Last weekend our son's cub scout pack had their fall family campout at one of the local Scout Camps. Great place to camp, and all the scouts and sibs had a blast! Parents too, though somehow sleeping on a small air mattress isn't as easy or as comfortable as it once was! Must be that 'getting older' thing!
I decided, a couple campouts ago, that it was a good thing to be on the Food Committee. It lets me help out, and also to have input into what the big people get to eat. Since I am feeding a diabetic in the family, input is a good thing!
Last year, I cobbled together a beef stew at the fall campout, that apparently folks are still remembering fondly. I was asked if something like it could be done again. Sure! Though I did want something more soup-like this time. Apparently it came out well, as evidenced by the fact that folks polished off at least 5 gallons of it, and I swear I saw some folks coming back for 4ths!
But the best part was teaching a handful of Webelos how to make baked beans tasty! The Pack often serves up baked beans on campouts, and inevitably, they don't get eaten in quantity. I hate to see good food wasted, so this time, when the scouts wanted to help make the beans I told them to bring me a few additional ingredients beyond the basic cans of Bush Original beans... Yellow mustard, ketchup and sugar. They looked at me like I was from another planet! But they were willing to listen...
One scout put 4 cans of beans into the bean pot. Then they got to taste the beans before alteration. Another squirted 'enough' mustard, and a third added 2-3x as much ketchup as mustard. Yours truly added the sugar. The beans were then stirred and warmed on the camp stove for a little bit. Then my helpers were allowed to taste the sauce again. Wow! I had never seen young boys so ecstatic over a pot of sweet beans before! The helpers were literally doing the happy dance over the beans! We then added a little more of everything, and they were served with the hot dogs that the kids were rapidly consuming.
Soon, I heard a cry of "MORE BEANS!" from the serving table. We whipped up a second batch with the remaining cans of beans, and of course, the secret ingredients! There were ZERO leftover beans! I think that is a 'first' for our pack. There was even one parent who came up later that evening, saying that those were the first beans their son had ever liked.
Now, if there had been any cheap BBQ sauce (think Kraft Original, etc), I would have used that instead of ketchup, but we didn't bring any BBQ sauce. A rough estimate of the additions to 4 cans of beans was 2T mustard, 4-6T ketchup, and about 1/2c sugar...but start with less, and add until it tastes good.
One final note--this is not something I invented. This is how my mom taught me to make beans (what we refer to at my house in the South, as Sweet Beans).