Mémé Allen’s Beans

This recipe for pork and beans, affectionately called Mémé Allen’s Beans by her family, is served for all family milestones from baby showers to funerals. Recipe submitted by Donna Nardolillo I come from a very large extended family. My Mother, Mary, was one of thirteen children. Only eleven of the thirteen had children. I am one of fifty-eight grandchildren. My Merere (pronounced Mem-may and means “Grandmother” in French) loved to cook her baked beans and were requested for every family function, from baby showers to weddings. Memere had to start renting a hall to fit all of us during the holidays. My cousins were my first friends and we are all still close even after fifty years! When Memere passed away in her sleep on her 90th birthday, everyone was invited to her home and was told to take whatever we wanted as a keepsake. Of all the things that I could have chosen, I went straight to the pantry and picked out her two wooden spoons that she so lovingly cooked with. I can still picture her standing in front of her stove preparing the beans, etc. She always said that no matter what, you must cook with love. That’s what makes the dish so special.

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