Vintage beans

I ran across this article in a 1913 issue of Armour's Monthly Cookbook at Project Gutenberg. It made me laugh, especially the advertorial tone and the suggestion to heat up an unopened can in boiling water, but I think the meal suggestions are very creative, and this would certainly be an inexpensive menu. Just don't make me eat the Puree of Beans.


Baked Beans—A National Dish

To many people baked beans means just one thing—baked beans, served hot or cold. To the woman, however, who is really interested in furnishing variety in diet, and this in a very economical way, baked beans offers boundless possibilities. First of all, she lays in a stock of Veribest Baked Beans—Veribest, because she knows that in this particular brand the beans are even more thoroughly cooked than she herself could do them. There are two kinds of Veribest Baked Beans, plain, and with tomato sauce, and with both the mellow richness of the bean is preserved with all its natural flavor, making it a most toothsome dish as well as nutritious and economical. Having a good stock to draw from the economical housewife proceeds to serve baked beans to her family every day for a week, varying the dish each day.

For Monday there is a New England Supper—baked beans with hot Boston brown bread. Drop the can of baked beans into hot water and boil for 20 minutes. Turn out, garnish with parsley and serve with mustard pickles.

Tuesday, for lunch.Bean Croquettes. Drain Veribest Pork and Beans (without tomato sauce), and pass them through a colander. Measure and allow one teaspoon of dry bread crumbs to each cup of beans. Season with cayenne pepper and a little minced parsley. For a pint of the mixture, beat one egg. Save enough of the egg to dip the croquettes in, and add the remainder to the beans. Mix and form into small croquettes, or balls, then roll in fine bread crumbs. Dip them in egg and again in the crumbs, and fry in deep boiling Simon Pure Leaf Lard. Border with slices of dill pickles or sweet green peppers.

Wednesday, School Lunches.Bean Sandwiches. Cut some thin slices from a loaf of brown bread, butter and put crisp lettuce leaves, with a teaspoon of mayonnaise, on each half of the slices, and on the others spread a layer of Armour's Veribest Pork and Beans, which have been mashed until smooth. Put the slices together and wrap each sandwich separately in paraffin paper.

Thursday.Bean Celery Salad. Mix one can of Veribest Pork and Beans, four tablespoons of celery cut in one eighth inch rings, two tablespoons of finely chopped onions, and one fourth cup of good boiled dressing. Marinate thoroughly, but stir slightly. Rub the salad dish with a cut clove of garlic. Arrange lettuce leaves around the salad bowl and in the center make a mound of the salad mixture, to which one fourth cup of whipped cream has been added. Garnish with stuffed olives cut in rings.

Friday.Attractive Luncheon Dish. Heat one can of Veribest Pork and Beans (without tomato sauce), tossing about with fork to prevent breaking or mashing the beans. Season to taste. Serve in beet shells which have been previously prepared as follows: Wash the beets carefully, so as not to break the skins, and boil rapidly until tender. Then cover with cold water, and with the hands remove the skins. Scoop out the centers and fill the cases with the beans. Garnish with young celery leaves.

Saturday.Puree of Beans. To one can of Armour's Veribest Beans and Tomato Sauce add two cups of milk; boil for a few minutes and pass through a sieve. Add salt and pepper to taste, a dash of sage, dry mustard and more water if required. Strain over croutons in the tureen and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Sunday Night Supper.Bean Loaf. Two cups of Veribest Pork and Beans, mashed to a pulp, one fourth cup of chopped nuts, one cup of browned bread crumbs, two teaspoons of grated onion, two eggs, one half cup of cream or rich milk, one teaspoon of salt. Mix thoroughly and put into a greased bread pan. Brush with the beaten yolk of egg, milk or cream and bake one half hour. Serve with tomato sauce.


  1. hmmm - I'm not so sure I would attempt those recipes...maybe it's the early hour but I get a bit sick thinking of a pork n bean mashed sandwich...

    But I did print out the bean croquettes...I won't be deep frying them in the lard - but I thought it would be fun to try making them similar to how I make salmon patties :)

  2. I'm frightened! LOL Yeah, as much as we like including beans in our diet, I'm not sure I would make these. Makes me grateful for how far we've come with our bean dishes or quite possible we've just become extremely spoiled and even in tough times we can't eat this frugally. Maybe a little of column A & a little of column B :)

  3. *whispers* I think the family would notice.

    Anyway, I also think the croquttes sound pretty good. But pan fried in a little olive oil, instead of deep fried in lard, of course.

    I do have a creepy feeling that my husband might actually be happy if I served him baked beans in a boiled beet. He's a weirdo. :D

  4. hmmm...I think I will pass on most of those. Bean sandwich? Beet shells?

  5. Those are some very creative dishes! I think I would run away from home if my mom had attempted to serve beans every day of the week.
    I love the article though. Makes me very sentimental.
    Oh, and lard---gotta love the lard--Not!

  6. Every day?!? All I can think is "Pain! Lots of pain!" followed quickly by "Where's the Glade?"