Beefed Up Baked Beans – (and a conversation about nicknames)


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This morning as I was walking through the den going on my daily dirty clothes scavenger hunt, someone said the name “Sally Mae” on tv and I stopped and looked up in surprise just as if they’d said “Christy Jordan”. I chuckled at myself as the memories flooded back of all the times I’ve answered to Sally Mae in my life.

I have no idea who Sally Mae is but during my childhood, I must have looked an awful lot like her. “Come on in here, Sally Mae” Mama would sing out as she opened the door when I ran in from playing to grab a quick cup of Kool Aid. Or she’d call out to me after running my bath at the end of a long day of playing “Get on in here and get in the tub, Sally Mae”. I never questioned it, even though in retrospect I realize my sister answered to it just as willingly as I did.

I got to thinking about that nickname as I read an email from Elaine Wong who mentioned how her Grandpa used to call her “Lanie girl”. There is something about a nickname that shows an acceptance, familiarity, and its sort of a way of saying “You and I are special”. It’s like in Little House On The Prairie (I think everyone should be required to watch the entire run of Little House On The Prairie before they are allowed to be an adult). Did you notice how Laura, who had been called Laura all of her life, suddenly became “Beth” to Almonzo and Almonzo suddenly became “Manley” to Laura? They wanted a special connection and way of talking ot each other that set them apart and so called each other by their middle names instead of first. Surely we all know what Laura’s Pa called her, do you rememeber it? Half Pint. She was his little tagalong, his best helper, and calling her what everyone else did just wouldn’t do.  She was his Half Pint.

I received my most prominent nickname shortly after I was born, the one my dad still calls me to this day (I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him call me Christy) and wrote about the story behind it in my book (page 171). It’s funny because every now and then I’ll be out and someone I don’t know will call me that, I instantly know where they got it from!

I have so many nicknames for my kids it isn’t even funny but they willingly answer to each and every one. My favorite nickname for myself to date though is Ma, Mom, or Mama, whichever one the two of them feel like calling me on any given day. I’ll never forget though, about two years ago, when Katy Rose asked “Mama, when you were born, how come Grandmama named you ‘mama’?”

I’d love to hear about your nicknames in the comments below and especially the stories behind them! While we work on that, let me show you how to make some awfully good baked beans. This is how my mother has always made hers and I can make a meal out of the beans alone! They get rave reviews at any barbecue and would be the perfect addition to your fourth of July menu. They’re also a breeze to throw together, always a plus in my book ~grins~.

You’ll need: ground beef (cooked and drained), 28 ounce can baked beans (any kind you want), 2-15 ounce cans Navy beans, onion, barbecue sauce, mustard, worcestershire sauce, bacon, and salt and pepper.

*Instead of the 28 ounce can of baked beans you can use 2-15 ounce cans.

Now I have my ground beef already cooked and in the freezer but if yours isn’t you wanna go ahead and cook that before this step.

Place beans (liquid and all) and ground beef in a large mixing bowl.

This is the largest of a set of vintage Pyrex bowls called “New Dot”. This one was hard to come by but it completed my set. The others are blue, red, and yellow. Just in case you wanted to know that…

A lot of folks have asked me about my salt and pepper shakers. They came from Cracker Barrel and I got them on Clearance :)

I could chat all day but I guess you came here for a recipe so I’ll get on with it…

(~whispers~ but the plate below is a Corelle pattern called “Memphis”)

Chop up your onion

Add to the bowl all of your other ingredients except for the bacon.

Stir it all together really well.

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

And pour your bean mixture into the dish.

Top with 3-4 strips of uncooked bacon.

Place this in the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

During that time your husband, who has repeatedly stated that he does not like baked beans, will ask you “Man, what are you cooking? That smells good!”. When you tell him it is baked beans he will say “Oh….really?” and look at you in disbelief. This scenario will repeat itself ever ten minutes or so until the beans are done and then your husband, who has repeatedly stated that he does not like baked beans, will magically appear in the kitchen with a bowl and a spoon.

At least that is how it goes down at my house :)


Now pull up a chair while this is cooking and chat with me about your nicknames in the comments below!

