Homemade and homegrown describes Dottie Fogel's recipe for this month's Trumbull Cooks feature.
It kind of describes the cook, too.
Fogel was born and raised in Newton Falls - "in the country," she says. She's been in her Warren home for more than 30 years, but she's taken her country lessons with her.
Tribune Chronicle photos / R. Michael Semple
Trumbull Cook Dottie Fogel stirs her Calico Baked Beans, also shown below left, at her home in Warren.
Calico Baked Beans come from Fogel's mother, Millie Holecko.
"It's her recipe with my fine tuning," Fogel said. She added the green and yellow beans.
"I figure this is good because everybody's into fiber these days," she said of sharing the recipe. And the only sugar in it is a half cup of brown plus whatever is in the ketchup, she added.
Calico Baked Beans
Submitted by Dottie Fogel
Fogel says, "While at work, it cooks, and I prepare the beans the night before in the crock, and it's ready to go in the morning.
"My mother always made this in the summer, but we loved it, and I make it all year long, especially when we have guests. It is a great source of fiber and blends in with most main dishes. Leftovers reheat well, too!"
1/2 half pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 can each of kidney beans, black beans, butter beans and garbanzo beans, drained
1-2 28-ounce cans of your favorite pork and beans
1 thawed bag frozen green beans (or a quart of beans from the garden)
3 tablespoons mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Brown bacon, remove from pan. Saute onion and pepper in grease for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove.
Mix sauce ingredients well. Slowly mix everything together. Add 1 teaspoon salt as you mix beans. Put in covered casserole to bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or put into a 3-quart slow cooker.
Fogel makes it in the slow cooker, but she said it can be done in the oven - about 340 degrees for an hour, she estimates.
"I lived with my Crockpot when I was working," said Fogel, who started as a sixth-grade teacher at the former Garfield Elementary School in Warren, then became a guidance counselor at Warren Western Reserve and Niles McKinley.
In the midst of that career was a nine-year break to have two daughters, who are now 36 and 37. One, whose husband just traveled to London for his job, lives in South Carolina with Fogel's three grandchildren. Pictures of them are all over the house - their three smiling faces are even on a clock in the kitchen. Her other daughter, just married, still lives in Ohio.
Even Fogel's current home used to be a little more country. The trails that her children enjoyed behind the home are no more, the tall trees replaced by new houses and yards. She doesn't even have to walk to the end of the street any more to get her mail.
"It's not the same world it was when we moved here," she said.
Fogel said she doesn't really like to buy any vegetables at the store. Instead, she cans her own, something else learned from her mother, who taught her daughter to also can tomato sauce and juice.
"I thank her for that," Fogel said.
"My mother loved to cook," she remembered. "She would help St. Joseph Church make nut rolls and all the stuff they sold. Her job, at 80, was to roll out the dough."
Apparently, staying young runs in the family. Fogel, now 70, says she gets up early, a habit leftover from her days teaching, gets a cup of coffee and reads the paper. And she stays physically active.
"I work my tail off in that garden," she said.
Her husband, David, is a retired electrician and cable slicer.
"He does it all by hand with the shovel," she said, obviously proud of the work they've put into their backyard endeavor.
She says her daughters "never had a cavity in their mouth," either, and she feels that's because the home canning meant they had fewer preservatives in their diets.
On a recent hot July day, Fogel served the beans with brats on the grill. Those were topped with her homemade, homegrown hot peppers.
She also likes to make desserts, such as blueberry buckle.
"I make fantastic rhubarb pie, because I grow it," she said, adding that she also makes rhubarb-strawberry jelly. "I give it all away. Now I have one skinny little jar left."
Although the dry weather is causing a little concern for this cook, the rhubarb in the garden awaits.