Molasses Baked Beans

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This recipe, courtesy of my friend Kathleen O'Donovan, first appeared on my blog June 17, 2012. My dad's favourite, they've been in my regular rotation over the last 5 years and they are divine.

Molasses Baked Beans

1 pound dried yellow eyed beans

5 cups cold water

½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup ketchup

½ cup molasses

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. ground dry mustard

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

6 strips bacon, diced

  • Place beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and let soak overnight.

  • Drain and rinse beans. Place in medium, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with 5 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, add baking soda, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

  • Drain beans, reserving 3.5 cups bean liquid (if you don’t get 3.5 cups, just top with water). Rinse beans with cool water and allow to drain.

  • In a large bowl, combine ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ground dry mustard and pepper. Add bean liquid and mix well. Add chopped onion, diced bacon and beans and mix well.

  • Pour beans into a large pot with an oven-safe lid (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven) and bake, covered, for 8 hours at 250ºF.

ROAD TRIPPIN' : Tatamagouche

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ROAD TRIPPIN' is the first of four new food-related columns I am writing for The Chronicle Herald. Every two weeks, I'll hit the road, take pics, eat, drink, and then write about my adventures for the paper.

Pretty sweet huh?

We are heading to Tatamagouche on a misty and cool September weekend morning. Driving along Highway 102 out of Halifax, I ask my friend, “Have you ever stopped at the Mastodon?” It may sound strange, but Mastodon Ridge in Stewiacke is a symbol of home to me. Since I was a child I’ve watched that giant roaring creature zoom past numerous car windows, whether leaving on a road trip or returning home.

To read my column in it's entirety, click here.

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Domaine de Grand Pré Winery : Harvest Table photo shoot

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I was invited to Domaine de Grand Pré winery earlier this summer to photograph a small, intimate dinner at the winery's stunning new harvest table. Located smack dab in the vineyard, the idea for the table came to life after a huge old tree on the property was felled last autumn.

With Nova Scotia oysters and Grand Pré's Champlain Brut sparkling to start, followed by a selection of Grand Pré wines paired with a sumptuous, multi-course meal by Chef Jason Lynch and his team - including house-cured charcuterie, homemade cavatelli, Nova Scotia game, seafood and more - it was an evening, and spectacular sunset, not soon forgotten.

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Wild Blueberry-Star Anise Eton Mess with Tangerine Curd

We hand-picked Nova Scotia wild blueberries last week.

They're so tiny. So juicy. So flavourful.

Sorry highbush beauties.

I adore you but my heart belongs to these exquisite little darlings.

I simmered 1 cup of wild blueberries with 3 tbsp. of sugar and 2 star anise pods until thick - about 15 minutes. I made my 6-Minute Microwave Lemon Curd but substituted 3 tangerines for the lemons. I whisked a small batch of unsweetened whipped cream. I opened a package of pre-made meringues. I crumbled a meringue, mixed the pieces with some whipped cream, then topped with dollops of blueberries and curd.

Divine.

Gorgeous blue ceramic plate handmade by Kelsey Watson in Inverness, Cape Breton. Please visit Kelsey's Instagram page for more information - www.instagram.com/potsbykw