Monday, March 28, 2016

#BookClubCookbookCC: Crockpot Baked Beans

It's time for another installment of the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew!  Once a month, for 1 year, a group of bloggers led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla are cooking from Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp's Book Club Cookbook.  This month, Emily of Life on Food invited us to Make a Charlotte Russe and read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

I should start by admitting that I didn't read the book.  I planned to, and time got away from me.  I read the notes in the cookbook and Wikipedia's synopsis (as my teacher's soul withered and died), and planned to make a hearty bread to go with the turn of the century story of a family struggling to survive in the slums of Brooklyn.
But then there seemed to be a lot of bread recipes coming from the other club members.
Then I considered the copy of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook that had belonged to my great aunt Anna to make something that was of the right era.  But then I started reading about cooking in medium ovens in buttered baking soda tins with clarified chicken fat, and I was scared off.
Finally, I decided to make something that is economical, makes a ton and can be eaten for days.  I'm always on the lookout for things that I can take in my lunch.  I'm not above eating the same thing for 3 or 4 days in a row.  This fit the bill on cold, damp days to help chase away the chill.
I present to you now from Budget Bytes Crockpot Baked Beans:

1 large onion, chopped
6 sliced bacon, chopped
1 lb white beans
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c molasses
1/4 c dijon mustard
4 c water
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In the bottom of a crockpot, layer onion and bacon.  Pour beans onto a cookie sheet.  Sort (remove any damaged or spotted ones, and remove any debris) before pouring into a colander and rinsing under cold water.  Spread beans over bacon and onion.
2.  In a large bowl, stir together sugar, molasses, mustard and water.  Pour over the contents of the crockpot.  Cover, and cook on high for 6 hours before opening to stir.  Test to see if they are tender.  Continue cooking on high if not (mine took almost 8 hours).
3.  Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.  
 From Budget Bytes

My first thought when making these?  That's a lot of bacon.  But we got about 8 servings out of the pot.  That's less than a slice per serving.  Plus, it's bacon.  How can that be bad?
The cooking pictures themselves, not exciting.  But the smell was divine.  Beans can be a finicky thing.  They take a long time, but low and slow is best.  I use Beth's method to cook black beans and pinto beans in the crockpot to use instead of canned. They're a great project for a Saturday.
But the final product?  Delicious.  Sweet, smoky, and delicious.  J and I both loved them.  And when I get 8 servings out of one meal, that's always a win!

This month Emily at Life on Food, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from March 1st till March 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Emily received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


  1. Great choice for this month. Beans are inexpensive, filling and protein packed

  2. LOVE this! We love baked beans and I can't wait to try your version.