DAY 8: BEE GARDEN and HONEY-GLAZED BAKED BEANS

Emerson Park Community Bee Garden, Berkeley CA

Emerson Park Community Bee Garden, Berkeley CA

BEE GARDENS –  This is the time of year when gardeners ask what to plant for bees. You can download “TN KY Plant Specie List.pdf” from my blog today.

The most important aspect of planting for bees in 2015 is your source of plants and seeds. If you order seeds on-line, look for a mission statement that states a commitment to high quality, organic gardening. Choose local organic nurseries and farmers markets staffed with people who want to talk about their plants. If you don’t have time or a yard, join a community garden.  TN KY Plant Specie List – growing conditions

Please protect pollinators from neonicotinoids or systemic pesticides introduced to GMO seeds and in planting soil. If you choose a local big box store, find a manager who can offer a published statement demonstrating their plants are not treated. I know the treated plants look big and showy, but resist the temptation to buy what looks easy and embrace the challenge of gardening.

RECIPE 8 – HONEY-GLAZED BAKED BEANS for these icy winter days.Southern Baked Beans; Paula Deen

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb. dried pinto beans – 2 cups / 2 medium onions / 8 ounces bacon, diced, or 1 ham hock or NO meat / 2 cloves garlic, minced / 1 cup mild honey – clover / 2 tbsp ground ginger / 1 tsp dry mustard / salt to taste / ½ tsp ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Pick over, rinse and soak beans overnight.

Drain beans and combine in a large saucepan with: 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 300*F. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Combine the beans in a 5-6 qt. casserole with: onions, bacon or ham and garlic. Stir into the cooking liquid: honey, ginger, dry mustard, salt, pepper. Pour the enriched cooking liquid over the beans. Cover and back until the beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours. If you used a ham hock, shred the meat and stir into the baked beans.

SOURCE: Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker. Published by Scribner – original copyright 1931.  My copy is dated 1997 and is still my go-to cookbook.

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