Saturday, December 20, 2014

What Could Possibly Be Better Than A Baked Bean Sandwich?

They think it's more than a little weird that I enjoy it so much.

"Ewwwww!" is the general reaction around the table as my children watch me construct the delicacy that brings back such childhood memories that I actually weep inside with every soft, dripping bite. Even my own wife shouts a resounding "NO" when offered a bite. (Et tu, Suzy?)

What could possibly bring such gastronomic bliss to one person and such repulsion to others?

None other than the Baked Bean Sandwich.

Just to justify my right to enjoy this wonder of culinary delight, I did a bit of research and was delighted (and somewhat appalled) to find so many variations on a simple theme.  If there is any way to ruin a perfectly good sandwich, some recipe guru has discovered the finer points to turning a piece of depression-era history into some hoity-toity, fancy-shmancy gourmet thingy that no self respecting lover of the basic sammy would expend the time and energy to prepare. 

Don't get me wrong; most of these recipes were quite ordinary and, although they certainly wouldn't taste like the flavor memory I have in my mind, they were worthy of consideration on an occasion some time in the future (yes, I might be willing to put ketchup or mustard or even a slice of onion on the bread). However, there also were a plethora of recipes that called for more work than Beef Wellington complete with homemade puff pastry.

Really folks, it doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious.

Here's all you need:

- Canned baked beans (warm, but not hot) - homemade beans simply do not work for this sandwich.    
- White sandwich bread, toasted or plain (you may substitute a leftover hot dog roll if you happen to have one)
- Butter

It really is as simple as that.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, spoon some beans on half the slice, fold over and eat.  Repeat as necessary.

No need for homemade bread or organic butter lettuce, remoulade, imported cheese, etc. 
No extras on this one.  Just plain goodness.  And fond memories.