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Payne’s Pantry: My late mother-in-law’s favorite baked beans

By Anne Payne

The Orange Leader

I think I’ve mentioned previously that my late mother-in-law was a great home cook, actually, a gourmet cook. I never tasted anything that she made that was not excellent. The recipe that follows is one of her family’s favorites, baked beans. It may sound common, but her baked beans remain anything but simple and common. The taste is amazing. Once you make these, you will not want baked beans any other way!

MOTHER-IN-LAW’S FAVORITE BAKED BEANS:

Ingredients:

8 (10 3/4-oz.) cans Campbell’s Pork and Beans (Brand is important.),   one chopped grn. bell pepper or 1 (6 oz. bag frozen chop. grn. peppers), one med. chopped white onion or 1 (6 oz. bag frozen chopped onions), 2 c. brown sugar, 1/3 bottle molasses, 1/3 c. ketchup, & 6 slices bacon.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 9” x 12” deep pan with cooking spray. Mix beans, green peppers, onions, brown sugar, molasses, & ketchup in pan until blended. Top with 6 slices bacon. Bake for 2-3 hours, depending upon desired thickness of beans. Do not cover with foil so bacon will cook well into beans.

This may seem like a lot of baked beans, but the first time I had dinner with my husband’s family, this recipe served all of us: David’s parents, his three sisters and their spouses, one baby granddaughter, two aunts, and David and me.   That totaled 12 adults and a toddler.