Leave Those Beans Alone

A quiet, Friday dinner turned into quite a laugh and a lesson learned about baked beans and time-honored traditions.

I’d like to recognize myself as the Baked Bean Princess in my family, falling short only to other far-superior chefs like my mother and some of my aunts. One day I’ll reign with them as a Baked Bean Queen, but for now I know I have a long way to go. For years though, I’ve perfected the art of creating a mouth-watering, delicacy from a can of vegetarian Bush’s baked beans, ground turkey, turkey sausage crumbles and a few cleverly, selected ingredients. I’d gotten my baked bean making down to a science and could whip up a batch like nobody’s business. And then something went horribly wrong.


On a daycation to Nashville I ran into a husband and wife selling Watkin’s products at a wonderful Christmas bazaar. If you’re like me and grew up in the 70s or 80s you remember the Watkin’s man and you know the quality of their goods. This lovely couple talked my sister and me into buying lots of stuff. One of those purchases included root beer flavoring that was “sure to take my baked beans to another level.” I’d heard of using the sweetness of a Coca-Cola in beans, so I thought this might truly be the next big thing. Being a pending “Baked Bean Queen” I waited until just the right time to try my Root Beer Baked Beans on my special guinea pig.

Root Beer

The term “epic fail” is wayyyyyyyyyyyyy overused in my book, but when it came to those beans, baby, that’s exactly what it was. How do I describe those beans? I struggle to. I’m speechless, and with each bite was a bit tickled. Let’s just say those Root Beer Baked Beans made me want to throw on a leather jacket and wait for Fonzie, Richie and Ralph to come out and sing the Happy Days theme song. I didn’t know whether to spit them out (which I did end up eating them:)) or grab a straw to slurp them up. The power of that pungent flavor had my mind and mouth confused. All I could taste was root beer.  That little, bitty drop of faux root beer took over my beans, and in the worse possible way.


So I’ve learned a lesson through my less than tasty dish.

  • Some things are truly better left alone.
  • “Simple and plain” should be the order of the day, especially with things that have proven to be just fine as is.
  • All it takes is a drop to do a lot of damage.
  • “New, now and next best” can literally turn out to be a mess!
  • “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. And if you’re fixin’ baked beans beware of root beer.:)


-Two Dining Daughters

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