On Saturday afternoons in fall and winter, my mother and I got in the car and drove the mile or so from our little red house on East Center Street to the farm on Whirlwind Hill. We visited with my grandparents and uncles and aunts over afternoon coffee in the kitchen, and then we headed home with our treasures. Mine was the weekly Life Magazine. My grandmother had a subscription and let me have it after she was finished. When I got home I read it cover to cover while I waited for the supper that was my mother’s treasure – a big pot of my grandmother’s baked beans.
Saturday on the farm was baking day, and when cooler weather started, my grandmother started making her beans. I didn’t care for the beans back then (although I’d like to taste them now), but my mother must have appreciated having dinner “to go.” She probably added ham or hot dogs and maybe scalloped potatoes. My brother has always loved baked beans. He still cooks them the old-fashioned way – soaking the beans, adding the molasses, salt pork, etc. and then cooking them in an old bean pot for hours and hours. He claims that real New England baked beans should be made with Yellow Eye beans, and that the very best way to cook them is in a bean hole.
On Friday: Apples – An Addendum