Bean-Hole Baked Beans

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Bean-Hole Baked Beans

Here’s an authentic Maine recipe for baked beans, in which we buried a pot of beans in a “bean-hole” among hot coals, and allowed them to bake in the ground overnight.  This was the first time we’ve ever tried making them, and we were very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, and how good they came out.  Brett’s parents came up from NY State to visit for the weekend, so they had a chance to taste the bean-hole-y goodness, also.

The Bean-Hole

We dug a hole (away from the house and other combustibles) about 2 1/2 feet deep, and about 3 feet across.  We then lined the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the hole with stones.  The size of the hole depends, obviously, on the size of the bean pot you plan to use.  Just make sure there’s enough room for the bean pot to fit comfortably in the hole, along with a good bed of hot coals.  We used a cast iron 5-quart Dutch Oven, which held 2 pounds of beans.

The Bean Recipe

2 pounds of beans (We used Jacob’s Cattle beans for this one.  Soldier, Great Northern, Navy, and Yellow Eye all work real well, also)

1/2 pound of butter, OR 12 oz. of salt pork

3 Tbsp. Minced onion

2 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 1/4 cup molasses

Enough boiling water to cover the beans.

Preparation & Cooking

Soak the beans in water for 8 hours, or overnight.

Build a wood fire in the bean hole, letting it burn until the bottom of the bean hole is covered with a bed of hot coals.  Should take about 2 hours.  (Optional: Add some charcoal briquettes if you’d like to “help it along.”)

Combine the beans with the other ingredients in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch Oven, and add enough boiling water to cover.  (We also covered the top of the pot with foil, to keep any dirt from spilling in during the process.)

When the bottom of the bean hole is sufficiently full of hot coals, shovel some of the coals out of the hole, and reserve in a (metal) wheelbarrow.  Nestle the bean pot in the bean hole among the remaining coals, and pull the coals around the sides.  Dump the reserved coals from the wheelbarrow over the top of the bean pot, then cover with dirt, and allow to cook overnight.

The heated rocks and hot coals will allow the beans to cook slowly in the ground, and covering everything with dirt will help the beans to retain moisture during cooking.

And that’s it!  Next morning, uncover, and take the bean pot out of the hole.

Enjoy!  If you decide to try ’em, we’d love to hear how they came out!

As always, comments and questions are welcome below, or by e-mailing us at

*Oven Baking

Prepare the beans as above, and bake in a conventional oven for 6 hours at 350 degrees.  During oven baking, some evaporation may occur, so periodically add enough water to keep beans covered.

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Manhattan Cocktail

As Woody Allen said, “Man cannot live on bread alone.  Frequently, there must be a beverage…”  Stories vary on the origin of the Manhattan, but the one thing that virtually all of them agree upon is that the drink WAS invented in the city that bears its name.  Easy, delicious, classic!


6 parts bourbon whisky

3 parts sweet vermouth

A couple dashes Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherry juice/liqueur (to taste)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Stir or shake briskly.  Strain into two chilled cocktail glasses.  Garnish with maraschino cherry.  Serves two.

Like martinis, varying the amounts of vermouth, bitters, and maraschino juice can alter the flavor of the drink significantly.  Less vermouth = dry, more vermouth = sweet…  You’ll have to experiment to get it the way you like it.  (The experimentation is the best part of the process!)

As always, enjoy (responsibly, please)!

Brett & Kelly

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“Number 12” Pizza

So named because that’s what it rates on a scale of 1 to 10, “Number 12” Pizza is a favorite recipe of ours, and an absolute can’t-miss for everyone we’ve ever served it for.  Whenever the kids would bring home a new boyfriend or girlfriend to meet us for the first time, this was (and still is) the requested “First Meal.”  It blows away anything the take-out places make, and it’s way less expensive.  Here’s how we make it:

For the crust, we use a bread machine, but if you don’t have one, you can go with whatever’s easy for you.  The pizza places will sometimes sell you an uncooked dough, so if you have a favorite place, ask ‘em.

The Bread Machine Recipe (Makes 2lb dough, enough for 2 pies)

4 Cups Bread Flour

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/3 Cups water

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

Combine all ingredients in bread machine, set it to “Pizza” or “Dough” setting, and start ‘er up.

When cycle is complete, remove dough, punch down, cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.  Preheat over to 425 degrees.

After 10 minutes, remove plastic, and divide dough in half, and either make 2 pizzas, or freeze one of the halves for use later.

With your hands or a rolling pin, flatten dough to about 18 inches in diameter, and transfer to an oiled pizza pan.  Build up edge of dough.  Poke holes all over the dough.  This’ll keep it from getting those huge air bubbles as it cooks.  Bake the dough by itself for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.  THIS IS CRUCIAL TO GET A PERFECT CRISPY CRUST!

Remove dough from oven, and add toppings.  Cheese, seasonings, sausage, onion, mushrooms… Use whatever you like here.  For sauce, we’ve tried a bunch, and we’ve found Casa Visco makes one we really enjoy.  Once your pizza is topped, return to the oven for another 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

And that’s it!  Take it out, slice it up, and share!  We’re sure you’ll love it.  Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know how you made out!

And you can always shoot us a note at


Brett & Kelly