Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Boston Baked Beans
Last spring, sometime toward the end of the school year, a mysterious bag of beans wound up in the library lost and found. Contained in this nifty canvas pouch, the beans were clearly marketed at tourists visiting Massachusetts.
"Take home the taste of Olde Boston," read the bag. On the opposite side, above a simple recipe, it continued: "This recipe for truly authentic Boston baked beans will remind you of the wonderful time you enjoyed in Olde Boston. For a great meal just follow these easy directions."
How these beans crossed the Atlantic ocean only to wind up abandoned in the school library, I'm not sure. But when all the students departed for the summer and it became clear no one was going to claim them, I took them home.
A few weeks ago, while uncharacteristically trying to clean off the kitchen counter, Dave decided to make them. But when he looked at the recipe, he realized that it called for molasses, and that is not an easy thing to acquire in England. At least, not that we could find. He ordered some from Amazon, and we waited a few more days for that to arrive.
Finally, last weekend, Dave was ready to begin cooking.
This is what was inside the canvas pouch -- a garden-variety grocery store bag of navy beans. Never mind that these cost something like $1, while enclosing them in canvas elevates the price to $8. Everybody knows tourists buy silly things at exorbitant prices.
Dave cooked up the beans, which took an astonishing six hours. (Not including soaking time!) As I told him, even if we didn't pay for the beans themselves, they were hardly free -- between the cost of the molasses and salt pork, and the power required to run the oven for that much time!
Still, they were yummy. I was most impressed. I haven't been to "Olde Boston" in about 10 years, but I guess this counts as a virtual trip. All courtesy of some careless student!
(By the way, although "Olde Boston" in this case refers to Boston, Mass., there is a Boston in Lincolnshire, England; the American city was named for it. I guess we could call it "Reallye Olde Boston." And I ate my Boston Baked Beans in the English style -- on toast!)