Beans and Basketballs Dip
January 15, 2003
By Lynne Bigwood
Northarvest Home Economist
Northarvests elementary education lesson and activities book begins with a story written especially for elementary students. "Beans and Basketballs," by Esther M. Hylden, Park River, N.D., is about Joshua J. Jennings struggle to raise enough money to go to basketball camp.
Camp is for THREE BIG WEEKS but it costs $170. His family doesnt have any extra money to send him to camp. He will have to earn the money himself. He mows yards to earn money but that is not going to be enough.
Then, his teacher announces that the Northarvest Bean Growers Association is holding an essay contest with prizes up to $100. Winning one of those prizes could solve his money problem. There is an element of suspense and, of course, there is a perfect girl, Sara Evans, in his class that he just knows will win the contest.
He takes on the project. He reads everything he can find about dry beans and interviews bean growers that he knows. After producing a wastebasket full of crumpled paper, he has his essay, "Hats Off to Bean Growers," ready to hand in.
Joshs class has a Bean Appreciation Day where everyone must read their entry. They host the third grade class for activities and a bean buffet. Joshs favorite bean food and contribution to the buffet is Beans and Basketballs Dip.
Do Josh and Sara win? Does he get to go to the basketball camp? Josh learns some lessons about beans, bean growers and competition. Check with your local 4th grade teacher for the answer.
Joshs dip would make a great dish to serve for Super Bowl Sunday. Add it to the usual fare and then use it again for suppers and gatherings the rest of the year. The preparation is simple and the ingredients are available everywhere.
To cut the fat content, add up to two more cans of beans (one pound of cooked beans, total) and another envelope of taco seasoning mix. The extra beans may either be added to the beef and bean mixture or seasoned and spread as separate layer in the dip/pie. Be sure the pie plate is large enough. Baking time may need to be increased to 30 minutes to heat the dip thoroughly.