Boston Baked Beans??

Aug 19th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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P.S. you can ask on the Boston board on chowhound if anyone new is serving them.
cigalechanta is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 06:13 PM
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As a lifelong New Englander (60+ yrs) whose great,great,great etc. grandparents, since 1629, through my own parents, me and my grown kids always lived in New England, baked beans were a staple. I still make them from scratch, which is a 36 hr process, every Thanksg and Christmas. Everyone loves them. Durgin-Park has them but don't know if they're home made. "Real" ones are yummy, nothing like the canned stuff.
irishswampyankee is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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When can I visit and taste yours
cigalechanta is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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Yeah, when do we get to taste some of that homemade Yankee food?
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:08 AM
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Thank goodness irishswampyankee continues the tradition of making real baked beans. What a shame they are disappearing because B&W or Bush's just aren't the same. I, too, suggest Durgin Park and recommend some Indian Pudding for dessert. In our area we still have church suppers where TWO kinds of baked beans are served. My MIL favored yellow eye beans. I haven't made any in ages (dang low carb, low fat diet) but when I do I use her recipe which is half sugar and half molasses etc. One time in Amish country I exasperated a waitress by asking her to explain what shoo fly pie and black bottom pie was. She was young and snippy. I told her we had desserts she didn't know about and finally got her with Indian Pudding.
Good luck experiencing a bit of New England history. Sorry Boston's reputation as bean town is fading.
dfnh is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:25 AM
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I make them all the time in the winter when having the oven on is an advantage here in Nantucket.

Mine have what I consider a good bit of molasses, but they are _infinitely_ less sweet than canned baked beans. I parboil the salt pork before I add it, and I use a good bit of dried mustard and often too much onion, though I am getting that under control. Using onion at all is controversial.

If I start them soaking after supper one night, we can have them for supper the next night. Sometimes I save half the soaked and cooked beans to make cassoulet.

I really like the idea of a baked bean supper, though I have never been to one. It fits right in with my firm belief that when I get to heaven, they will be having a church supper with nothing but fried chicken and potato salad on the menu, all made by different people, and I will get to try them all.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 05:09 AM
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Irishswampyankee, would you be willing to share your recipe?

gmoney is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Ackislander, I figure I'm going to show up in heaven with my vegetable parer so they'll let me in. Some church suppers are great but it really depends on who's doing the cooking. We know who makes the best pies. When another group holds a benefit supper they don't usually have the best pie bakers or try to make things easier by serving apple crisp or ice cream on brownies. Baked beans should also be available at some of the country fairs. Not sure about Eastern States. The smaller fairs usually have a food booth run to raise money for a local church.
What kind of beans do you use?
dfnh is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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My recipe sounds similar to others':

I keep changing some of the proportions depending on mood but basically I soak 1 bag of small, white beans for 12 hours overnight, drain, cover with water again and then gently simmer for 1 hr, drain and save liquid. Layer beans in old fashioned brown bean pot with some salt pork rind removed, several slices chopped bacon, about 1/2 cup molasses, a little dark brown sugar, about 1/2 yellow onion chopped or more if you like, (yes, I do use them), 1 - 2 tsp or so of dry mustard. Add about 1/4 cup leftover black coffee, pour reserved bean liquid just to cover all, stir gently, cover pot. Bake at 275 for 6 hrs. Check about once an hr, stir gently with rubber spatula being careful not to break up beans. Add more liquid as needed to just keep beans covered. Liquid will thicken as it bakes. If you run out of bean liquid you can use plain water, or chicken broth. These are great as leftovers too. I don't add salt bcs the bacon and salt pork are enough, IMO, but others may disagree.

Whole process takes 20 hours or so. Sorry for saying 36 the other day. What was I thinking? A senior moment. Seem to be having more of those lately.

If you make these, hope you enjoy them.
irishswampyankee is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I found an old NY Times "Fare of the Country" article that said Boston Baked beans were hard to find more than 20 years ago and mentioned Union Oyster House and Durgin Park as the places to find them:

Vttraveler is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Ackislander, you apparently aren't going to believe me that local media in Boston, notably weather people and "local color" reporters, DO use the smarmy "Beantown" or "Hub," so I promise to record it and play it back on YouTube. Watch for it.

