I found this funny little vase at an estate sale:


It was made by Fitz & Floyd in MCMLXXVII (too lazy to figure it out myself, I discovered an online site — of course — that will convert Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, which said it’s 1977):IMG_7606

This little guy looks like my dogs feel on the 4th of July when the fireworks start:


How are you celebrating the 4th of July?  Food, fun, family, fireworks — the 4 best f-words around, right?  I saw lots of patriotic efforts around town, big and small.  There were small little flags tucked into gardens:


And big flags waving proudly in yards:


What did one flag say to the other?  Nothing, it just waved.

Trees were lit up in red, white, and blue at this downtown office building:


And the big red cock at BRC Restaurant (I know, I hate the name too), was painted with stars and stripes.


I found a few new treats for this patriotic holiday, including red, white, and blue Rice Krispies (I’d love to show you the Rice Krispie Treats I made with them, but they disappeared too quickly, so you’ll have to use your imagination.  Like Spongebob):


Trader Joe’s had this White House cookie kit (maybe for the next presidential election — not feeling it for this one):


And these Shooting Stars Cookies, which are made with pop rocks, and according to the Trader Joe’s staff, are quite a party all by themselves:


Walmart had bouquets of red, white, and blue flowers (dog not included):


I wouldn’t normally buy dyed flowers, but they looked kinda desperate to go home with someone — anyone — so I broke down and bought a bunch.  Not only were these dyed, but they were sprayed with glitter, as well.  Shaking my head.

Inspired by the cannon vase and thoughts of Independence Day, I’m sharing a recipe for Southern Potluck Baked Beans, adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans, and a great side dish for your 4th of July barbecue. I think every Southern cook has some version of this in her repertoire, or at least in her Junior League cookbooks.  There was a time when I might have scoffed at the idea of making baked beans by starting with cans of baked beans — seems kind of redundant.  But the amped-up flavor from the additional ingredients and thick texture that comes from baking for two hours make these a special side dish to bring to any potluck, especially one where grilling is involved.

Recipe type: Vegetable
  • 8 slices bacon, cut in half
  • 3 28-ounce cans pork 'n beans
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce (I used this one, and recommend you do too)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until bacon is partially cooked and has rendered some of the fat. Remove bacon to paper-towel lined plate, and reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Place beans in a large bowl. Add barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, and 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, and mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer beans to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange bacon over top. Bake until sauce is thick and syrupy, approximately 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to stand approximately 15 minutes before serving.

uncooked beans

Ready for a two-hour stint in the oven

cooked beans

Smoky, syrupy, sweet, tangy — baked beans will never be the same


Have a blast this 4th of July!



  1. Thanks for the recipe. I love Baked Beans and l am always looking for the ‘best’ recipe.

    When l clicked on the link for your recommended bought sauce, it took me somewhere in thr post. The name of the sauce never showed up.

    • I’m sorry — just seeing this comment. The link takes you to a prior blog post with a recipe for Luling City Market Barbecue Sauce. It is easy, no cooking required, and is really good!

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