Sunday, May 1, 2011

Methodist Bean Casserole - 9 points

A teacher asks each of his students to bring in an object that represents his/her spiritual beliefs and present that object to the class. On the day of the presentation, the first boy arises and says, "I am a Catholic. This is my crucifix." The second boy arises and says, "I am a Baptist. This is my Bible." The third boy arises and says, "I am a Methodist. This is my casserole dish."

All jokes aside, we Methodists are quite serious about our covered dish dinners (also known as dinner on the grounds or potluck). These gatherings are a chance for the church members to show off their culinary skills. Most people tend to make the same dish over and over again, knowing that it is their best. You can always count on Mary Ellen's barbecue brisket or Joe's sweet potato pie. There is always an elite group of members who make the best of the best dishes; they are the royalty of the covered dish dinner.

I don't have one dish that I always take - I am still looking for that signature dish. For my first covered dish dinner in Tennessee, I committed a terrible faux pas. I took banana cream pudding. Ms. Ethel Lee, you see, always brings her world famous, slap your mama, banana cream pudding. Not only did I bring the same dish...even worse....mine was better! That is because my banana cream pudding kicks butt; it is the best ever. It is untouchable. It contains enough fat and sugar to give you an immediate cardiac arrest/diabetic coma. It might have been okay, except that one of the male members loudly announced to his table that "whoever brought that banana's even better than Ms. Ethel Lee's." I was persona non grata.

It is my desire to never, ever repeat that experience again. So, I try to play it safe and take something that is not earth shatteringly good. This last week, though, I really wanted to make my beans. I was not sure whether to be chuffed or irritated when I heard people start asking about them. "Who made these beans, was it (Insert the name of one of the elite of the covered dish)? No? Well, then who brought them?" Hmmm... a compliment that they like them, but a bit of an insult that they went through a phone book of people before someone pointed out it was me.

A great many folks asked for the recipe. I am sharing it with you first!

Methodist Bean Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 lb bacon, browned, drained, and chopped
2 cans pork and beans
2 cans lima beans
2 cans kidney beans
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup chopped onion

1. Combine all ingredients in a large casserole dish. Bake at 350F until bubbly.
2. 9 points per cup serving

They may not look pretty, but, believe me, they taste great. Just make sure someone else at the covered dish isn't famous for their baked beans. You wouldn't want to upstage them.

I failed to give you my menu plan last week in my tizzy of preparing for guests. Here is my plan for this week.

pasta salad for church picnic
bread and butter pickles for church picnic
root beer sloppy joes
chocolate pie

hummus on toast

cheeseburger quiche

kailua monkey smoothie
zucchini muffins
French omelet

minty yogurt chicken

night out

stewed collard greens with white beans


  1. Reading this brought a smile to my face! :)

    It sounds like you have a very hungry crowd! I'm sure you'll knock them dead next time too! Will you be posting that banana cream pudding? I would love to see what it looked like and how to make it.

    I recently made an apple pie, but now just made a nice tea cake - but im sure if you made one too yours would outshine mine!!!!! ;p


  2. My dear husband is often asking for me to prepare beans; your recipe is my salvation. Canned beans in this reasy casserole; thank you so much.

  3. that sounds like a great recipe! simple and hearty! (:

  4. I am a fan of casseroles and beans are so healthy so this is a must do for me

  5. The bean casserole sounds excellent! Packed with flavor - my Dad would love it! As would I.

  6. Mmmm, like baked beans with an edge! Love it! Love your story, too!!

  7. Yasmin - I have thought about posting the banana pudding, but I am just not sure yet. I have carefully guarded that recipe for years and have refused to give it even to family. I feel I should share it, but I am not sure I can yet. I bet your baking would have left mine in the dust! I would love a slice of apple pie and a tea cake.
    Rita - I hope he loves it.
    Shu Han - Thank you.
    Aipi - Definitely
    Maris - Casseroles are awesome:)
    Reeni - thank you:)
    Food Hound - Thanks:)


Thanks for your comments!