Everyone has them.  Those foods that you grew up with.  Maybe you still eat them today.  They take you back to a certain time and place.  For me, it’s baked beans.  Growing up in Massachusetts they were a staple in our house.  I am now one of the few people that has this 6th generation “secret” family recipe. No, I’m not going to reveal it here.

It was the one thing we always had to bring to cookouts, parties and family gatherings. Yesterday being Labor Day, I thought that I’d throw some together.  The recipe is really easy.  It only has 5 ingredients.  What I will say is that you need a proper bean pot, yellow eye beans, salt pork and 8 hours.  If you don’t have that, don’t bother.

I love the way it makes the house smell.  It instantly makes me feel like I’m back in my childhood home in MA.  I love the way food can do that.  As a chef, you hope that you can do that for your guests, even if you don’t know them.  That’s why we often rely so heavily on nostalgia.  All we can do is hope that our guests have had some of those traditional foods and cultural experiences.

It’s taken a few generations to get these measurements a little more exact. There were instructions like “lots of salt pork” “1/2-3/4 cups” and “a bit more than 4”. I could log my exact measurements in grams, but it would take away some of the charm.


If you like what you see, please consider hiring me for an in-home dinner or cooking lesson. I run a personal chef business based out of Frederick, MD. Get more information here. Thank you.

Chris Spear

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