I'm starting to come down off my post-engagement high a little tiny bit, which is kind of a good thing. I have this thing called a job that I'm pretty sure my coworkers and boss would appreciate me being fully mentally present for, and plus, my new fiance and I still have to eat.
Which brings me back to the much-anticipated butterbeans. I made them last night - AND I got to break a rule. I made two new recipes at once. How did I manage this, you ask? Was it because my fiance was so thrilled I said yes that he was willing to let me do what I wanted?
Um, no. It was a technicality. Our main course was ranch pork chops - in the crock pot. I put them in at 3:30, so it wasn't like I was actually cooking two recipes at once. Technically, I only made one new recipe at a time. Technicalities, people, technicalities. I'm gonna need to remember this as a wife, I'm sure.
Anyway...dinner was still a little disjointed. For starters, I forgot the pork chops were in my freezer, and we were cooking at B's apartment since my AC is on the fritz (another story for another day). So at about 1:00 we decided to take the dog on a field trip to my house to get the pork chops. However, we stopped to "drop off" a plate of the baklava I'd made to James (creepy engagement photographer in the woods) and his girlfriend. "Dropping off" turned into drinking Cherry Cokes and eating strawberry cheesecake from Strossner's on their deck while Luna ran around in their backyard.
So it was pretty late when we got back to Brian's, and I had to wait for the pork chops to thaw. What did I do then, you ask? Fall asleep? A pretty good guess, to be sure, but no. Instead, I got completely lost in my new copy of Brides magazine and forgot such things at pork chops even existed until I finished the magazine at 3:30. Let me just reiterate: #fianceefail. First meal I'm cooking for my new husband-to-be and I kind of completely forget about the meal in the first place.
Luckily, these pork chops were ridiculously easy and didn't take much effort at all. We didn't make the mashed potatoes in the recipe (we used instant - but give us a break, it was a big weekend), so the recipe can basically be described like this: put thawed pork chops, a packet of ranch dressing mix (I used the spicy kind), and a can of cream of chicken soup into the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours - or, if you're me, cook on high for about an hour, then reduce to low for about 3 more. They turned out pretty well, actually - we both though the recipe was worth keeping.
But the pork chops weren't what gave this blog post its title, so let's get down to the real star of this post: the butterbeans.
Begin by dicing a small white onion. Then dice five slices of uncooked bacon.
That's about as far as I got before I started deviating from the recipe. At that point you're supposed to put the onions and bacon in a Dutch oven, which neither of us have (idea for the registry, maybe?). So I just put it into a regular pot. I did cook for 5-7 minutes as the recipe suggested, maybe a little longer because the bacon didn't look quite done enough.
Then you put in a half-cup of tightly packed brown sugar and stirred until the sugar was melted. Easy enough. Then in went a 16-ounce bag of frozen butterbeans and 1/4 cup butter. I didn't quite put in a full 1/4 cup. I stirred, as instructed, until the butter was melted and the beans were coated with the bacon, onion and brown sugar mixture.
Then I was supposed to put in 12 cups of water. About that...yeah. As per normal, I hadn't read through the recipe fully and didn't realize I needed a pot big enough for 12 cups of water (although maybe your standard Dutch oven would have enough room for everything...I don't even know what a Dutch over IS. I had to look it up online). So I only put in 4 cups of water. And instead of simmering the beans for the suggested TWO HOURS, I only did it for maybe an hour, and the water never did seem to boil down. Instead, I just occasionally drained water from the pot because good grief, we betrothed people were hungry and needed to eat.
So yeah, that's how that went. They tasted pretty good, actually, just not quite as saucy and thick as expected. One day - ONE DAY - I am going to make these beans with the proper equipment and allotted time to make them as the recipe calls for. Oh, well...I tried. Bon appetit!
The recipe is below, or if you want to go to the original recipe, you can find it here.
The Difficult, Delicious Butterbeans
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 small white onion
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 16-oz package frozen butterbeans
1/4 C butter (half of a stick)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon and onion in large Dutch oven over medium heat for 5-7 minutes (it took me a little longer).
Add brown sugar and cook until dissolved.
Stir in butter and butterbeans until butter is melted and beans are coated with the mixture.
Stir in 12 cups of water (apparently)
Bring entire mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours (unless you're like me and just can't get it together).
Stir in salt and pepper and serve.