Category Archives: New England

Public Service Announcement


Red Light means


Stop means




(that is : DON’T GO)

and then


Right is not the same direction as Left.

Right is not the same direction as straight ahead.

Right is not the same direction as left even if you turn on your right turn signal.

(For Massachusetts drivers- turn signal is another way of saying ‘directional’ or blinker)

Image result for Use your Blinkah image

Blinkahs are another PSA

That is the end of this Public Service Announcement.



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National Indian Pudding Day!


If there’s a mug, it MUST be a real holiday!


The ‘Indian’ in Indian Pudding is cornmeal – or Indian Meal


The not-so pretty color of Indian Pudding is the molasses that sweetens it



Many recipes call for sugar, too…add or not as your choice.

With the added spices it tastes a lot like gingerbread…

Ice cream on top is never a bad thing. In Charlemont MA there was a little place serving Indian Pudding with Pumpkin Ice Cream – genius!

One of the worse – and I do mean totally dreadful Indian Pudding recipes I have ever seen called for

  • a box of corn muffin mix
  • a box of instant butterscotch pudding

Do I need to say any more???????

Sure, pour milk over it and set it in a slow cooker for a couple of hours and it’ll sorta look like IP – but what about the



The corn muffins of my youth. Add blueberries or cranberries or just serve warm with butter and honey.

And now a link for a recipe…..

Slow Cooker Indian Pudding



Filed under Autumn, New England


Fen grapes, marish worts, mosse-berries, moore-berries, fenberries, bearberries, croneberry, cramberries… many nick names can one little bouncing berry have?


Whatever else they’ve been called, they’re all still cranberries. In 1672 John Josslyn suggests:

“Some make Tarts with them as with Goose Berries.”




Red Gooseberries

Cranberry Tart – Precedence and Persistence

“Tartes of Gooseberries.

Lay your gooseberries in your crust, and put to them cinnamon and ginger,

sugar and a few small raisins put among them and cover them with a


A Booke of Cookery with the Serving of the Table; A.W.; 1591;

page 28

Berries, cinnamon, ginger, sugar and small raisins between pastry. Bake is implied. Easy.

And somewhat familiar…..


3 C raw cranberries

1 C raisins

1 ¼ C sugar

2 Tbsp. flour

¼ tsp salt

¾ C water

1 ½ tsp vanilla*

Pastry for a 2 crust 9 inch

Put the cranberries and raisins through food grinder.Place in saucepan and add all ingredients except vanilla.Cook over low heat until thick, and cranberries are cooked. Add vanilla and place in pie shell. Bake until crust is done. Dots of butter and nutmeats may be added on

– Florence H. Angley. A Book of Favorite Recipes. complied by the Ladies Solidarity of St. Joseph the Worker Church Hanson, Mass..1968. p. 52.

This is sometimes called Mock Cherry Pie.

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Filed under New England, Pie, The 17th century, The 1960"s

Judgement Day

No, not THAT Judgement day –

PIE Contest judging day!!!!!

THIS Pie contest


So much talent

Such mighty fine pies


Pie Parade – I’m bringing up the rear with Alice Parker’s pie, since she – as Alfred Parker, is playing the piano and didn’t have a hand free. Tinky is in the hat, singing like a bird.

Like any good pie, this story has more than one slice…..


Our car had a roof, so we were dry in the rain. And we had fall foliage. And no Brad Pitt.But we were driving towards PIE!

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice one – This year I did not go alone. Baker Tani wanted to go to taste pies, too. So early in the morning we left, driving out from coastal Plymouth to the Hills of Hawley. Three hours and Fall Foliage and maybe we got a little lost up the mountain later, we get there.There was also rain and Honey Dew coffee and Doughnuts and the Mohawk Trail and  Thelma and Louise-ishness. At least the part about 2 women on a road trip. Neither of us could remember much about the movie, just the image of  two women in a car, one with a scarf. And Brad Pitt.We remembered Brad Pitt.



pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 2 – The judging of pies

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 3 – Ham and Bean Community lunch

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 4 – The entertainment after lunch and before the winners were announced. This including the singing of the town song…..