Beefed Up Baked Beans
  • 28 ounce can baked beans, undrained (or 2-15 ounce cans)
  • 2-15 ounce cans navy beans, undrained (or bean of your choice)
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained (can substitute cooked shredded pork bbq if you like)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 slices uncooked bacon
  1. Spray 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together all ingredients except for the bacon. Spoon into baking dish. Top with strips of bacon. Place in 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.
  2. This is a very forgiving recipe so feel free to use what you have on hand and modify it to suit your family's tastes.

Get rich quick … Count your blessings!

Submitted by Debbie Strum. Submit your quote or read hundreds of others by clicking here. Don’t worry if you have a good quote and you think it may have already been submitted, that just lets me know that it bears repeating.


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  1. Carol Clark says

    I was my Dad’s shadow and went everywhere with him. As a small child I was his Baby Girl…his Little Pal and as a teen I became his Ramblingirl. He and I had some wonderful adventures and made some very special memories together fishing, hunting, camping and treasure hunting. With his own hands he built a boat-house for us to spend lazy days on the river …it’s name was “Little Pal” … and the fastest boat on the bay … who’s name was “Ramblingirl”. We spent many wonderful days on both. He passed away when I was a young woman but to this day, I’m still known as Ramblingirl to my friends and to those who read my fan-fiction stories on
    He made his baked beans the same as the recipe except for the addition of the ground beef. I’m going to try it that way at our next BBQ.

  2. Ronda says

    Yesterday I posted that my Grandmother used the same mashed potato recipe and how much your stories reminded me of my childhood. I am even more amazed now that I see these baked beans. My Mama always made them with the hamburger, onion and the bacon and everyone loved them. It is something that I still do today. While I am blessed to still have my Grandmother at 92, I lost my precious mother at 52. Because she is no longer here, each recipe brings up many special memories. Everyone I met as an adult just calls me “Ronda”, but people from my childhood and family call me “Ronda Faye”. In high school I had a teacher that decided to call me Rhoda… it stuck and most of my high school friends did too. And when I call or see my Daddy…it is always “Hey Little Girl”. Thanks for all you wonderful posts.

  3. Mimi says

    I was born in the Panama CZ to wonderful parents. My dad was stationed there (he served in the Army for 20 years). Because of this, he always called me his “Little Panahoochee”. “I am not a Panahoochee, I HAVE MY CITIZENSHIP” *stamps foot! Was ALWAYS my response – he loved to get a rise out of me – and it always worked! He passed almost 4 years ago. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe, and allowing me to reminisce. Aren’t memeories wonderful?!!

  4. Ann says

    My daddy called me Annie B from Tennessee. I was born and raised in Alabama and never visited Tennessee until I was married so I guess the reason he called me that was because my name was Ann and it sounded good. He also had a little tune he hummed after he said that. My Daddy passed away 27 years ago so this brought back sweet memories

  5. Deborah Z says

    My daddy always called me Sissie – I don’t know why or how it came to be, but that was my daddy’s name for me. He is 87 now and an invalid with alzheimer’s but last year when I didn’t think he recognized me anymore and he rarely said a word, my brother asked him who I was and he said “Sissie”! Quite touching for me.

  6. Dianna Campbell says

    Christy, a number of years ago I worked for a restaurant chain called “Rockola Cafe” ( not sure if they are still in business). We made beans from a recipe almost exactly like yours, except they were just cooked in a huge pot and not baked. My family have all been making “Rockola Beans” for cookouts and get-togethers since then. Maybe now we will call them “Christy Beans”. Regardless of the name, they are delicious!

  7. Wendy says

    My dad would call me “Grace” as I had none. Now a mom of five, My son Anthony is George, BobbieJo is BobbieLou, Dennis is now Bubba (he was a 12lb baby) I earned the right to call that child Bubba. Lol CassieAnne is Lucy or Lou…reason we live in the hometown community of Lucille Ball and she from the time she could love tv has loved Lucy. Her 13 yr old personality is much of the real Lucy. My Mackenzie LeighAnne is Mackenzie to most but to Momma she is Mack Baby…Thank you Christy for the awesome posts and recipes even here in Western NY we love our Southern Cooking.

    • Jan Melbourne says

      My Mom was one of eight kids. Her oldest sister was called Sis and she became Aunt Sis to us kids. I can remember being shocked to learn she actually had another name besides Sis! Even friends and neighbors called her Sis!

