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Recollections - Diane Conary

Old Town, Maine:

We had beans every Saturday night. Mom always made them. She also made bread or yeast rolls. They were “Um, excellent! I loved them.” I used to like ketchup or molasses with my beans. Mom thought it meant that “I didn’t like the beans” when I used either ketchup or molasses, so sometimes I didn’t put either on, but that’s how I liked them best. Sometimes we had hot-dogs on the side. Not cooked in with the beans, but on the side. That was a real treat.

On Sunday morning we had leftover beans. Dad wanted his heated in the frying pan. Mom would do it. If we were around and there were some in the pan we could have them. I liked mine cold. I made a sandwich with the bread–didn’t toast it or anything–just cold beans with ketchup. Great sandwich!

Mom always made them the same way. She always used white beans. Always picked over them first, “had to get the little stones out.” My favorite was big beans. Dad liked either big or small beans. Mom preferred the little beans. To make the beans use salt pork, onion, just a little bit of white sugar and a little dried mustard. Parboil the beans on the stove first. The put them in a pot, a special crock. Then they cooked in the stove, an oil stove, all Friday night. Mom would get up in the middle of the night and add water.

They were done Saturday morning but we didn’t eat them until Saturday night . They stayed warm. Years ago, I guess about 85% of the people around here had beans on Saturday night. We always had bread. Mom didn’t make brown bread. Sometimes she would get brown bread in a can with raisins. That was a real treat.! We would spread butter on it.

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Maine Folklife Center
5773 South Stevens, Room 112B
Orono, Maine 04469-5773
Phone: (207) 581-1891 | Fax: (207) 581-1823E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System