Growing up my Mom would always make this. It was pure comfort, filling and fed a huge family. It was inexpensive and was one of those meals you could stretch out for a few days when times were really, really tough. This year as the 25th anniversary of my Mom’s passing approached it hit me pretty hard. I was really, really missing her pretty bad. Even though it has been 25 years I can still hear her voice or her laugh when I close my eyes. Even though she’s no longer “here” I still feel her with me and know that her and my Dad are watching over me as I journey through life.
This dish, as I was making it, brought up so many child hood memories of her and I in the kitchen. I can still remember her making sugar cookies and sitting me on the large kitchen table (I must have been maybe 2 or 3) with my own clump of dough, a red-handled rolling pin and 9,000 cookie cutters. She would roll and cut out cookies and I would just make a huge mess giggling the entire time. The best part was when she would give me all the pretty colored sugars to put on the cookies – some went on the cookies, some in my mouth/chin/cheek/floor/hair. LOL
Another memory is I was about 8 and I was fighting with my older siblings pretty bad. I got so angry that I, still in my night gown, packed a grocery bag of clothes, grabbed my pillow and Princess (my stuffed bear) and decided that I was going to run away. Now where I grew up, our house was in the middle of 41 acres and we had about a 1000′ red-dog rock driveway. So as I was running away, barefoot in my nightgown, my mother came running up after me. However she wasn’t trying to stop me. See she hurried up, grabbed a bag, threw some of her stuff in (including her bingo stuff) and said she was going to run away with me. When she said this I stood there, barefoot on the rocks all doe-eyed batting my baby blues telling her she wasn’t allowed to. That she had to stay home and take care of the kids and Dad. That they would starve without her; they’d have no clean underwear. LOL She said “But if I don’t have my baby princess there with me and my kitchen helper then I don’t want to stay”. Begrudgingly, I said I would stay but only for her. LOL
As I was eating this dish I sat there in silence with a tear in my eye and smile on my face as this, somehow, brought my Mom into my kitchen. So Mom, thank you! I love you forever and always!
Mom’s Comfort Beans & Weenies Tater Bake – this is pure comfort for me!Print
- 1 Tbl bacon fat
- 1/2 cup sweet yellow onions, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 (14 oz) cans beans: drained and rinsed (any type bean is fine) (or 1 large can drained kidney/white beans and 1 can baked beans)
- 2 large Perfectly Baked Potatoes, cooled and sliced into 1/2” slices
- 6 good-quality hot dogs: sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Melt the bacon fat in a cast iron skillet set over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until just soft.
- Add in the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes or until you can smell it cooking.
- Add the brown sugar, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and salt.
- Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes, until beans are soft.
- Add in the baked beans and potatoes, stir gently to combine.
- Cook for a minute just to warm up.
- Stir the hot dog pieces into the bean mixture and transfer skillet to the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
I serve this with a side of Honey Sweet Corn Bread. It’s my absolute favorite!