Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans & Bad Songs to Sing at Bedtime

Mar 14, 2012

If there’s a skill of mine that will never be rewarded financially, and in fact only serves as a road trip plus or game night choose me incentive, it is my ability for lyric recall.  All that brain space that is supposed to be taken up by useful facts and figures is chock full of lost classics from 1978, each and every word to “One Night in Bangkok”, mushed up Cocteau Twins, Jim Croce, Joni Mitchell, de la Soul, original Broadway cast recordings, and both sides of Depeche Mode import albums not to mention Bert Bacharach and Etienne Daho, a French pop band from the 80s.

All this is to say that I should be able to think of myriad songs at bed time.  But there, in the dark, perched on my daughter’s bed, I come up with one or two. Or nothing.  I’ve done all the usual suspects and my kids will probably hear James Taylor or Carly Simon in college and feel the urge to suckle or sleep, but aside from a few Beatles’ I’ve been blank lately.

So what do I do when there’s pleading – come on, Mom, something – anything – new.

I sing, “Here’s the story, of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls…”

The Brady Bunch?  Who knew all those years of back-to-back episodes would come in handy.  Trite, short, and easy to remember, the theme song worked.*

*And in case that wasn’t bad enough, last night was “The Search is Over”, Survivor’s greatest hit that up until now brings back Frankenstein hands on shoulder dancing in 7th grade.  Needless to say, my daughter loves it.

Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

The molasses will keep the beans from getting mushy as you bake them for hours on end, taunting all those who enter your house. Serve with homemade brown bread and coleslaw or a side of eggs.

1 1/2 cups yellow eyed beans or navy, with water to cover

cups water

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tbsp ground mustard (more if you want some heat)

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tsp paprika

2 large sweet onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp sea salt

16 oz tomato sauce

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)

1/4 cup cider vinegar

Let beans soak overnight in water. The following morning, heat oven to 325 and top up beans with a bit more water as needed to just cover. Set to boil for 45 to 60 min. Remove from heat when just cooked through. Mix brown sugar, mustard, nutmeg, paprika and set aside. Heat olive oil in skillet and add onions. when cooked add garlic and salt and cook 2 min more. Add tomato sauce and paste to beans and mix. Add onions, garlic, sugar mix and molasses and mix well. Add vinegar last and stir. Cover and put in oven for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Check for liquid level, adding a bit of water if mixture is too thick or drying out. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes.


  1. Maxine
    March 14, 2012

    OMG! What’s up, you know every song going!

    This is very funny!

    love you


  2. Celia
    March 18, 2012

    I have a great capacity for lyric misrecall. So I remember all the words to songs…incorrectly. Sigh. Beans look great!