  8. Kristi from Ohio says

    My family has a habit of calling each other either “Gertie” or “Polly Butcher”. Not sure where “Gertie” came from, but apparently “Polly Butcher” was a woman who lived in the same town where my Mom and her siblings grew up. My family mostly uses the name “Polly” when someone is being stubborn, so I assume she must have been a stubborn woman. I have answered to both names many times!! :-)

  9. RobbieAnn from Mississippi says

    I have been making these beans for many years and had never thought to put pork bbq in them instead of ground beef. What a great idea and one that will be done tomorrow when we’re cooking out and waiting for the Alabama game to come on TV, (husband Bill is a HUGE Alabama fan). Thanks also for the potato recipe as I love garlic mashed potatoes.

  10. Karen says

    I really enjoy reading your posts and don’t cook often any more, but share the recipes with my grown children. This baked bean recipe is similar to one I “grew up” with, except without the ground meat. I’ll have to try that! My family likes my baked beans a lot, so I can see how these would be a favorite of many. My nickname came from my brother, who was just 14 months older than I. Once he was old enough to call me something, he called me, “Doll Baby” because he thought I was a toy! The “Baby” was dropped quickly, but the “Doll” stuck for life. He calls me that to this day and we are both well into our 60’s now. All of my mother’s and daddy’s families (rural areas) called me that until after I married and some still do. In fact, when my wedding invitations were sent, some were uncertain who the bride was because my real name was used (of course)! It could be worse!!!!

  11. Panda Johnson says

    My grandpa called me Whistle Britches. I’m not sure why, but it was what he called me for as far back as I can remember. I was his oldest grandchild, and as far as I was concerned, the sun rose and set in him. Some of my fondest memories involve him, me and a sunny spot with fishing poles. I lost him to cancer when I was in my early 20’s (I’m now 56) and I still miss him to this day.

  12. Debbi says

    We had already decided on a name for my son before he was born but when he came I called him Boo or boo bah don’t know where it came from it just fitted and I still call him that now nearly ten years later. His real name is Daniel John

  13. LANA says

    I was the only girl with 5 brothers…My Daddy thought I hung the moon.He called me “Miss Priss”,because I was so “prissy”,it eventually became Prissy-or- Priss. One of my brothers ALWAYS called me ANN….he was 7 when I was born, Lana was difficult for a little boy with a lisp, so ANN it was. He was the only person who called me that,he passed away 4 years ago,and I sorely miss hearing the familiar…ANN….

  14. Janet Steinberg says

    I grew up in a family of pranksters and jokers. When I was about 7 we had a large family reunion at a state park. While I remember camping with all of my relatives and having a blast, but don’t remember the circumstances of how I picked up my nickname. I just remember my nickname echoing throughout the park as my uncles called me…..J-nut! It’s stayed with me through the years, as evidenced by my email address. Bless you for all of the wonderful stories and recipes

  15. Shelia P says

    Just thinking of nicknames brings a tear to my eyes because my Dad only had a 2nd grade education and he could never pronounce Shelia so he always called me Nubbins. He would never tell me why and of course it doesn’t matter because it was always said with love. My Grandmother said it was because I was the baby with three older brothers all over 6 ft tall and I’m only 5’2″ so I was the nub.

  16. Crystal N says

    I am the youngest out of 4 kids from my dad and my moms only biological child. I was a big momma’s girl growing up and my dad came up with a nickname for me and only he would call me it. It was Crystal-pistol-packin-momma-bug. He came up with the name since i was a momma girl and she basically had to carry me around everywhere. My dad past a year ago and i miss him dearly.

  17. Candy Kuettel says

    My name is Carmon, but my sister Terrie, 2 at the time of my birth could not say my name. Since I was a Christmas time baby who came home from the hospital Dec. 25th, my family told her I was her little “Candy Cane” for Christmas. She started calling me Candy, and it stuck. Only my oldest sister calls me Carm, the rest of the world knows me only as Candy! I remember when I was in grade school several times my new teachers would call roll….Carmon..???? I would forget that was my name, since I never heard it used! I had to straighten them out fast. lol

  18. Margaret says

    My daddy called me Margo, my Mama called me Maggie Girl, my sisters call me Mag and my brother calls me Sis, but he calls all four of his sisters Sis…anyway only Daddy ever called me Margo, ! and I loved being Mama`s Maggie Girl. Mom passed in 2007 and Daddy in 2008, I miss them more than I ever thought possible!….well tears are starting, so…
    I love the recipe! Yummy!

