Today, we just grab a can and make them but have you ever thought about what our ancestors had to do to make baked beans? Here is an old recipe and I bet it taste a lot better than the canned version today.
PORK & BEANS
Take two quarts of white beans, pick them over the night before, put to soak in cold water; in the morning put them in fresh water and let them scald, then turn off the water and put on more, hot; put to cook with them a piece of salt pork, gashed, as much as would make five or six slices; boil slowly till soft(not mashed), then add a tablespoonful of molasses, half a teaspoonful of soda, stir in well, put in deep pan, and bake one hour and a half.
If you do not like to use pork, salt the beans when boiling, and add a lump of butter when preparing them for the oven.
Did you notice there was no temperature for baking? I imagine there was quite a bit of guess work in the 1880’s to get the temperature correct. Most directions said hot or medium fire. I bet the pork and beans tasted a good deal better than the canned ones today.
More interesting and sometimes humorous solutions and old recipes can be found in the book How to Keep Flies off Meat and other Tips and Recipes from the Past