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Day 45 - Boston, Massachusetts

I said yesterday we were going to Pennsylvania. I goofed again. We're in Boston, Massachusetts! I guess you could say that we're passing ourselves coming and going. But that's OK. I told Ziggy, "Massachusetts was the 6th state in the USA and it became a state on February 6, 1788." That's when she reached in her bag and pulled her Massachusetts hat.

I asked what that hat was supposed to represent and she meowed to me, "The the Red Hat Society held "The Boston Tea Party," the Society's 2nd Regional Convention, on August 24, 2005. So, I thought this hat was appropriate. Meow!"

We met up with subscribers Debi and Matthew. They wanted to show us a few historical sites. The first was The Old Statehouse.

The Old Granary Burying Ground contains the graves of several governors of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin's parents, the victims of the Boston Massacre of 1770 and a number of notable Bostonians, including Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Robert Treat Paine, three signatories of the Declaration of Independence.

Paul Revere bought this two and a half-story wooden clapboard house in 1770, 90 years after its construction. It is the oldest house in downtown Boston. He lived here with his family until 1800 at which time the property was sold and made into a lodging house. In 1902, his great-grandson bought the house to make sure it wouldn't be destroyed and the Paul Revere Memorial Association was formed. The house was opened as a museum in 1908. It contains Revere family possessions and has been restored to its late 17th century appearance.

We were getting hungry so we asked what was one of the foods Massachusetts was famous for. Debi said, "Boston baked beans and Cornbread. And not any old cornbread! Massachusetts cornbread."

Why is Boston called Beantown? Because of Boston Baked Beans, of course! Why did Bostonians love baked beans? Well, Boston had tons of beans, because they´re cheap and easy to grow, store and cook. Boston had tons of molasses because of trade. Sugar and Molasses were brough in by the shipload from the West Indies, to be sold in Boston in exchange for rum and other local goods. Here's the recipe.

Boston Baked Beans
Serves 2 - 4

2 cups Navy Beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup bean liquid
1 teaspoon salt

Clean and rinse the beans. Bring the beans to a boil in 6 cups of water, then simmer for 2 hours. Drain the liquid into another container. Now get a 4 quart casserole dish. Mix together the beans, brown sugar, molasses, liquid and salt and then spread evenly into the casserole dish.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour.

Note that this recipe can handle a TON of customization depending on your interests. Some people add in bacon, flavorings, and other items, based on what is lying around. That is what makes Boston Baked Beans so versitile!

Sweet Cornbread

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1-cup cornmeal
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
1-cup milk
1/3-cup canola oil
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease and 8 or 9-inch square pan.

Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Form a well in the mixture and add the milk, oil, and egg. Stir just until everything is combined – there should still be scattered clumps of flour, about the size of baby peas or BBs.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 24 to 30 minutes, until the cornbread is starting to brown slightly (especially at the edges) and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve hot.

Beans and Cornbread and Ziggy in the backseat, oh my!

_______________________________

We've got to get a move on. We have to get to Connecticut and meet Catherine. Ciao ya'll!

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