Smoked BBQ Beans


Some holidays aren’t truly complete without the appearance of certain food items. They may be simple recipes, but the reliability of it makes the dish near-sacred.

My grandmother Carol passed away less than a year ago, and our family is still adjusting to holidays spent without her—I began to realize that Easter was soon approaching. Who, if not for my grandmother, would cook the BBQ beans? I tried to remember a time when Easter didn’t have this dish…but no such time existed. I wondered if the recipe was written down somewhere, and that maybe I would cook it.

I was musing this very problem on the plane while I flew to meet my other grandparents (on my mother’s side) for the weekend. Because I couldn’t think of a solution, I let my thoughts drift to my grandpa Bob, and all the stories he would certainly tell me when I arrived. He has always had a gift for it. When I was little he’d write me and my sister long letters in his flowery cursive and I was looking forward to making him re-tell me the story about my great uncle Fred and the two elk.

While we were talking, my grandpa Bob suddenly asked me, “Do you remember your grandma Carol’s baked beans? Man those were good!”

“Yes! I was thinking about them on the flight and Easter. I don’t have the recipe–I wonder if she has it written down somewhere.”

“Well, I have it!” He hopped up and went over to a stack of papers near his recliner, and came back. “I had Annie (my grandmother) type it up for me on the computer.”

I looked over the recipe he handed me, and I almost laughed. I hadn’t seen a better combination of my two grandparents since my sister and I were born; my grandma Garland’s recipe and my grandpa VanNostrand’s storytelling. Here it is:

Directions for Fueling Portable Gas Generator:

The following components are needed for the manufacture of high-grade and extremely lethal methane gas. The components, upon completion, will be referred to as:


Brown 1lb ground beef in frying pan. Remove and drain, but keep grease.

Course chop 2 large onions, place in frying pan in the grease from the ground beef. Saute until clear. Remove and drain.

Cut up 4 large, thick slices of bacon into ½ inch pieces and brown in frying pan. Remove and drain.

Place all of the above ingredients into slow cooker.

Then add:

  • 2 15.5 oz cans of Pork & Beans
  • 2 cans of Red Kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can of butter beans (drained).
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup catsup (ketchup)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tps salt
  • ½ tps ground black pepper

Cook in your handy dandy crock pot slow cooker for 4 hours on low.

Upon completion of formula, you may place into portable gas generator in any quantity you so desire, the more the better. To speed the process of fermentation, add beer at 15 to 30 minute intervals. Be sure to keep exhaust vent downwind from your friends, neighbors, and mother-in-law.

And never, I mean never, let gas escape under bed sheets when wife is present. This mistake could result in damage to exhaust vent and surrounding components.

The above formula is patent pending and may not be duplicated without expressed consent of the undersigned. Permission may be granted up receipt of one six pack of beer.

John R. VanNostrand

(I guess I better get a pack of beer in the mail)


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