Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It all started with the Vermont Country Store catalog

There I was, perusing the The Vermont Country Store catalog which is laden with all sorts of fabulous and archaic items like old fashioned candies and Vim and Vigor a tonic that sounds like it cures everything.

Ever so innocently I say "Look, brown bread in a can" to which The Bob says "Oh YUM that is good stuff with baked beans."

The thought bubble above my head looked like this "...."

"What? You have eaten this bread in a can?" I asked. It is made by B&M, the baked bean guys, so I guess it isn't that far out of the realm of possibilities that it was edible. And a good match with baked beans. And I have seen recipes for baking bread in a can, but it had not occured to me to purchase it already in a can, ready to eat. With beans.

Then The Bob proceeds to tell me that Saturday night was baked beans night in his household. Okay, I can buy that. I have heard tales of baked bean dinners at churches. This is New England afterall. I may even have attended one or two in my childhood. My mother can tell us if that is true or not. But that is not where this story ends.

"I used to go to the local bar to get them to go" he added.

Again, "...." ran through my head as I processed this. "You went to a bar to get baked beans" I repeated. Yes was the response. "How old a person were you when you were doing this" I asked. "Oh, I was a kid" he said.


"Let me understand this. As a child, you left your house, presumably on foot, and went to a local bar to get baked beans to go, and ate them with canned brown bread. Have I got this right?"

"And it was tasty. We should try it sometime" he said.

Now I am not adverse to the idea of eating baked beans and bread. I probably will draw the line at the already prepared in a can brown bread, no offense to the nice B&M people. I even like the idea of making my own baked beans. I don't have a slow cooker though, which probably would make this easier. I did do some research on the whole condept of Saturday night baked beans. This article talks about it being a hold over from Puritan days when a wife would begin cooking the beans Saturday morning, serve them for dinner at the beginning of the Sabbath, and serve them the next day cold or at minimum warm when she shouldn't do any cooking. Even with all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books I have read I missed out on this tradition.

But I am still processing the part where Bob would go to a bar to get them to go. Walking 5 miles, in 3 feet of snow, uphill, both ways. I am sure that is how the story will be told to Cooper.


Dproudmama said...

The rules of life were could go into bars, often to get someone home. They were the neighborhood social spot I guess. You remember a lot from a childhood that occurred in a "dry" town. One without even a Mac's! The best baked beans I ever tasted were served at the Eastern States Expo in Springfield MA - the same expo that had a petting farm! Some church ladies made the beans as part of a dinner. Never had any better. You could also get sausage and peppers on bread at a stand. Egad! This makes me hungry. I even baked that brown bread in cans in the past.

Susan said...

I grew up in California, no snow, no slow cooker - just beans and brown bread from a can. Mom would "doctor up" the beans with brown sugar, mustard and worchestershire sauce and bake them. She would steam the brown bread, slice it and butter it.

It was a wonderful dinner for us kids when dad wasn't home or they were going out. I made it for my kids and they wouldn't eat it. But I remember it very fondly.

Jodi Anderson said...

One of my grandmas gets this catalog and she orders that bread! I've never been there when she opens it.

I'm scared.

Laura said...

No slowcooker? Why did you never share this with me? I had TWO and I left the larger one in the condo because really who needs TWO. I would have gladly given one to you because clearly it's never going to be used in that condo again!