If I wanted to have these beans done for lunch time at the cafe, meaning noon, I would have to start cooking the beans at 4 a.m. I admit that I am dedicated to this project but not that dedicated! My other option was to use a crock pot, which I had never done but seemed like it might work well. Here is what I ended up doing:
I parboiled the beans for an hour and a half on the stove the evening before. Then, I mixed all the ingredients together in the crockpot and covered them with water. At 10:00 p.m. I plugged the crockpot in, turned it on low, and went to bed. When I got up at 6:00 a.m., I peeked in the crock pot and checked on the beans. They still had enough water and were almost done cooking (although they were still a bit hard).
At 7:30 I transported the crock pot to the Blue Elephant, plugged it back in, and turned it on low. I did add a little bit more water just to be on the safe side. The beans cooked beautifully. The only downside about making the beans in the crockpot was that the delicious aroma of baking beans that usually wafts from the oven was lacking!
Regardless, the beans were delicious and done in time for lunch! We served the dish with Marjorie's Yeast Rolls. I also baked a ham and made some jello to complete the dish! A traditional Maine dinner. We should do this more often!