BOSTON BAKED BEANS
1 pound great Northern beans
8 cups water
1 medium onion
5 ounces salt pork
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Makes 9 bowls. Takes overnight to soak plus 6 hours to cook.
Add beans and water to large pot. Soak overnight. Reserve liquid from pot. Mince onions. Cut salt pork into ½” cubes. Add all ingredients including reserved liquid to slow cooker. (If you discarded the liquid, add 5 cups water.) Use low setting to Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender. Stir before serving.
1) Beans are fairly round. Bowls are completely round. The Britons of King Arthur’s time ate beans before battle. Beans gave them strength and courage.
2) Though not the element of surprise. The many toots that came of Arthur’s knights always gave them away, no matter how carefully they concealed themselves in ambush. But the armies of King Arthur’s day generally eschewed–not that the illiterate warriors of the day would have known a two-dollar word as eschewed–complicated tactics such as ambush. Generally they came together and bashed the heck out of each other until one side gave way.
3) Naturally, King Arthur’s knights wanted to eat strength-and-courage-giving beans before combat for the knights eating the most beans, bashed the most enemy knights. In turn, these knights got the most gold, land, and the best castles from a grateful and victorious Arthur.
4) All knights wanted this. This meant they had to get the biggest bowl of beans. Soon combat broke out among King Arthur’s fighters. His warriors began to die off before they even saw the enemy.
5) The only way to have equally large bean bowls was to have only one bowl for all the knights, one they ate from at the same time. Naturally, this bowl had to be enormous. An enormous round bean bowl requires an enormous round table to support it. This is how the Round Table came about.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
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