Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend Cooking...Lima Beans!

I like lima beans. In fact, I like them a great deal. Fresh, frozen, dried..alone, in succotash, soup, baked. Yes, I like lima beans!
So when I heard that West Cape May, where you may remember that I visited the Tuesday evening Farmer's Market at a couple of months back, was having their Annual Lima Bean Festival, well I just had to check that out!

To quote the county web site...
"It started as a way of celebrating the local lima bean harvest in West Cape May. Limas are are no longer the big bumper crop they used to be in the area, but the lima bean refuses to die."
There were lima bean tee shirts, and lima bean hats. There was lima bean chile and lime bean salsa for the shrimp tacos. There was lima bean pie...which I did not try...and lima bean soup, which I did.
There was a fellow, who looked a lot like Santa, singing lima bean songs and a womn selling lima bean earings and necklaces that she made from fused glass.
It was a Lima Bean Extravaganza!!

Now my mother was fond of the lima bean as well and one of my favorite recipes that she used to make was Baked Lima Beans. It is like the more traditional baked beans, made with smaller navy beans or such, but made with dried lima beans. As usual, I never actually got her recipe, and she never wrote it down. She just remembered it. But I assisted her many times, making a huge recipe of them for the annual picnic we had at the tavern we owned and I think I had a pretty good idea of what went in them. So, I looked and looked and found a recipe for  Southern Baked Beans, in The Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, that I used as a basis and made a few additions to it.

                            Mom's Baked Beans

                            2 pound dried lima beans
                            1/2 lb. salt pork, diced
                            1/2 lb. bacon, diced
        1 large onion, diced
        4 cloves garlic, minced
        1 tsp. salt
        1 tsp. pepper
        1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
        1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
        1/2 cup BBQ sauce
        1&1/2 cup ketchup
        1 Tbs. dry mustard
        1 Tbs. soy sauce
        1/2 cup molasses
        2 tsps. Worcestershire

Soak beans overnight. Drain and replace with fresh water. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer 20 minutes.
Drain, reserving several cups of soaking water in case beans are dry.
In a large, heavy dutch oven, saute salt pork and bacon, then add onion and garlic and brown.
Add all remaining ingredients and 1-2 cups of retained bean liquid.
Bake at 300-325 degrees for three hours 2 covered and last 1 uncovered. check every hour and if it appears too dry, add a bit more of the bean cooking liquid.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Oh, what fun! I love a good food festival! Who knew you could do so much with lima beans.

  2. I love Limas and it's so great to see someone celebrating this lowly but wonderful treat. Mom's beans sounds like one I'm definitely gonna be trying.

  3. I love limas too. And who knew there was such a thing as a lima bean festival. Way too much fun.

  4. it was very exciting...
    as i write this, I am wearing the lovely Lima Bean festival tee shirt I bought.
    "beans, beans, the musical fruit"

  5. Sounds like a fun event to attend. Using lima beans in the baked beans sounds good. I rather like this bean, too bad more people don't cook it nicely instead of serving it all dried out.

  6. I've never heard of a Lima Bean Festival before... and t-shirts and hats too. Sounds like it was fun. And while I like beans, they usually don't like me!

  7. catie-I am actually quite sad that I missed the lima bean festival...we had tickets to a beer festival I had to go to instead. I want to go next year--lima beans are worth riding the ferry for!

  8. Beer...Lima beans.. you may have made the better choice..LOL


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