antique boston

Foul Weather Food

Ireland in the Spring. Rain. Wind. Frost. More rain. Cold. More wind. Bored with rain? Have some sleet.

So we rummaged about in the kitchen to see what was lurking, and assembled the necessaries for Boston Baked Beans, using the recipe from Jocasta Innes’s “Pauper’s Cookbook”, which I inherited from Mum.

We made a few adaptations based on what wasn’t lurking, like using cubed smoked back bacon instead of salt pork; the result was a different flavour and mouthfeel, very pleasant, but the way well-marbled pork turns to savoury chunks of near-butter is better. It didn’t stop the level in the pot being noticeably reduced before D thought to say, “take a photo”…

That salt-glazed beanpot is another inheritance from Mum, who got it from her Mum, who got it from her Mum…

Except for D’s genuine late-medieval Venetian trade bead (1480-1500) on the braid of her replica netsuke rat, and a book about the Crimean war written while it was still going on (1855), this is the oldest thing in the house, about 150 years if I’ve got the figures right.

And it still works perfectly.


Collier 1818 Patent revolver

Manufactured by Elisha Haydon Collier c.1820 in Boston, Massachusets - serial number 89.
.47 caliber ball, five-shot manually indexed cylinder, self-priming flintlock.

One of the very first serial-manufactured revolver designs, these guns were made between 1819 and 1824 and saw limited use by the British Navy. It also served to inspire a young Samuel Colt to later create the Paterson revolver.
It fired using a single action mechanism and required the user to have the hammer on half-cock to manually pull the cylinder backward into a shielded recess before rotating it one chamber.

Detail of a limestone lion attacking s bull from Palace H in Persepolis, attributed to the reign of king Artaxerxes III of Persia (358-338 BCE) and the first Pharaoh Egypt’s the 31st dynasty. Artaxerxes III ruled his vast Achaemenid Empire from Babylon. During his reign, the famous Palace of king Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon was expanded. Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. 

Photo by Babylon Chronicle