Hill of Beans

July is not only National Hot Dog Month – it is also

National Baked Bean Month!

and July 23rd is

National Baked Bean Day

July 13 was Beans ‘N Franks Day, which seems to be more corporate then National as ‘holidays’ go.

beanie weenies

Canned beans? Check. Canned Hot Dogs? Check. I thought Beanee Weenees were a Saturday Night Live sketch, not a product on the grocer’s shelf.

Back to the beans…… Boston Baked Beans are not entirely uncommon for a Saturday night in these parts, cooked with hot dogs, although some people call the dogs Franks and I never knew anyone one who said ‘weenie’ without being sarcastic. But the question is:

Which bean?

and then

What’s so Boston about them?

(That is 2 questions….that’s the problem with questions – one leads into another.)

First question – It’s hard to tell what beans are used in the cans of beans, and cans of beans are perfectly acceptable, but they must be the right can. Canned beans are fine if they are

  1. on sale (cheaper then cheap is honorable here)
  2. somewhat doctored to make them to taste the way you think beans should taste.

These ‘fixin’s might include (and are not limited to):

  • Nowadays, one must add BACON, which could defeat the cheaper then cheap feed purpose.
  • Maple syrup or brown sugar are often suggested, but are getting away from the Boston thing
  • Ketchup is also a departure from Boston, but if it makes your mouth happy, then go there.
  • A little mustard mixed into the mix – be it Frenches yellow or Guldens Spicy Brown or a little mustard powder
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar. This is NO PLACE for wine vinegar, white distilled vinegar, balsamic vinegar, flavored vinegar….APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. It can be added to the pot (when no one appears to be looking) . A cruet of vinegar should be on the table whenever beans are served.
Cruet for the table.

Cruet for the table. For Apple Cider Vinegar. To each his own.

With canned beans it’s OK to have favorites…

beans bmcan

B & M – made in Maine (which used to be part of Massachusetts, so has total Boston cred)

Van Camps another canned baked bean

Van Camps another canned baked bean, baked beans being the operative words.

Bushes Beans are a sponsor of the US Dry Bean Convention, to be held in Boston (natch) July 18-21. I guess everyone wants to be home to celebrate National Baked Bean Day

Bushes Beans are a sponsor of the US Dry Bean Convention, to be held in Boston (natch) July 19-21. I guess everyone wants to be home to celebrate National Baked Bean Day.

As for the Boston part….


‘Boston Condita AD 1630″ means that Boston was founded in 1630. The motto is taken from 1 Kings viii: 57. It is translated as “God be with us as he was with our fathers.” Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822. Even though it called itself a citie on a hill, it was really a town. O, Politics!

Boston Baked Beans are

  1. Baked – there’s that whole brick oven notion….hence the bean pot motif:
    1. beanpot
  2. Flavored with molasses.
  3. include salt pork.
  4. or candy coated peanutsBBBcandyThere is also a whole origins mythology; beanhole backstory, which is frankly –  a hill of beans
Bogart. Bergman Casablanca

“Hill of Beans: Casablanca with Bogart and Bergman. Watch the movie. If you’ve already seen it, play it again.

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Filed under New England, Summer, Supper

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