Bean Hole Days takes baked beans to a new level


Preparing the bean hole fires
1 Kirk Larson and other members of the pit crew prepare fires for the overnight bean cooking . 
Getting the ingredients ready
2 Steve LaBarre helps Bean Hole Days co-chairwoman Bernice Rohde rinse a molasses bottle. 
Beans, molasses and bacon go into the pot.
3 Beans and other ingredients, including ground bacon, molasses and dried onions, are added to a pot. 350 pounds of dried navy beans were used during this year's Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes, Minn. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 8-9, 2014. 
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4 A "secret" recipe of beans, sugar, molasses and other ingredients are mixed in a large cast iron pot. 
Stirring up the beans.
5 Kirk Larson uses a paddle to stir beans in the pot named "Ole" as Jeff Walden moves a pot lid. Each pot has a Scandinavian name. 
One of five large cast iron pots used for years
6 One of the five large cast iron pots that have been used for years to cook beans shows its experience. 
Final prep of the beans before going in the ground
7 Steve LaBarre removes a lid after a pot of beans has reached a boil. The five cast iron pots of beans are brought to a boil using propane burners before they are lowered into the pit to cook overnight. 
Burying the beans
8 With a crowd looking on, a backhoe driver lowers a pot of beans into the pit. 
Pots of beans cook over beds of wood coals.
9 Pots of beans begin to cook over beds of wood coals. They cook overnight and are served the next day. 
Covering the bean pits
10 With the pots of beans secured over beds of wood coals, the pits are covered. 
The bean spreader
11 The bean spreader is carried to the pit. It was used to manually lower the pots of beans into the pit before a backhoe was substituted. 
Beans, and booths to shop for crafts
12 Bean Hole Days attendees browse merchandise at a jewelry vendor in Pequot Lakes. 
Looking through the craft booths
13 Crowds walk along the Paul Bunyan Trail to peruse the craft vendors during Bean Hole Days. 
Waiting for beans
14 With lines forming behind them, Andrew Taggart and his three-year-old son Ari watch as a pot of beans is raised from the pit. 
Kim Churack is crowned Queen Bean
15 Kim Churack is crowned Queen Bean. Each year, two event volunteers are selected as a king and queen of Bean Hole Days. 
Raising the bean pots with a backhoe
16 With the assistance of a backhoe, a pot of beans is raised from the pit. 
Watching for the bean raising
17 Those waiting at the front of the bean lunch line watch with anticipation as the first pot is raised from the pit and prepared for serving. 
A commemorative mug is filled with beans.
18 A commemorative mug is filled with beans. 
Diners file through the serving line.
19 Diners file through the serving line. 
Gongmin Sheng tries the beans.
20 Gongmin Sheng, a seasonal employee of Breezy Point Resort, digs in to a bowl of beans. 
Calder Springrose tries a bun and beans.
21 Calder Springrose, 15 months, of Plymouth, Minn. enjoys a bun and beans.