  19. Roxanne McCord says

    My mama use to make beans like this. Sometimes she even added smoked sausage to it! My daddy called me Goose when i was little. I dont know why. He still calls me that sometimes. He also calls me Baby Girl. My two nieces call me Baba! As you can see my real name is Roxanne so i dont know where Baba came from. I love it. They are now 32 years and almost 28 years old and they still call me that!

  20. Lyn Trice says

    I just love reading your posts and all the comments. Of course all the recipes are like a bonus!. I’ve had a few nicknames from my Daddy. Sour pickle, when I was small I always had my bottom lip pooched out & that is where that one came from. When I was a teenager he changed it to Veronica Lake, because of how I wore my hair. He is gone to heaven now andcan’t wait to see hime again. Thank you for the posts & the memories.

  21. Brenda Melahn says

    Love your stories – remind me so much of my youth. Speaking of which, my Mom and Dad had 2 boys 12 and 14 and decided they wanted a girl (in case there was a war and they lost their boys — yes, morbid I know) .. so they had me (yes, a girl). Wouldn’t you think my Daddy would call me Princess or Sweetie or something girly? Nope — called me “Chuck” all my life. Never called me Brenda. My ex- husband one time when we were driving down home for the weekend went into a gas station to get cigarettes, came back to the car and handed me a cigarette lighter with a name on it … yep, Chuck. Sweetest thing he ever did. My Daddy had been dead for several years when my ex did this.

  22. CJ says

    When I was born my father called me Suzi Q. To this day – I am Sue to the family even though my name is Carolyn. My mother called Ms. Aster (because I thought the world rotated around my backside!) after the famously rich family at the turn of the century – the Asters. My BFF’s children called me Boppy. Not sure where that came from – but they couldn’t say my name. Nicknames are fun memories.

  23. Linda says

    My Dad would call me Twinkle Toes and my sister was Precious! He and my sister (I called her Sissie) are gone now so it is with tears and a smile that I am reading these posts. Thanks for the great memories!

  24. Stephen Zandy says

    The only difference in this recipe and the one I got from a friend is that I use Grandma’s molasses and brown sugar. These two the the mustard really makes a different taste.

    I live alone so I freeze the leftovers in single serving containers.

    Love this website

  25. Lee Cooper says

    Just LOVE all the nicknames. Our oldest is Sis or Sissy and the youngest is her Daddy’s ‘Stinkbug’. Let me tell you – it’s always good for a chuckle when that drop dead gorgeous 20 year old baby girl brings home a new boyfriend. Her Daddy hollers “that you, Stinkbug?” and the boyfriend jaw hits the floor as she calls out – “yep Daddy, just your Stinkbug comin’ in!” :) (Note, to avoid this nickname you might want to discourage your little girls from carrying stinkbugs and slugs in their pockets, LOL)

  26. Beverly Worthington Archer says

    My dear mother in law made a version of this but the recipe was called Calico Beans and also had white Lima beans and a few other ingredients. It was delicious and every time she took it places everyone that ate it wanted the recipe.
    I sure wish she was alive and making this wonderful dish for our picnic tomorrow. If someone else makes it I am sure it will bring back a lot of special memories.
    Everyone have a safe and fun 4th of July.

  27. Barbara Tubbs says

    I also make this and call it Calico Beans, and just dump whatever beans I have in it, Navy, Lima, Northern,…but I also add some molasses to it (about 1/4 C)…delicious!

  28. Laura says

    I was always “Laura Annie Fanny” to my mom…my name is Laura Anne, so it makes sense. She died 5 years ago…it’s the first time I’ve thought about this since before she passed.

    Hope all of you have a wonderful July 4th celebration tomorrow!

  29. Barbara says

    This Sally May nickname must be a southern thing, as I have been called that many times in my life by different family members! I, in turn have called my daughters Sally May only to be told, Mama, that’s not my name! I now have a six year old granddaughter that this is repeated with and I always get the same reply!! I have no idea where this came from, but I have heard the name all my life and I am 66 yrs. old!! Too funny!