There’s a certain Whos of Whoville  vibe about the town song

pie-lemon-merinque-slice Slice 5 – The Winners (there are no losers in PIE!) and the prizes

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 6 – The PIES


To be continued……..

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Filed under Autumn, New England, Pie

What the Fluff?

It’s almost September, time for

Labor Day Cookouts

Back to School




The Fluff festival is held in Somerville, MA,  birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff

(and ME!)

This year the Festival is Saturday, September 24th , rain date the 25th.

And because it’s hip to be Square in Somerville, you’ll find the Fest at Union Square.

Go to the link, there are directions.

There is also a cooking contest.


Cooking Contest Registration

Does Marshmallow Fluff inspire you to create culinary works of art? Have you ever used Fluff as a secret ingredient? Is there a fabulous recipe featuring Fluff that’s been passed down in your family for generations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we hope you’ll join this year’s What the Fluff? Cooking Contest!

Click here to register for the 2016 Cooking Contest! This year all participants are asked to pre-register for the Cooking Contest; no new entries will be accepted on the day of the festival. Entries will be accepted through September 19.

Award Categories

  • Best Youth Entry
  • Best Traditional Recipe
  • Most Creative Recipe
  • Grand Prize: Best Overall
grilled-fluffernutter-sandwich-720x480aimee seavey2016

Grilled Fluffernutter Sandwich Aimee Seavey – it’s a link if you need help with this

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Lunch, New England

People, people who need pudding….

National Indian Pudding Day isn’t until November, but Indian Pudding was in the headlines recently…

with Barbra Streisand

streisand Paul Marotta wireimages for BSB

Paul Marotto Wireimages for BSB

Who was in Boston to sing……

(review of her show here )

and nosh…..

But one thing Babs said really caught everyone’s attention: she said in one of her first visits to Boston, she went to Durgin-Park and ate Indian Pudding. But then just recently, she said, when she asked about Durgin-Park, she was told it was closed!

We’re not sure who Babs was talking to, but clearly they provided her with wrong information. Durgin-Park is still open for business, and after Streisand’s concert, the restaurant was deluged with phone calls the next morning.

“Were not closed, we’re still open,” said Petya Petkova, one of Durgin-Park’s managers.

Globe Story

indian_puddingdurgin park

So this is Durgin-Park’s

Baked Indian Pudding recipe

in case they ever do close. They have been serving Indian Pudding since 1827 when they opened.

Barbra – save this recipe!

Here’s a slightly different version:

Indian Pudding

and another:

An Ode to Durgin Park’s Indian Pudding


Ipforbes closeup

Durgin-Park Indian Pudding with ice cream


Filed under Autumn, New England, Recipe


October 8th is……..

National Fluffernutter Day!

There was a bill to make the Fluffernutter the state sandwich in Massachusetts, Bill H.2868 188th (2013 – 2014), 

SECTION 1. Chapter 2 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 59 the following section:-

Section 60. The fluffernutter shall be the sandwich or sandwich emblem of the commonwealth.

An Act designating the fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the commonwealth. By Ms. Reinstein of Revere, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2868) of Kathi-Anne Reinstein relative to designating the fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the Commonwealth. State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

but I’m not sure where it is at the moment…..

But you don’t need legislation to make a sandwich – yet.


fluff retrofluffernutterfluff jar


Filed under Eating, New England, Recipe

Bean Town

Another Saturday night  in

National Baked Bean Month

here a deep breath away from Bean Town.

Random Fun Facts (and/or factoids) :

Boston became Bean Town as a branding ploy in 1907bean-town-origin-sticker An article in the April 25, 1907 Boston Globe describes the sticker:

“The sticker is in the form of an irregular seal about 1-3/4 inches in diameter, the lettering and design being in embossed white and the background a brilliant red. In the center of the seal appears a typical Boston bean pot surrounded by two clasped hands, the two signifying the fact that Boston will not only be ready to extend the ‘glad hand’ to the homecomers during the reunion week, but that there will be something more substantial in the way of entertainment than a mere greeting.”

