopped nut for the top of the loaf, if desired. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until done in your oven. Cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves, one to enjoy and one to freeze or better yet one for a favorite son and one for a favorite daughter.


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  1. That is such a well knitted post.I felt like I m sitting infront of you havin a cup of tea and listening..thats wht I call power writing..Thanks so much

  2. Your son gets extra points for pulling that one over on his sister! :) Sounds like something that would happen in my family!

  3. I loved your post about your children. But really who would know, Pork and Beans...that is just great. I am going to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Miz Helen

  4. A very sweet story about your favorite son and your favorite daughter. But I am most intrigued by that cake. . .

  5. My mom used to say that her favorite child was who ever was behaving well at that moment. Needless to say, my mom was hard pressed to find her favorite. :) Love the idea of using beans in this bread! I am going to try making a Gluten-free version.

  6. What a funny story, I love it! I can just picture your daughter's face. Hey, I have a few good recipes I posted before anyone was reading my blog, great idea recycling them, lol! I am very intrigued over your bread. I've never heard of anything like it. I bet it's delicious, I love pork and beans!

  7. Your children sound so lovely! I'm quite certain that you are their favorite mother-- especially when you make them such wonderful baked goods!

  8. I never heard of such a bread before! I'm intrigued - and bet my Dad would love this! I enjoyed your stories too - sweet!

  9. Great post - love your story. This loaf looks really interesting - I've never tried anything like that - don't think we get "pork and beans" here though :-(

  10. I agree that this post made me feel like I was sitting at your kitchen table instead of in front of a computer screen! Now if only I could reach in and grab a slice of the bread :-)

  11. You have lovely kids! Such charming stories, I really enjoyed hearing about them. You must be really proud of your children! The bread sounds really good. Never had pork in a bread before!

  12. Melly my love. You are so cute. I have two favorite daughters! hehehe...I like having the two of them to share with. I was one of four and I was the oldest. That was my moniker! LOL

    Your break is sneaky girl! I can imagine it tastes delicious, so I am going to bookmark it to make over the holidays! Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop and for sharing also your wonderful love of a good story and here, a practical joke! ;) hugs! Alex@amoderatelife

  13. I have 9 favorite children - right now my favorite 16 year old is named Tessa, but 2 years ago it was Katie - she is now my favorite 18 year old - and on it goes! I let them all know they are my favorites. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around pork and beans in bread but I trust you! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  14. Thanks everyone for your generous comments. Those kids, now grown (and make me so proud) and the bread are wonderful. But you know, the kids are now giving back in the form of grandchildren, the being blessed part is never ending!

  15. Pork and beans? Really? How is this possible? In the bread? Are you sure? Ok, seriously, this recipe is so weird that I'm going to have to try it. I actually can't wait. I'll have to let you know what I think. Also, thanks for visiting my blog today!


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