Baconista's post on Memorial Day Baked Beans, I wrote a rather snarky comment back about my husband.
My husband, since I have known him, has created much ado about his mother’s baked beans recipe. They called them “funeral beans” because apparently everyone in their family (and all around Minnesota, actually) brought this type of bean casserole type thing to funerals. Other events, too, but they were just known as “funeral beans.”
There’s really nothing less appetizing to me than sugary beans right up until you put “funeral” in front of them. I’m about as interested in sampling those as I am attending an open-casket wake, which is to say not at all.
But my husband has had something of a rough year and so this year when he once again brought up the funeral beans, I agreed we should get the recipe.
Then I came down with what is known around these parts as “The Baby Plague,” which any mother with a child in daycare or school will know all too well.
For those not familiar, The Baby Plague is when your child brings home some sort of Rhesius Monkey Transplant bubonic nonsense every other kid has at school.
One of us ALWAYS fall victim to The Baby Plague…typically whoever it would be most inopportune for. My roommate’s experience with The Baby Plague came when she was about to take the bar exam. My husband’s came right before a week-long trip for work. And mine came right before our week-long baby-less vacation. And apparently the universe thought it would be my turn again.
This has little to do with anything other than that I was in no condition to make funeral beans for Memorial Day. Or anything.
So he gets the recipe and sets to work, and his mother calls repeatedly to second-guess the recipe, until she goes to Target and assures him the measurements are right. And I am delirious and trying to keep the toddler entertained while simultaneously coughing so hard I throw up, and so I’m just not overly interested in the whole endeavor.
So the beans are made and he seems happy and Wee ‘Burb ingests, oh, approximately 100 pounds of beans.
And this is when I sort of become alert because I’m thinking “oh the hell that will be this diaper” and already touching my nose for the universal sign of “not it” when I kind of giggle.
Because my husband was distracted by my threats of divorce if he thought for ONE SECOND I was changing the diaper when HE was the one who made this child eat BEANS for Pete’s sake, he did not notice my chuckle. .
The super secret mystery Funeral Beans recipe? Was basically a couple cans of Bush’s baked beans, some hamburger, and a buttload of sugar.
Now some of you who enjoy the kind of comical banter I enjoy with my husband are waiting now for the punchline of what I said and how I got him to confess that this mystery was kind of a letdown.
I said nothing.
And here’s why.
Growing up, my mom baked twice a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. We savored EVERY treat that woman made because we knew once the holidays were over, so were the cookies and bars and peanut butter balls. And most important to me growing up: The Jello Pudding Pie.
You guys, I still salivate like a Pavlovian dog at a dinner bell when I see the box of Jello.
I thought my mother did something magic with that box, you see, because we’d had the jiggly fruit Jello and ain’t no pie coming from THAT! And because she made it but twice a year, I was sure there was some magic in that old black box she found.
So cut to YEEEEARS later when I am going over to Scott’s sister’s house for one of the first times, possibly the first. You need to know before I tell the rest of this that his sister is like super insane gourmet girl. We should just call them The Foodie Family and we should just all bow to their superior food knowledge and culinary skills.
I thought: I will wow them, I will make my mom’s super famous delicious Jello Pudding Pie.
But it was last minute and I was racing through the aisles trying to figure out what I would need so I could call my mom and get the recipe on the fly. And Scott, he was so good, he was so quiet. And finally he could take no more and he showed me the back of the box, where the recipe for Jello Pudding Pie was.
But…surely that couldn’t be my Mom’s Jello Pudding Pie. Because…well, no, because this had approximately 3 steps and required ingredients everyone has at home.
I think you guys can guess how this ended. I went to his sister’s house with a Jello Pudding Pie of SHAME and they were nice enough not to mock me incessantly, and Scott married me anyway, and his sister is the sister I never had…
And this is why I could not put the fun in “funeral beans.”
Where were you when you first demystified a super secret family recipe? It reminds me of the episode of Friends where Phoebe discovers the cookies she grew up were not from Nestlay Toolhauz, but rather Nestle Tollhouse.