This was not popular in every quarter of the city – beans were seen as being somewhat ‘common.’

And not Boston Common common….

“Boston Common (2014) IMG 2995” by Billy Hathorn – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Far too ordinary common.

 But wait – there’s more……

On August 11-16, 1890, the Twenty-Fourth National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veteran’s reunion, took place at Boston. The Beverly Pottery Company of Beverly, Massachusetts supplied thousands of small ornamental bean pots as souvenirs for the troops, and this helped to make the bean pot a symbol for the City of Boston.

So, it seems that Beverly, Mass and Boston can duke out who was Bean Town first…

Meanwhile in 1910

And this is good old Boston,

The home of the bean and the cod.

Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,

And the Cabots talk only to God.

-John Collins Bossidy

Sometime in the 1930’s

beanpot candy

These little candies – Boston Baked Beans – were available.

Which aren’t beans at all, they’re peanuts (which are legumes, which make them broadly bean family….pretty clever, candy-maker!) and a spicy cinnamon candy coating. These were among my favorites to find in my Trick or Treat bag at Halloween.

In December of 1952,

Boston Arena was the site of the first Beanpot Hockey Tournament

beanpot hocky poster In 1959 The Pot Shop opened on Boylston Street.

No, not THAT kind of Pot Shop…. Cannabis_sativa_leaf_Dorsal_aspect_2012_01_23_0830THIS kind of Pot Shop

PotshopBoston Vincent Zarrilli1959

Vincent Zarrilli, 1959

with THESE kind of Pots.

with THESE kind of Pots. The Official  Beanpot of Boston, saith the Chamber of Commerce in 1962.

And last, but certainly not least, THESE Boston Baked Beans….

Unwrapped went to visit here

Unwrapped (Food Network) went to visit here

And one last Boston Baked Bean….

Beans on Toast

Beans and Egg on Toast

Beans and Egg on Toast

My niece has been adding baked beans to her eggs and toast. Beans, not only great for supper, but also great for breakfast!

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Filed under New England

Hill of Beans

July is not only National Hot Dog Month – it is also

National Baked Bean Month!

and July 23rd is

National Baked Bean Day

July 13 was Beans ‘N Franks Day, which seems to be more corporate then National as ‘holidays’ go.

beanie weenies

Canned beans? Check. Canned Hot Dogs? Check. I thought Beanee Weenees were a Saturday Night Live sketch, not a product on the grocer’s shelf.

Back to the beans…… Boston Baked Beans are not entirely uncommon for a Saturday night in these parts, cooked with hot dogs, although some people call the dogs Franks and I never knew anyone one who said ‘weenie’ without being sarcastic. But the question is:

Which bean?

and then

What’s so Boston about them?

(That is 2 questions….that’s the problem with questions – one leads into another.)

First question – It’s hard to tell what beans are used in the cans of beans, and cans of beans are perfectly acceptable, but they must be the right can. Canned beans are fine if they are

  1. on sale (cheaper then cheap is honorable here)
  2. somewhat doctored to make them to taste the way you think beans should taste.

These ‘fixin’s might include (and are not limited to):

  • Nowadays, one must add BACON, which could defeat the cheaper then cheap feed purpose.
  • Maple syrup or brown sugar are often suggested, but are getting away from the Boston thing
  • Ketchup is also a departure from Boston, but if it makes your mouth happy, then go there.
  • A little mustard mixed into the mix – be it Frenches yellow or Guldens Spicy Brown or a little mustard powder
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar. This is NO PLACE for wine vinegar, white distilled vinegar, balsamic vinegar, flavored vinegar….APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. It can be added to the pot (when no one appears to be looking) . A cruet of vinegar should be on the table whenever beans are served.
Cruet for the table.

Cruet for the table. For Apple Cider Vinegar. To each his own.

With canned beans it’s OK to have favorites…

beans bmcan

B & M – made in Maine (which used to be part of Massachusetts, so has total Boston cred)

Van Camps another canned baked bean

Van Camps another canned baked bean, baked beans being the operative words.

