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: TIME TO COOK THE BEANS WITH THE WOODWARDS  ( 2198 )
Henry
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« : September 10, 2005, 07:27:52 AM »

Hi All,
Well tonight is The annual Beans 'n' Banjos "Bean-Hole" Bean Dinner, which will be held 5pm "till all are served", at the Baptist Building on Main Street in Fairfax.

The Buffet includes "Bean-Hole" Beans, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Pickled Beats, Rolls, Assorted Cupcakes, Coffee, Tea and Milk.

The tickets cost $8 for adults and children 6 to 12 are $3.

The Entertainment is from 6 to 8pm and is provided by "Green Mountain Banjos".  This event is sponsored by Eastern Star.

FOR 27 YEARS, DOT & ALMON WOODWARD HAVE BAKED THE BEANS FOR SEVERAL BEAN HOLE SUPPERS AROUND THE STATE OF VERMONT

It all starts in Almon & Dot's back yard in the pit shown above as Almon starts the wood fire

It takes several hours, as the wood must form a nice bed of coals

There are cement blocks that form the pit and the iron rails provide support for the kettles during the par-boil later on

This is certainly not a one man job and about the time the fire is about right to put the beans on to par-boil, Almon's brother Jim, shown at right above arrives to help

The heavy iron kettles are brought over near the pit which by now is throwing out a tremendous amount of heat

The beans which have been soaking are now poured into the heavy pots

Meanwhile, Danny Gross shown at left has arrived to help out also

Three pots are filled to capacity

A heavy iron pipe with chains and hooks is used to move the pots to the hot fire

And they are set on the three iron rails

Danny Gross helps Almon & Jim to insure the heavy pots are hooked securely for the transfer to the fire

As the second pot is placed on the rails

Now you will notice that there is a spoon with a little ladder hooked on the outside of the pot on the right. While the beans are par-boiling, the spoon/ladder will be placed inside the pots. When I asked Almon why he did this, he said, "That is so all the little f___s can climb out of the pot."

After par-boiling for about an hour, Almon checks the beans to see if they are tender yet

But the final decision will have to be made by his wife Dot, shown at left

"Yup, they are ready," Dot says

Bruce Woodward, Dot & Almon's oldest son, the guy in the red "T" shirt, came by to help also. Here he and Jim, wearing heavy gloves, brave the heat as they remove the pots from the fire, being extremely careful not to get burned or spill them

Dot has prepared her secret recipe which she adds to each pot of par-boiled beans

One of those was quite obvious to me and that was Salt Pork

Covers are now placed on the pots and they are carefully put into the pit

A very hot job indeed

The iron rails are then placed over the pit

And some old tin roofing is used to cover the pit

As everyone joins in to throw dirt over the top of the tin to seal the pit while the beans cook for the next 24 hours or so

The final thing is a prayer offered by Almon and his helpers that the beans will cook well and come out tasty, as for the next 24 hours it is up to the man upstairs

Henry Raymond
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