Meanwhile, I've been to Dubuque. I've relatives in Dubuque. It's a pretty town (I'm sure you haven't seen it), but it's no Beantown.
cfc is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 03:54 AM
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Responses to a couple of points:

(1)I use Goya navy beans on the theory that because so many Hispanic people eat beans, the beans are likely to be fresh. But I am going to try some of those yellow beans this winter.

(2) Media people in Boston may say 'Beantown' but few of the media people on television in Boston are Bostonians. No offense to Dubuque. My mother was from eastern Iowa. My cousins live all over there.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Thank you all, the Durgin Park sounds great.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Just "Durgin Park" -- no "the"!
JJ495 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:11 AM
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Budget Queen:

Beantown, Boston Baked Beans, Molasses, Rum - Saturday night dinners...... all connected for many of us born and bred in Boston -

My grandmother and mothers beans were home made, with plenty of molasses in the recipe - but we ate plenty over the years at Durgin Park and even the old Red Coach Grills - along with Indian Pudding and Bread Puddings -

on Sat nights, frank and beans ruled, especially if your parents were going out - along with some brown bread with butter fried in a frying pan !! Later, in a pinch, you'd eat a can of baked beans but you felt guilty about it -

There are plenty of Bostonians who have used the term "Beantown" ourselves -

Beans were a popular dish in old Boston - and since Boston was a port for rum and molasses it was plentiful -

before that big vat of molasses exploded down on Commercial St in the 1900's, mothers used to send their kids down to the vat to catch the molasses dripping off the sides !

I recently did a coastal classroom visit to a school in California, and my Boston presentation would not have been complete with mention of many things, but including - the nickname Beantown and the great Molasses Flood among other things -

If you do a google search, you will find varying reports on nicknames for Boston - walking city, the hub, etc - but probably one of the oldest is definitely BeanTown because the Beanpot was a huge symbol in earlier times and is seen on holds a prominent place on many maps, publications, artwork, etc - and for a reason - it was a plentiful and popular food item

Aside from eating the 'real' boston baked beans, growing up in Boston, you also had to eat these at some point in your childhood, usually from the penny candy store !!
you can still find them in some stores and order them online -

If you are not familiar with the great Molasses Flood - you should do a quick google search and learn about it - also recently a book - The Dark Tide - written on the tragedy - gives a window into the history, culture, trade in Boston then and is a quick and easy read , as well as fascinating -

My grandfather used to gather us all around for story time and we used to BEG for the story of the great molasses flood and the horses getting stuck midstream and it rolling down the streets we then would walk - it fascinated us - of course, when we were younger, he left out some of the more enormous tragedy of it and put in more and more of that as we got older - hence, we are all in my family fascinated by it to the point where when the book came out I received four copies that year for Christmas from various friends !

have fun in Beantown/ Boston/ Hub/ walking City -
whatever you call it - just remember - we love that dirty water, oh yea, Boston you're my home !

escargot is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:16 AM
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gyppielou: Don't know how I missed your link to the Boston Baked Bean candy too !! How funny - a good ole memory -

and sorry Gail, there are those of us from Boston who have used the term Beantown
escargot is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:46 AM
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great talk story escargot! I remember driving by the Red Coach Grille in Sudbury, lazy days at the Wayside Inn Gristmill.....
gyppielou is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Baked beans - not just Boston, but a New England tradition. My grandmother made them every Saturday night. My mother followed, and my dad loved brown bread with them. Our family recipe includes yellow eye beans, onion, dry mustard, salt pork and maple syrup (I'm from Vermont), mixed with the molasses. Baked, of course, in a tradtional bean pot.
colbeck is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
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you can get them at Jasper whites summer shack (but I'd recommend the lobster roll)
wsm2004 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 06:17 PM
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This thread made me so homesick that we had to have a Bean Suppah tonight. Had B&M baked beans, canned B&M brown bread, Boar's Head Knockwurst and cole slaw. Fantastic!
minimn is offline  

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