Julia's (Julia Child) Beans!
This is another recipe from my little binder of recipes. The ones good enough to make again and again. I found this recipe in a magazine article about Julia Child, so many years ago now, that I no longer recall the name of the publication. One of the first cookbooks that I wanted to own was Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My respect for Julia Child and her honest straight forward style of cooking has never wained.
Now truth be told, I never cooked from that book as French food itself did not call out to me at that time. I was a very young bride, with a small household budget. Rarely did I think of food from different countries and cultures, for my own homecooked meals. Like many, all the food I had ever eaten had been "American". And that was the food I repeated for my own table, the food from my childhood table. The food I was comfortable with...
It took me many years to understand that all along my folks had been serving and enjoying food from many different countries. Until I began cooking on my own and looking at different cookbooks, and meeting new friends that cook, I had had no idea that many of the recipes and dishes of food on our own table each Sunday were in fact originally from another country. As a little kid, all I knew was that it was delicious!
But these beans were from her years after retirement when she had a good time simply being Julia Child. They are classic American food, and the plus is that they are easy to make as well as delicious to eat. In this household, we enjoy cold beans alongside our sandwiches or as a side dish. My husband most of all, so these beans being a bit on the sweet side is a plus. Think Pork and Beans, but so, so much better....
I have made a note regarding the salt pork, actually, I have never used it and really never missed it, but feel free to toss it in as Julia did. I also have let you know that I do add a tablespoon of catsup. Yes, I know it is not much, but I found that some dishes are improved with the essence of tomato, and for that, catsup is my go-to seasoning. I hope you give Julia's Beans a try...
adapted from: a magazine article
1 pound small pea beans (great northern work nicely also) soaked overnight and drained well
1 T salt
2 T molasses
6 T sugar
1/2 pound salt pork cut into small chunks if desired (I have never used this and have never missed it....)
4 c water
1 onion left whole
My own added in ingredient, 1 T catsup
Place beans and onion in a large pot, add the water. Bring to a boil, simmer 1 hour.
Transfer to a crockpot, add remaining ingredients, stir well.
Cook on low 8 hours, or until done.
Before serving, if desired, discard the onion.
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thrifty home feb.