Supermarket memory games and Boston baked beans (TOOT TOOT)

So lucky I write these things down…

I’ve developed this amazing memory game for forgetful mums like myself, in need of some intellectual challenge. It goes like this…

Spend about 30 minutes menu planning for the week, then writing out a comprehensive shopping list with every single thing you need, vaguely sorted into aisle order. This will make your grocery shop as simple as possible so that you can spend the entire time on autopilot, letting your brain drift off elsewhere, like a beach, with a handsome man giving you a foot rub and thoughtfully applying sunscreen. ANYWAY. Pack the lunchboxes, get everyone dressed and off to school. Drive to the supermarket, remembering the reusable bags. Find a parking spot near the entrance, grab your bags, grab a trolley, roll into the store and spend the next few minutes checking every pocket like a flapping idiot before clearly remembering that the list is sitting on the kitchen bench at home.

Good game? I love it. I play it ALL THE TIME.

Yes, I know, there are apps to sort out this aspect of my life, but I’m old fashioned and find the act of writing lists surprisingly soothing. And generally the act of writing a word sticks it into my memory, which is handy, considering I’m now going to shop for a full week’s food without MY LIST.

Perhaps I should be pleased that my pass rate on this game is about 96%. The fun ‘marking’ bit of the game is when you get home, check through the list and realize that you‘ve only forgotten two things. FUCK FUCK FUCK. Almost always crucial items, which entails shifting meals around so that Tuesday’s dinner now becomes Monday’s, and Tuesday’s entertainment will be heading back to the supermarket for two missing items.

The silver lining is that today is only Tuesday and yet in a feat of time travelling mastery, I’m able to post a meal that I planned for Tuesday, since I had to make it on Monday. The fish sauce, which I needed for Monday night’s dinner will be procured today and used to make Tuesday night extra tasty.

Thankfully, this dish was a huge hit last night, which surprised me considering my kids are not big fans of tinned baked beans. Even better, the recipe uses treacle & mustard powder, items located but rarely used in my kitchen. I always feel good-homemaker-virtuous when I manage to run out of an ingredient before it reaches it’s use-by date.

Vegie Smugglers boston baked beans

Easy to make, freezes well, kids (and adults) love it.

Boston baked beans (with bacon & sausage)

4 sausages (tomato & onion flavoured ones are good)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
150g bacon, excess fat removed, finely diced
2 tbsp treacle
2 tsp mustard powder (or 1 tbsp Dijon mustard would be nice, but I forgot to buy it)
400g can crushed tomatoes
400g can borlotti beans (rinsed & drained)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the sausages for 25 minutes (turn once halfway through cooking) while you prepare everything else.

You need a covered casserole dish for this recipe – save time & washing up by using a stove to oven dish. Otherwise, fry everything off in a frying pan and transfer to an ovenproof dish…

Heat the dish/frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil. Chuck in the onion, carrot, celery and bacon and fry, stirring fairly often for 8-10 minutes until soft.

Add the treacle and mustard powder and combine well. Pour over the tomatoes, add in the drained beans, cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, let the cooked sausage cool enough to handle, then slice up.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid. Mix in the sausage and return the uncovered dish to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until thick and delicious.

Serve with green salad & a nice sourdough bread.


If your kids like sausages don’t miss my sausage fried rice.


12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lea Murphy said,

    I know this game very well! Especially the F F F#*K part!
    Thank you for the recipe and for making me feel normal.

  2. 3

    Kirrily said,

    Could you use baked beans instead of borlotti (I dont think my fussy one would eat them!)?
    Also, what is treacle please? (is it like golden syrup?)

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      hi kirrily,

      after 45 minutes in the oven, the borlotti beans end up a very similar texture to the tinned baked beans. if you do want to use tinned ones instead, i’d just add them in at the end with the sausages – otherwise they’ll dissolve into total mush.

      Treacle is a syrup by-product left over when sugar is processed from the cane. Golden syrup is a light version – the dark form is a bit more bitter and smokey in flavour so works well in this dish with the mustard powder. If you have golden syrup then give it a go – it’ll be a bit more sweet, so maybe use a bit less, especially if you’re adding tinned beans.

      good luck!

  3. 5

    Woowee! Yay, thank you so much for this! I just need to check the freezer for sausages, but I think there are some and that will mean I have everything to make this, except for treacle but and I’ll just use molasses instead. Guess what’s on the menu for later this week now 🙂 They sound great. Will report back

  4. 7

    Kym Petersen said,

    Classic post, and rings very true with me. I love your relaxed style, have also experienced a few of those f**k f**k f**k moments when it’s too hard to schlepp back to the shops with 2 toddlers just for the crucial few ingredients I forgot! Will be trying this recipe also, sounds like another winner. Thanks for the laugh

  5. 8

    […] I was struggling to think what I could make, when what should appear on my Facebook feed but this recipe from Veggie Smugglers.  Brilliant I thought because I actually had sausages in the freezer!  So I […]

  6. 9

    Momma G said,

    Made the Boston Baked Beans tonight, and J Daddy, Big One (aged 4.75) and Small One (19 months) all waited with great anticipation.

    Official statement from the Big One: “You can make this again any time!” Sensational! This was really really good and went down a treat with the whole family! Everyone loved the rich, sweet and tangy tomato sauces and the delicious tender beans. The bacon was a hit with J Daddy and everyone loved the sausages too. Big One didn’t even realise there were carrots in the pot until we told him, at which point he started eating even more quickly as carrots are one if his favourite veggies! Cheap, cheerful and makes a huge pot, so there are plenty of leftovers.

    I doubled the tomatoes and the beans, and omitted the onions from the recipe. I really enjoyed making this easy recipe, as much as I enjoyed eating it. Delish!!!

  7. 11

    Jodi said,

    I love that you say FUCK!

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