New England Boston Baked Beans Sharon Style

Baked Beans Pic One bite of Boston Baked Beans at Boston’s historic Durgin Park (their slogan: Established Before You Were Born), I realized my bean recipe needed some improvement. Everything I’d ever heard about Yankees making the best pot of beans was true. I knew part of their flavor was due to molasses (gets the nutrition nod from Weston Price Foundation, as long as it is unsulphured) and brown sugar, onions, and pork. But Durgin Park’s Boston Baked Beans had something else, a “warmth” and flavor that gave it a more complex “wow” factor.

Several baked bean batches and journeys back to the restaurant, to figure out what my recipe was missing – none of the batches I’d made had that certain special “wow” factor – one of the waitresses finally took pity on me, suggesting, “Why don’t you buy our recipe book?”


Cold is Relative

When we first moved to New England, I felt overwhelmed by the “locals” fascination toward all-things-weather. Within minutes of arriving at our new home, on a beautiful New England fall day, neighbors who greeted us didn’t waste time noticing our California license plates.

Skipping the usual niceties, the husband chortled, going for the jugular – the weather vein, “Whoa! Hey! California! Oh, you are SO going to freeze this winter.” Ha ha ha hahaha. Ha.

My attempts to ally their concerns, “Well, you know, we both grew up in Minnesota….”, were ignored. Misery loves company, and they were determined to make me as miserable as they were. The temptation to fall back into weather-fatalism – dreading every day, because it meant winter-was-one-step-closer – was not how I wanted to live my life.

I can understand confusion on their part, that Californians would swap ideal weather conditions, moving to New England, something I also found confusing. I decided, though, to view the joking as just a good-natured, socially-odd way to get to know someone.