Dear Abby: Your mother's recipes occasionally have been printed in your column. However, there is one of the best that I have never seen yet. It's her "St. James' Baked Beans." If you have never tried it before, then the greatest taste sensation has been missed. I am always invited back to any party — provided I bring the beans. I have always given your mom full credit for the recipe and have never changed a single ingredient. You can't improve upon perfection.
Do your readers a favor and print it. They won't be sorry. My mom started making them when she bought the first cookbooklet in 1987, and I have continued the tradition. Thanks! —SANDRA S., PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA.
Dear Sandra: I'm pleased to print the recipe. With summer almost here, those baked beans will make a welcome addition to any barbecue or patio party — and they're high in fiber, too. Other recipes in the cookbooklet set are also terrific for entertaining when the weather is sweltering. Among them are Summer Cucumber Salad, Cucumber Soup, Abby's Tomato Salad, Summer Surprise Dessert (made with fresh fruit) and Ritz Pecan Pie. All of them are simple and easy to make. The cookbooklet set can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby— Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Included with the recipes are tips for not only entertaining, but also how to graciously end a party without being rude — a question I am frequently asked.
ST.JAMES' BAKED BEANS
6 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (16-ounce) can pork and beans, drained
1 (16-ounce) can lima beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10-ounce) package sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. In a small skillet, saute the bacon and onions until the bacon is crisp and onions are lightly browned; drain well. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add bacon-onion mixture; mix well. Pour bean mixture into prepared casserole. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!