  30. Julianne says

    I got the exact same salt and pepper shakers- on clearance at CrackerBarrel,
    and the matching olive oil bottle to boot! lol
    Been married over 24 years and these are my *favorite* salt and pepper shakers~

  31. steffanie says

    we do this but on the go so much we just do 1 pound ground in skillet cook and drain. then add 1-family size bush bake beans. warm up add seasoning if wish.
    and serve with slice bread..

  32. Debi says

    My Dad had variations of his nickname for me depending on my behavior. First came Debi Doll, then Dippy Doll, Dizzy Doll and of course Devil Doll. As a teenager, my younger brother called called me Debi Duck, because we loved that cartoon. My Mom called me Debi Doll, even as a grown woman. Nicknames make you feel special don’t they?

  33. Lisa says

    This recipe looks so good, my mouth is watering, gotta make this! My grandfather, who I called Papa, called me mud turtle. I guess maybe because I was somewhat of a tomboy. My favorite things to do were climbing trees and playing in the dirt. My best friend and I would always pretend we were Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn! Those were the good ole days!

  34. says

    When I was little….I was LITTLE. I got beat up almost on a daily basis, kicked, tripped, punched, and generally abused. My great-uncle Jimmy called me “pixie”, and no one else was allowed to use a nickname for me, but HE was. Fast foward to being a fairly normal-sized adult…and that’s how my blog got it’s name. Just discovered your blog, and loving it.

  35. Sue says

    My name is Susan or Sue. There was a restaurant near our home called SuzieQ, Don’t remember who gave me the nickname, my dad I think. I was using that as my cb handle for a long time. Love all the recipes.

  36. Eldonna says

    It is kind of embarrassing to say, but my nickname is Sweetie. I guess I fooled someone at some time. The best part is that my nieces and nephews have always called me Aunt Sweetie. They are all grown with children of their own, but they still call me that. I am a retired teacher. Some of my students heard me called by my nickname. They couldn’t quite believe it even though I am very low key as a teacher.

    Hubs calls me Charley. It is a variation of my middle name, it also causes confusion when others hear it.

  37. Judi says

    My Grandmom used to call me Judaline. My Mom and I never could figure out where she got it or what it meant, until I was up very late one night and happened to be watching a movie calle “A Date with Judy”. Didn’t think much of it until all of the sudden the group in the movie started singing a song calle “Judaline” and it was about the group leader’s feeling about his girlfriend Judy. Kind of nice to find out about the name finally.

  38. Dorothy Dunton says

    I was named after my mother, so I was always “little Dorothy” and to this day when I talk to my relatives that’s how they know me (I am 65 years old!) My daughter was always Peaches and my son was Bubba (he was over 9 pounds at birth with a full head of blond hair). My son always calls me Mother, except when we are greeting or saying goodbye, then I’m Momma, with an I love you and a kiss! He’s 32 and does this in front of his friends. Guess I raised him right!

  39. Tricia Us says

    Me and My Oldest son who is 18 Loves Baked Beans..My Old man and Youngest Son 10 Hates them..But I make them anyway ..LOL Anyway as for the Nicknames..I have a Three..Momma Called Me “Patty” and sometimes she would call me By all my siblings names just trying to get mine out..when she was Mad LOL..As for my Daddy he called be Bear,Uncle Called me Craw the day I was born they went Craw fishing and when Mom Came home..she said the whole house smelled like Craw Fish They had been cooking and leaving shells out for a days.

  40. Jennifer says

    After my husband married me, he began to joke about all the “names” I answered to. With two sets of grandparents, two great-grandparents and a huge extended family, it just seemed normal to me.

    First one, Playpretty. (My father’s father, mother and her family called me that for reasons I loved as a child.Still do.) Second one. My mother’s father named me “Sugar” and never called me anything else. Ever.

    A whole bunch of older boy cousins (father’s side) still call me “YoungLady” or “Lady” because of how polite and lady-like I was. Am. Could be!

    My great-grandfather called me LittleLady, never anything else. Actually, I think my name was only used for formal occasions or when I was in trouble!

    Take care,
    Jennifer (and yes now my husband has a nickname and our boys too.)


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