Jan here, and I'm pleased to welcome Christina Rich as our guest blogger today!
If you happened to make it out to our virtual writer's retreat at the Green Mountain Dude Ranch in Idaho a couple weeks ago, you'll remember when Christina helped Sally May out in the kitchen and cooked up a batch of Aunt Eddie's famous beans.
She's agreed to share the recipe with us, exclusively (for now), here at the cafe. So give a big welcome to Christina!
Hiya! I’m so excited to be a guest at Yankee Belle Café. You don’t know how often I’ve read over the posts and drooled over the pictures, wishing I had a drop of foodie blood in my veins. After talking beans with some of the gals here, I’ve discovered I just might have a drop after all, and what better time of the year than the 4th of July to discover my inner foodie.
I love the 4th. Okay, I can do without the up –close-in-your-face fireworks, but I do love watching others shoot them off.
And I love watching my nieces and nephews get excited by the fireworks.
And of course, I love watching my younger brothers act like kids.
But one of my favorite things about the 4th is getting together with friends and family and eating. Almost every year my parents open up their driveway to whoever would like to come; family, extended family, friends and neighbors. Everyone brings something good to the table, but one of my favorites is Aunt Eddie’s Beans. Aunt Eddie (pronounced like weed) is really an aunt, which is something I just discovered a few weeks ago. Turns out she’s one of my cousins’ aunts but I’m okay with the association as I get to benefit by eating her beans. ;)
Aunt Eddie’s Baked Beans
29 ounce can of pork and beans
16 ounce can butter beans (drained)
16 ounce can red kidney beans (drained)
½ pound bacon
1 pound hamburger
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup catsup
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
Chopped onion to taste
*To make gluten free, use all gluten free ingredients.
Cut the bacon onto small pieces and brown in skillet. Drain off the grease. Brown the hamburger and drain off the grease. Combine all of the ingredients stirring well.
Pour into a 9"x13" pan and bake covered at 350° for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.
There is no fancy dancy cookware here, only tin for a much easier clean up.
Another favorite item, one that was made out on the trail back in the old days is Stir Crazy Cake. Now this recipe isn’t gluten-free, but I think it can be made gluten free. The next time we make it we’re going to try and use a gluten free flour so I can have some. This recipe comes from Chuckwagon Coooking from Marlboro Country: Range Recipes and Chuckwagon History.
Stir Crazy Cake
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups cold coffee
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Put flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into an ungreased 13"x9"x2" metal baking dish (I have used glass before as well and it works). Stir dry ingredients together with a fork.
Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
My favorite recipes wouldn't be complete without my dad manning the grill and the smoker, fresh cut watermelon, my sister-in-law’s fabulous cupcake creations, and everyone gathered around to watch the night light up in celebration of America’s independence.
A little historical fact: The Kansas territory didn't open up for settlement until May 30, 1854, and it became a state January 29, 1861. However, the very first 4th of July celebrated in Kansas was in 1804. Yes, nearly fifty years before being opened up to settlement. It seems good ol’ Lewis and Clark crossed the Missouri River and set up camp near a creek and an abandoned Kansa Indian campground. The aptly named the creek Independence Creek and celebrated the occasion by firing a cannon from a bow piece and handing out an extra ration of whiskey.
When Christina Rich was younger, she tried to dig herself to China, loved Three Billy Goats Gruff, and had an obsession with maps. She gave up her dig to China but still jumps at the chance to travel even if it’s just down the road. She loves watching modern takes of fairytales and mythologies on the big screen and still has a huge obsession with maps. The older the better.
Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research, take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.
A semi-finalist in the Genesis, she just recently signed a contract with Love Inspired Historical for a Biblical romance. You can find more about her at www.authorchristinarich.com and www.christinarich.wordpress.com