Monday, March 12, 2012

State-by-State Baking :: Massachusetts' Boston Baked Beans and Bouncy Basketball Treats

The 6th state to join the Union was the state of Massachusetts.  The girls studied this state with the help of M is for Mayflower: A Massachusetts Alphabet and then completed their Notebook Pages. 

Massachusetts Notebooking Pages
by Twinkle Toes (L) and Chiquita (R)

Inspired by The United States Cookbook: Fabulous Foods and Fascinating Facts From All 50 States the girls decided to make Boston Baked Beans for with our Sunday dinner:

"Early colonists learned to make baked beans from their Native American neighbors. Native Americans flavored the beans with bear meat and maple syrup. The colonists substituted salt pork for the bear meat and molasses for the maple syrup.  Baked beans on Saturday night became a Massachusetts food tradition in colonial times.  The tradition started because Puritans were not allowed to work on Sunday, so beans were cooked on Saturday and served for Sunday's dinner as well.  Some women who were not so crazy about beans served them only on Sunday."

We had a few children, Chiquita included, that were not so crazy about these beans.  Maybe if we would have cut back on the onion...

Boston Baked Beans


1 medium onion
vegetable cooking spray (we used coconut oil spray)
2 16-ounce cans navy beans
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

Preheat oven to 400˚F. 

Remove the skin from the onion.  On the cutting board, cut the onion into quarters and chop with Food Chopper.   

Yep... Chopping that sweet onion might make you cry!  Chiquita wasn't going to take any chances, like her big sister, and ran off to grab her sunglasses.  :)

Spray a saute pan with cooking spray.  Heat the pan over medium heat.  

Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Open the 3 cans of beans.  Put the beans in the colander in the sink and rinse them under cold, running water.   (Twinkle Toes was super excited to successfully open a can for the first time!)

In the casserole, stir together the onions, beans, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, and mustard.  

Cover and bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is bubbly.  

"B's the sound that can be found in 
Boston town and Bunker Hill,
and bouncy, bouncy Basketball, 
played first in Springfield -
What a thrill!"

To go along with our Beans and Burgers, the girls also made an extra treat, inspired by some Basketball Cupcakes,  using mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups instead of the cupcakes:

Bouncy Basketball Treats


Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Cookies (at least 3" diameter)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Orange Decorator's Gel
Mini Basketball Chocolates

For each basket, trim the cookie flush with the wrapper's edges, if needed. Unwrap the peanut butter cup and pipe a ring of decorators' gel around the edge. (We forgot to do this last step. Oops!) 

For the backboard, frost half of a cookie, then add decorators' gel details. Keeping the cookie flat, dab frosting where the basket will go and gently press the peanut butter cup in place.

Use another dab of frosting to secure a chocolate basketball. Let the treats set for at least a half hour before standing them up. (We stood ours up right away and didn't have a problem.)

Our next state is Maryland and B is for Blue Crab: A Maryland Alphabet.  We are all looking forward to the Crab Cakes the girls will be making sometime this week.  Yum!!! 

Resources we used for this State Study:

M is for Mayflower Teacher's Guide (pdf)
Other Posts of Interest: 

State-by-State Scrapbook
State-by-State Scrapbook :: Massachusetts


  1. Just came across your blog and LOVE it! I am also a Catholic,homeschooling mom. It was kind of surprising to find another such one whom also likes cookingbaking, books, little flowers/blue knights, connecting with history, melissa and doug, the FSSP, AND hockey! I do not, however, have even a portion of the creativity you hold in your little finger alone!

    What a blessing your family is - thank you for sharing a glimpse of it!

    1. Thanks for saying hello! Sounds like we have quite a bit in common! :)


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