Le Creuset Baked Beans

Ugggggghhhh. Saturday was flip-flop weather and today, Monday, THIS:


Here’s why Mark is great, or one reason anyway: Fortinbras was here last week and he and Mark went to the mall so Mark could buy a new computer. I refused to go because I despise the mall. When they returned, I was informed that once they got to the Apple store, Mark abruptly announced, “buying a new computer is stupid; let’s go buy Renae something instead,” so they went to Williams-Sonoma and got me a bean pot for no apparent reason. I hadn’t done anything to deserve said bean pot, especially a mere week after Christmas, when I got a Vita-Mix, but I’m not complaining because I’ve been wanting a bean pot, so yay!

The bean pot I suddenly came to own was packed with a couple of recipes so today I decided to make the included Oven Baked Beans recipe, which is slightly non-vegan with its can of pork and beans (and Worcestershire sauce, but since it’s easy for me to buy vegan Worcestershire, I don’t even register it as a non-vegan ingredient). So this is my adaption of the Le Creuset Oven Baked Beans recipe.

Le Creuset Baked Beans

1 1/4 cups dried kidney beans
1 1/4 cups dried baby lima beans
1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans
1 1/4 cups dried Great Northern beans
1 14.5 oz can vegetarian baked beans
1 medium onion, diced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap; the original recipe didn’t specify a type)
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
hot sauce to taste – I used homemade sriracha
1 packet Goya artificial ham flavoring (optional, but it’s weirdly vegan, so if you want some of the hammy flavor you’re missing from the can of pork and beans, do it up)

Place the kidney, lima, pinto, and Great Northern beans in a large vessel. Cover with several inches of cold water and soak overnight (or all day). Alternatively, cover with several inches of boiling water and soak for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dice the onion.

Stir or whisk together the rest of the ingredients.

Drain the soaked beans.

Stir together all of the ingredients in a bean pot, Dutch oven, or large casserole.

Cover …

… and bake until done. The original recipe said to bake for two hours, and after two hours it was certainly edible, but I like my beans creamier so I added more water and baked for another hour.

Serve. This makes way more beans than you will probably need unless you are feeding 40 friends.

Moving on to completely off-topic items, the lovely Zoa asked to see some of the infrared pictures I took in Charleston and I can’t turn Zoa down.

Infrared filters work by blocking all visible light and allowing only infrared light to pass through to the camera. Because all visible light is blocked, the filters appear to be nearly opaque and you need to use shutter times of several seconds to many minutes, and thus you need a tripod. The images you make will appear very red with black detail. Usually you’ll convert this to black & white, where things that reflect a lot of infrared light, like foliage, will be more exposed, or lighter in tone, than they normally appear, which can give pictures an otherworldly appearance.

Here’s what a photo looks like before being converted to B&W:

This is the first infrared picture I ever took. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing and just held the shutter open for a random amount of time, so I don’t know how it ended up relatively well exposed. This is from Middleton Place. The South, with all that gorgeous Spanish moss, is a great place for these types of pictures.

Another from Middleton Place.

My tripod boy (Mark, acting as my assistant, is in charge of carrying the tripod) staged this photo. Can you find him? You can click for a full-size version if you need help.

From Magnolia Cemetery:

From Folly Beach:

We got a little silly by this time and started goofing off with the long exposures. This is me and Mark HAUNTING YOU.

Mark calls this one Portrait of an Artist as a Dead Man.

Okay, nothing too amazing, but I had a lot of fun taking them and am looking forward to playing around with the filter some more.

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