Preparation: Soak your beans per our recommendation and then rinse. Cook the bacon until crispy, allow to dry and cut into smaller pieces. Reserve 1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp of the drippings. Place the beans in a pot and cover with about 2 inches of water - stir in the salt and garlic powder.
Cooking: Bring the beans to a boil on the stove top for at least 10 minutes and then reduce heat to medium-low. Add the remaining ingredients and adjust the heat to simmer. Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender - remove the pepper before serving. This makes 6 hearty servings - be sure to save any remaining to reheat and serve the next day. Enjoy!