Day 311: Pork and Beans

I’m on a bit of a bean bender.

One of my favourite ways to recycle roast pork is to chop it up and stir it into brown beans. Especially if said pork comes accessorized with some sort of apple, which gets stirred in right along with it.

I was about to open a can or thaw some slow cooker baked beans when I remembered the half a box of beans left over from a foodstyling gig I had a couple weeks ago. (To be honest I firstremembered the box last night, during my pasta fazool. Instead of the usual can of beans I added a pouch of these Mediterranean beans with sun dried tomatoes and black olives – ingredients: black eyed peas, onions, black olives, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste, sea salt, oregano, spice – and it was phenomenal, but seemed like an obscure item to call for in the recipe.)

The beans are a brand (Canton) I had never seen before, but with which I am impressed, and no one is paying me to say that. (I kind of wish they were, since I’m saying it anyway.) It’s a great idea – to doctor up a can of beans before they go into the can – and then instead of putting them into a can, package them in an easily torn-open stand-up pack of the sort I imagine they use in space, which would be so easy to keep in the car or throw in your bag to bring to work for lunch. There are five varieties (I hear the best is their Indian chick peas with onions and ginger – hello – have we met?) and two are brown bean varieties – one with sun dried tomatoes and the other with molasses and raisins. I chose the latter, thinking it would go well with the apples and apricots, and containing raisins, might be passable as oatmeal to W.

There is only one variety – the Lima beans with pesto and red peppers – that I dismissed, thinking I’d pawn them off on my Dad or bring them to the food bank. But wouldn’t you know it – flipping past Orangette she just happened to have just written on the subject of Lima beans. I still would have clicked past – I just don’t do lima beans – but Molly is such a good and persuasive writer she made me want Lima beans, and I neverwant Lima beans.

It was Lima beans in cream, or, sorry – Lima. Beans. In. Cream. – which triggered the realization that I do, in fact, have a bit of cream in the fridge to use up before we go, and I wondered if a drizzle into a warmed package might magically transform them into something not so Lima bean-y. It was wonderful; the beans buttery and smooth; the sauce something that should drape over pasta or be enough of to make soup. I ate mine and half of Mike’s before delivering it to him. So now I’m three for three with these packages.

I am, as you know, a fan of the bean. I love finding new products that make proper use of them, especially when they have the potential to be easily turned into so many other things. I know what’s for lunch tomorrow.


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14 comments on “Day 311: Pork and Beans

  1. EricaB
    November 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Mmmm baked beans…tonight was another staple I grew up with – shepherd’s pie, tomorrow I’m finally using the beans I have in the cupboard and making my own baked beans. Thanks Julie!

    Btw, for me Canton is synonymous with Fondues growing up http://www.specialiteslassonde.com/en/products/bouillons/index.asp. They also own Rougemont – the apple juce I grew up with. Probably more common in ON/PQ than out here – come to think of it a few days ago I saw their sauces at Sobeys.

  2. Barb
    November 7, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Those Canton products look awesome. I haven’t seen them here but I haven’t actually looked since I usually like to make my own but I will be looking now.

  3. Lana
    November 7, 2008 at 7:32 am

    How can someone make beans so desirable? Only you.
    Thanks for “what’s for lunch tomorrow” because now I know where to find them in Ontario.

    BTW, can you tell me all the words that are around the edge of the pork ‘n beans bowl?

  4. Les
    November 7, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Those Canton products look soooo good! Where did you find them? I live out of town but would like to find them next time I’m in the city! They’d be great for my kids living on their own.

  5. Buddiegirl
    November 7, 2008 at 7:51 am

    OMG I can believe you made me want to give lima beans a try. I have hated them ever since I was young and had to eat them in those horrible frozen vegetable medleys my mother served us. They were so dry and tasteless and they made me gag. Even now when I think of them, I feel queasy. We (my sister and I) had to sit at the table until we were finished eating. We would sit there for an hour pushing them around on our plate, hoping my mom would relent and let us get down from the table. We finally figured out that if she thought we at least ate half of them, we could get down, so we would put half the mix back in the serving bowl, wait a little bit, and then show her we had “eaten” half. Presto, we got down from the table and she was happy that we finally decided to at least try our vegetables.

    Although I like most vegetables, to this day, I get the shivers just thinking about frozen mixed vegetables and lima beans.

  6. EricaB
    November 7, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Les: For where to buy Canton products check the where to buy at http://www.specialiteslassonde.com – they’re Canton’s parent co.(in my first comment I accidentally used correct punctuation which means the link won’t work with the period at the end…)

  7. Barb
    November 7, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for the link Erica. Looking at it I realize that I tried their Maple and Cranberry beans not too long ago and they were delicious. They didn’t come in that pouch, however. They were in a brown glass jar.

  8. Lisa
    November 7, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I was just reading Molly’s blog the other day! Now, I actually like lima beans (I know, I’m a freak of nature) and I dying to try the recipe. Her cream braised brussel sprouts are *actually* to die for. I made them for my Mom and I at Thanksgiving and I was practically licking my plate. 😉

    Oh, and baby arrived (10 days late)! A not-so little boy checking in at 9lb 6 oz and 22″!!

  9. Vivian
    November 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    This year for the first time I decided to grow lima beans. What a pleasant surprise. Neat little black and white flowers that develop into pods, softly fuzzy on the inside (Mother Nature must love lima beans ’cause she cradles them so gently). The beans are large and need to be “popped” out of their skins but they are well worth the effort. Sadly, four plants yielded only 2 cups of beans.

  10. Cheryl
    November 7, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Buddiegirl and I must have been separated at birth. I can eat almost anything, ANYTHING, but I simply can’t go near lima beans. I haven’t had them since I was a kid, so I suppose it’s possible that I’d come around if I screwed up the courage and gave them a second chance, but I really don’t know if I have it in me.

    (I posted about beets yesterday on my blog and it seems people have the same love/hate reaction. Wonder what it is about those two veggies?)

  11. mmac
    November 7, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Cheryl, I love beets. Especially roasted.

    But sorry to say, Julie, I HATE beans. Especially lima (I’d blacked out the memory of the frozen veg with lima beans included but reading these posts I could actually taste the texture. Yech.) Also don’t do black beans. Or kidney. Or anything vaguely bean-like, including chick peas and lentils. It’s not a taste issue. It’s texture. Did I mention yech? Hats off to you all you like/love them. But, despite many attempts as a grown up, they have yet to grow on me.

  12. Sue
    November 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I think I’m a freak of nature. I LOVE lima beans, beets and also brussel sprouts! When I was a kid (the youngest of 4 and the only girl), you weren’t allowed to dislike food and my Mom served lots of weird stuff including cow’s tongue, heart, kidney and the like. It just wasn’t an option to not eat what was put in front of us. My how times have changed. My boys think a mushroom is evil. Imagine if I plopped cow’s tongue on their plates!!

  13. JulieVR
    November 8, 2008 at 7:28 am

    I love beets and Brussels sprouts too – they are not in the same category as lima beans!

  14. Sandy
    November 8, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Our lima beans were served from the can. It made its presense every sunday dinner. Was our fathers favorite bean.
    I never had them again after I left home. But now that time has passed…(quite a bit of time) I am willing to try a doctored up one. I do love all others and use them quite alot.
    I too am a lover of beets and brussel sprouts…. yummy . Wish I had grown more beets in the garden. I got on a kick of beet soup and couldnt stop making it. Was ever so good.

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