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Franks, Boston baked beans and New England brown bread

Saturday night in New England: enjoying a meal of franks :), Boston Baked Beans, and New England brown bread. The dishes all succeeded wonderfully! At an antique store in New Bedford, I found something that caught me by surprise: a genuine Boston ceramic beanpot. There's no manufacturer logo on it, but it's stamped USA on the bottom. As a born-and-bred New Englander, I knew I had to get this. And so on my last day on the pager before vacation, I spent the day slow-cooking a traditional New England meal of the kind enjoyed for generations. The beans are absolutely delicious, so much so that I changed the main meat ingredient in the baked beans recipe from "salt pork" to "slab bacon." (Regular strip bacon will also work fine.) I did overfill the pot, to the point where I had to drain some of the liquid off; but this in no way prevented the beans from being thoroughly cooked, soft, and brimming with that baked bean flavor. And they're not too salty. New England brown bread, meanwhile, has been largely forgotten by most of the world, even here in New England. This bread isn't baked but rather steamed – it's steamed molasses bread in a can. I prepared it in that manner, using a 28-ounce tomato sauce can and a steaming basket in my 6-1/2 quart enameled cast iron pot. I ended up steaming the bread for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The batter had filled the can about two-thirds full, and it expanded to fill the can completely. After letting the can sit for ten minutes, I shook it gently out of the can and onto the plate. As you can see, it held together and did not fall apart, nor was it undercooked. This is not a "sweet" bread, but the molasses and raisins give it a lovely taste all its own. And I can see why it all goes together with the baked beans. I am very happy with the results of today's cooking. I think it's the best meal I've put together in a while.