Hurricane + Cold Canadian Air Mass = Yankee Comfort Food

The hackneyed watchword for the day is “hunker down” and the collision/collusion of a warm moist hurricane and a cold northern air mass makes for a day best spent at home. As I write, the wind intensifies; the rain still fitful. I head to the kitchen – comfort food is called for and not just any comfort food. I’ll reach back to my roots for a course of Yankee cookery. On the menu – baked beans and brown bread with straightforward preparation – no heirloom beans, no pork belly; Great Northern beans and salt pork are the stalwart items of this dish. I haul out my mother’s bean pot, find The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (the Marion Cunningham edition) and get busy. The beans are a snap to assemble; their long stay in the oven eventually fills the house with aromas evocative of my childhood. On to the brown bread. Again Ms. Farmer lays it out for me. Using a vintage “Touraine” tin coffee can – another bequest from my mother which she used to make Plum Duff, a steamed Christmas pudding – the bread is soon steaming away on the stove top. Soon, the dinner hour arrives. Since a large tree across the street falls to the storm, taking with it the neighborhood electrical wires, I enjoy my delicious and evocative supper by candle light.

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