A Lesson from the Amish: Best. Beans. Ever.

A game between sisters

Earlier this week, I was running on the Katy trail with my sister, Bri. Running can get old, so we like to play some games to serve as a distraction.  Just for fun, we started assessing all the passing bike riders on their fitness level.

” Slow biker”

” Fast biker”

” Old biker”

We don’t live by a heavily trafficked area of the trail, so the bikers were far and few in between – the game was only mildly entertaining at best.

2 hours pass

I was driving past the trail (playing the same game in my head) and I spotted an unlikely group of cyclists. I would say it was a group of 6-10 male twenty-somethings all riding together down the trail…. in overalls. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

I have no doubts that the group of Amish boys were capable of being “fast bikers,” but they seemed relaxed that day. Perhaps it was a recreational trip because the boys in the front were turned around shouting back to the riders in the back as they all laughed together about something one of them was saying.

What struck me most about the scene was the sense of community surrounding them. They were like a family. Hooting and hollering, feeling completely free to be themselves – while at the same time, they were more than individuals. Their matching overalls seemed to signify a conscious decision to be who they are, but also a part of something larger than themselves.

They were a group. A movement. A community.

I wonder if I could get some of my friends to start dressing alike? :)

In honor of the Amish boys on the bike trail… I submit this recipe.

I’ve had these beans before (usually at a church pot-luck or something like that) and I can never find the person that made them to ask for the recipe.

Upon finding them at the last church pot-luck, I loudly addressed the room, “Who made these BEANZ?!?! I must KNOW! They are the BEST I’ve ever tasted!”

One man smiled shyly and admitted they were his beans. Luckily, he was willing to share the recipe. He told me it was passed to him an Amish woman who lived nearby. She had clipped it out of an Amish newspaper and given it to him.

I was so complimentary of his bean dish that he insisted on getting me the recipe right away. He lived next door to the church, so in a matter of minutes I had my very own (color) copy of the recipe. (You know every old man is proud when he can produce a color copy all on his own. He assured me, he had a COLOR COPY MACHINE in his HOME OFFICE. I’m sure it was one of those HP 3-in-1 printers, but to him – it was magic.)

Reunited at last…

I decided Memorial Day was the perfect opportunity to try out my newly acquired bean recipe.

Let me tell you, they were a hit. Feel free to take the beans to your next potluck and call them your own. Just remember to give some credit to the Amish for making this all possible.

Thank you Amish Community.

Kidney Bean Casserole (the official Amish name)

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb diced bacon
  • 1 C chopped onions
  • 1/2 C ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 can pork & beans
  • 1 can kidney beans – drained
  • 1 can lima beans – drained
  1. Brown ground beef and bacon.
  2. Add onion and cook a little. Drain off the fat.
  3. Add ketchup, salt, sugar, dry mustard, vinegar and beans.
  4. Mix well and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Oh my gosh! These are soooo good. I’m not sure they would fall under the category “good for you” since they have so much bacon and added sugar, but they are mighty nice for a special occasion. :)

One thought on “A Lesson from the Amish: Best. Beans. Ever.

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Crystal was right! These are definitely known as Cowboy Beans in the Lutz household! Only slight difference in the recipe is a couple of shots of Jack Daniels. (that’s where the cowboy comes in!)

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