Bushes Beans are a sponsor of the US Dry Bean Convention, to be held in Boston (natch) July 18-21. I guess everyone wants to be home to celebrate National Baked Bean Day

Bushes Beans are a sponsor of the US Dry Bean Convention, to be held in Boston (natch) July 19-21. I guess everyone wants to be home to celebrate National Baked Bean Day.

As for the Boston part….


‘Boston Condita AD 1630″ means that Boston was founded in 1630. The motto is taken from 1 Kings viii: 57. It is translated as “God be with us as he was with our fathers.” Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822. Even though it called itself a citie on a hill, it was really a town. O, Politics!

Boston Baked Beans are

  1. Baked – there’s that whole brick oven notion….hence the bean pot motif:
    1. beanpot
  2. Flavored with molasses.
  3. include salt pork.
  4. or candy coated peanutsBBBcandyThere is also a whole origins mythology; beanhole backstory, which is frankly –  a hill of beans
Bogart. Bergman Casablanca

“Hill of Beans: Casablanca with Bogart and Bergman. Watch the movie. If you’ve already seen it, play it again.

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Filed under New England, Summer, Supper

Hot Dog!

July is National Hot Dog Month!

bogie dog steakA hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz. – Humphrey Bogart

UNLESS…he said…

bogie dog rbI, for one, am sticking by the HOT DOG…


because this is sooo about the hot dog – not the steak or roast beef or even the Ritz

Saturday night is traditionally Franks and Beans night  ’round these parts. (’round these parts? Have I been listening to too much country music??)

beans BM

Beans. Boston Baked. OK, they come in cans,too, but the jar is shaped like a bean pot. A deep breath away from twee.

This a 2 gallon bean pot from the Pot Shop in Boston - this makes 5 pounds of beans...thats a lotta bean!

This a 2 gallon bean pot from the Pot Shop in Boston – this makes 5 pounds of beans…that’s a lotta bean! But it’s hot dog month, so the beans will have to keep. Is there a National Baked Bean Month – or even a Day? Later.

We are having Franks and Beans (ok – and some leftover potato salad) because I found some Maple Leaf Franks….

Just like Uncle Al used to make.

Except this batch all the dogs were pretty much the same….not that that’s a bad thing.

maple-leaf-top-dogs-original-wieners_483And I also found the turn of the last century recipe for the Frankfort Sausages that I made in a workshop that was TEN years ago, where does the time fly?


Time flies, Pigs fly…need some pigs for making hot dogs.


Ingredients. – 2 lbs. of tender, lean pork, 1 lb. of fat, mace, coriander seeds, sauce, claret, sausage skins.

Mode. – Chop both the lean and the fat very fine, add the other ingredients to taste, mix to the consistency of sausage meat with the claret, and fill the skins. Boil them gently in mild beer or water, enough to cover them, for ¾ of an hour, then fry for 15 minutes in butter. In Germany they are often served with well sweetened applesauce flavoured with cinnamon.

Time, 1 hour. Average cost, 2s. 9d.

Seasonable from September to March.

  • Beeton, I. Beeton’s Cookery Book.J.S. Doige: West Street, Blackpool. 1902. Reprinted by Rigby Publishers Lt. London, 1981. p. 126.

NOTES: Sausages: Links to the Past ALHFAM 2004 THF

  • Coriander is the essential HD flavor
  • Put the chopped meat into a food processor to make it into a meat paste (meat mousse)before filling the casings makes the sausage extra good
  • Make them a day or two ahead before serving to really meld the flavor
  • Besides the applesauce suggestion, also good in buns with yellow mustard or sauerkraut
  • ‘Skins’ is Victorian speak for guts – aka casings. KMW
Hot dog in NE style Bun, King Arthur Flour makes the bun pan

Hot dog in NE style Bun, King Arthur Flour makes the bun pan

Why are frankfurters considered fickle sports fans?

They always root for the wieners

(click to find out how wieners are made for you)


Filed under New England, Summer, Supper