Recently, the US Department of Picnics and Cookouts (USDPC) released a startling report. Rifling through the 433 page document, one cannot help but be amazed by its sheer thoroughness and unequivocally horrified by its painfully stark conclusion. On page 387, in 12 point Calibri font, and strewn amongst the spreadsheets and bar graphs lies the naked truth- “Each summer, Americans are wasting dozens of gallons of ‘pork and bean sauce’”. Yes, the insipid Van de Camp’s pork and bean sauce is too water-thin to be excavated by fork or spoon. After the beans have been plowed up, the ludicrously feeble sauce lies fallow on paper tray and Styrofoam plate, only to be cast off with the rest of the barbeque detritus. The report’s closing chapter highlights dozens of suggestions for obviating this squanderous misuse of this prefab ‘food’. While many of the recommendations are clearly untenable and a few are off-the-rocker cray cray, two of them hold particular intrigue: 1) Use the pork and bean effluent to fill kiddie pools and sponsor a national ‘Pork and Bean Sauce Wrestling Tournament’. (Think of all the delicious Jello we’d save.) 2) Make a thicker sauce. While option one looks good on paper (and better in person, I imagine), I’m not the guy to see that dream to fruition. Hell, I can’t organize my way out of a wet paper bag much less become the architect of a national phenomenon that sets the sporting world on fire with a brand-new brand of tomato sauce-drenched athletic erotica. I’ll just go ahead and make the thicker sauce. I guess.
1 can (15 oz) Van de Camp’s pork and beans
2 C diced sweet potato*
¾ C diced green pepper
1 t prepared stone ground mustard
1 t hot sauce
2 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t Mexican oregano
1 t coriander
* I wanted to use meat for this recipe and then I found this:
I could be wrong but I believe this creature was featured in the final episode of Lost in Space. This little bugger accosted Dr. Smith as he was, uh, ‘taking a selfie’ among the Martian craters.
Anyway, I feared the other sweet potato in the pantry would suffer the same ungodly hyper-mutation and chose to simply put it out of its misery (and mine).
- Simmer ingredients in a pot for one hour.
Hey, lookie here, I can stand a fork up in the sauce. A congressional medal of honor will surely be headed my way.
The chili had good flavor and texture. While it may have fared slightly better with meat, I couldn’t take a chance on having that sweet potato around any longer. The ITP approved of the chili, then quietly went to the backyard and unceremoniously buried our kiddie pool in an unmarked grave.