We closed out the summer like many Minnesotans, by going to the state fair. While many go to sample all the different kinds of foods, I was carrying my own plastic bags of pulled pork and baked beans to dump in the slow cookers for the show crew on show day. I combined a couple of recipes I found to create a pulled pork that tastes as great as it smells. The best part was the leftovers at home for the next day. While I didn’t make the baked beans from scratch, I have been working on a couple of recipes to see what works for me. We have many fields of edible beans around our area, so it is only right to try and use what is grown around home.
    My nephew’s wife shared her family cookbook with me called Honey’s Recipes. Honey is her great-grandmother, and the book is filled with recipes in her own handwriting and recipes she collected over the years. The family pictures fill in the story of how Honey showed her love for family and friends. These are a couple I know I’ll be making this fall. Enjoy!

Pulled pork
1 pork shoulder roast, also called pork butt
4 onions, cut into halves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil
12 ounces liquid (Coke, root beer, beer or 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup apple or cranberry juice. I used the vinegar and cranberry juice because I was out of apple juice.)
    Stir together brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over pork shoulder. Wrap the pork in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in large roasting pan. When oil is hot but not smoking, sear meat on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. When meat is seared, remove from pan. Line bottom of pan with onions and return meat. Pour liquid over meat. Cover pan with tin foil and lid. Bake for 3 hours. Remove lid and tin. Cook uncovered for an additional 1-2 hours, or cook in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Remove meat from pan and some of the onions. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and add ½ to 1 cup of hot water. Scrape the pan to loosen up the bits and cook for 5 minutes to reduce. Pour in bottle of BBQ sauce and stir to heat. If you cook in the slow cooker, there will be no bits to cook off. I saved the juices and added to the shredded meat, or you can save the extra for soup broth later. With two forks, shred the meat. You can either add shredded meat to the BBQ sauce or serve them separately. Freezes well.

Butternut squash bake by Honey’s Recipes
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cooked squash, mashed
     In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Sir in squash. May be thin. Pour into greased 7-by-11 glass baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until almost set.

Topping
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
    Combine. Sprinkle over casserole. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.

Easy caramel rolls by Honey’s Recipes
18 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
1 package regular butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pecans
    The night before serving, grease Bundt pan and place rolls in bottom of pan. Sprinkle pudding over rolls. Boil butter and brown sugar together then pour over pudding and rolls. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before inverting Bundt pan onto serving plate, giving time for the caramel sauce to drain out of the pan.

Homemade baked beans
1 pound dried navy beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
6 stripes of thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
Bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
    Soak beans overnight. Fill pot with water until beans are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Drain the beans, place them back in the pot with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour, then drain, reserving the liquid. (See notes for shortcut to soaking beans.) In a Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy, then add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Add 1 ½ cups of reserved bean water and the beans to the Dutch oven. Bring everything to a simmer for a minute or two to heat it up. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer the Dutch oven with the lid on to the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove the lid during the last 20-30 minutes to help the sauce thicken. If the beans get dry, add a little more reserved bean water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
    Short cut: Bring beans, salt and 2 quarts of water to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour. Drain beans. Discard liquid. Return beans to pan. Cover with 2 more quarts of fresh water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain beans but reserve liquid. Now pick up instructions at frying bacon.
    Slow cooker method: Soak beans as before. Then pour everything into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours or until beans are tender. Open the lid for the last 30 minutes or longer until the sauce has thickened. If the beans are too thick, add some reserved bean water.
    As their four children pursue dairy careers off the family farm, Natalie and Mark are starting a new adventure of milking registered Holsteins just because they like good cows on their farm north of Rice, Minnesota.