This sweet young man is our youngest baby and he is turning 5 this weekend. He is the youngest of five children in our beautiful blended family. We have referred to him as The Little Tooke Prince since he was born and is every bit of one in our eyes. William Harrison Tooke is his given name. He will look you in the eye, shake your hand like he is all grown up, and tell you so too. We also affectionately call him Harry most of the time. But he is the TLTP for short.
So every birthday, we ask each of our children what they want to eat for their special day. They get to choose their birthday meal (within reason) and the birthday dessert…cake, pie, etc. It is really kind of a big deal. Harry knows this…already, at five years old…and has been saying what he wants for months now. And do you know what our Little Tooke Prince wants for his birthday meal line up? Beans! Not just any beans, but sweet beans with hot dogs cut up in them. “Momma’s Weenies and Beans”! “Oh and Chocolate Cake with Cherries”.
Ok, my little Prince. Your wish is my command! 😉
So I will be picking beans…yes, there will be no canned beans. Most times, we use a bag of dried beans. They are cheaper than canned and you know what is in them! It may take a little longer to prepare them but is always worth it. Plus, it helps to stretch that grocery budget and feed the always hungry, growing kiddos. For the WIN!
Southern Style Baked Beans it will be! This is a meal that I believe should be made according to your personal tastes. You have to feel it. There are so many recipes out there for Weenies and Beans but they all have essentially the same root ingredients. Beans, bacon, frankfurters, tomato product, mustard, sugar or molasses, Worcestershire sauce, spices. All you need is some inspiration to change things up a bit and when the results turn out better than expected…it makes it all worthwhile.
Try cooking them in a cast iron Dutch oven on top of the stove and adding jalapeno peppers for that added kick. Then finish them off in the oven with more bacon on top to achieve that gooey glaze that everyone loves.
Try a new method or ingredient and allow yourself some creative freedom to explore an old family favorite. Bacon ends and pieces are an excellent way to do this. Get that bacon all throughout the dish instead of just on top!
My Momma always baked them in a glass Pyrex casserole dish and served greens along with buttered bread. It never disappointed. Traditional and perfect. Even my chef little brother chooses them for his favorite dish.
Please join me in wishing The Little Tooke Prince a Happy 5th Birthday and make a giant dish of Weenies and Beans in his honor! <3