WEEK #27 JULY 1st, 2024

Dear Customers,

The first week of July begins the second half of the year.  That’s right, 2024 is officially half over sometime on July 1st!  It’s also the anniversary of our country’s independence from England some 248 years ago.  This Thursday, July 4th, will be commemorated with ceremonies, parades, fireworks and picnics among friends and family.

As people gather to celebrate any big event, food usually takes center stage.  When you think of the 4th of July, the traditional menu often consists of the usual summertime picnic fare – hamburgers, hotdogs, potato, pasta or macaroni salad, and baked beans!  But, if you’re a bit more adventurous with your menu planning, you may opt for grilling, smoking or some combination of both.

When cooking a burger or a hotdog, the process is simple; slap it on the grill over direct heat and do your best not to char it beyond recognition.   Basically, that cooking method involves paying a little attention and not just walking away and forgetting about it.  However, when attempting outdoor cooking for something more expensive, say a rack of pork spareribs, a brisket, a tenderloin or even a rack full of chicken leg quarters, you’re going to need to get yourself an accurate instant read meat thermometer and follow instructions.

In today’s internet driven environment there are literally millions of free recipes available at your fingertips.  When I was first married and wanted to cook something special for a big occasion or gathering, I’d always reach for either my mother’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook or her Betty Crocker cookbook.

Whatever you decide to cook for the main entrée, you’re going to need at least one, preferably several, side dishes.  One excellent such side is Hobo Beans!  Like potato or macaroni salad, there are many, many recipes for “baked” beans.  All of them delicious and full of fiber!

½ lb bacon, browned & drained 1lb ground beef browned & drained 28oz Bush’s baked beans
15oz can kidney beans 15oz can lima beans 15oz can butter beans
½ cup ketchup ¾ cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Brown and drain the ground beef and the bacon (diced into smaller size pieces).  Add all the remaining ingredients and mix together.   Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or even longer!

(optional:  this recipe can also benefit from pretty much any additional beans you want to add; Navy, pinto, black, etc.)