On this day, we celebrate The Sunflower State, better known as Kansas. The vast plains of Kansas became a part of the United States territory with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. This would forever change the lives of the Cherokee, Osage, Pawnee and other tribes as expansion pushed westward.
Railroads brought rapid settlements to the territory as the magnificent herds of bison, elk, mule deer and antelope dwindled. The most hard-hit were the bison. Get rid of the bison, and the native population would soon follow. But this wasn’t the only struggle in Kansas. The debate of free or slave state raged viciously, and the territory soon earned the name “Bleeding Kansas”. On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the union as a free state. It was the 34th state to join the Union. One of the most critical decisions in Civil Rights took place in Topeka, Kansas. The appeal of Brown vs. the Board of Education was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954. It signaled the end of segregation in the country’s educational system. Separate but equal was declared a violation of the 14th Amendment.
Kansas was also the home to Dorothy and her little dog, Toto. Many who call Kansas home agree with this fictional little girl’s declaration “There is no place like home”.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a delicious, Kansas inspired supper.
Kansas Day Menu
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Sweetly Tangy Four-Bean Bake
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Cooking Spray as needed
4 lbs Ribs, Baby Back
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Barbecue Seasoning
2 cups KC Barbecue Sauce
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Minced Garlic (jar okay)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
Spray the inside of a large oval slow-cooking with cooking spray to help with the clean up.
Remove the membrane from the ribs. Season ribs with salt, pepper and barbecue seasoning, rubbing into the meat. Set aside.
Mix barbecue sauce, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire Sauce and Cayenne Pepper. Whisk to blend well.
Lay ribs on a cutting board, cut into sections of 3 or 4 ribs per section, depending upon how you would like to serve the ribs and what fits best in your cooker.
Pour half of the barbecue mixture into a bowl. Brush or dip ribs with the barbecue sauce, making sure the ribs are well-coated. Arrange ribs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until tender.
Remove ribs from cooker, arrange on a foil lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to give a nice charred finish. Return to slow cooker, turn to low and keep warm as you serve.
For messy ribs, pour remaining barbecue sauce over finished ribs or serve in a bowl on the side.
1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1-1/2 cups Flour
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
2-1/2 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Honey
1-1/4 cups Whole Milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8-inch by 8-inch square baking dish, set aside.
Stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Add vegetable oil and honey. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add milk, whisk to blend. Pour liquid into the dry mixture, stir until just moist.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until baked through and the top of the cornbread starts to brown.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then cut into squares and serve with plenty of butter.
Sweetly Tangy Four Bean Bake
1 small Yellow Onion
1 (16 oz) can Kidney Beans
1 (15 oz) can Butter Beans
1 (14.5 oz) can Cut Green Beans
1 (15.75 oz) can Pork and Beans
1 (12 oz) bottle Chili Sauce
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 3-quart Dutch Oven with cooking spray, set aside.
Peel and chop the onion, set aside.
Drain and rinse the kidney beans, butter beans, and green beans. Place the drained beans in the prepared Dutch Oven. Add the can of pork and beans undrained. Stir to blend.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the chili sauce, brown sugar and onion. Pour over beans, give a good stir to coat and blend.
Cover and bake in the heated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cover, stir and cook another 10 minutes. Serve straight from the pot.