THMS unearths bean hole bean tradition
By Tina Shute
VillageSoup/Waldo County Citizen Photographer

BELFAST (Nov 23): Troy Howard Middle School seventh-graders in Steve Tanguay's Maine History class made bean hole beans Monday, Nov. 19.

Maine's Penobscot Indians cooked beans with maple syrup and bits of venison.

Tina Shute
Steve Tanguay dumps yellow eye beans in the pot. (Photo by Tina Shute)

Tina Shute
Steve Tanguay, center, holds a pot of yellow eye beans. Logan Blood and Kellie Howie scrape them into a bean pot. (Photo by Tina Shute)

Tina Shute
Geneva Bielenberg adds ginger. From left, are Maranda Wellman, Kellie Howie and Logan Blood. (Photo by Tina Shute)

New Englanders tweaked the tradition and cooked beans with molasses and salt pork in pots. Beans baked in cast-iron pots buried in the ground is still a tradition at lumber camps and public suppers.

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Garth Clements adds pure maple syrup. Kellie Howie samples black strap molasses. Jon Thurston, back, watches. (Photo by Tina Shute)

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Rio Greeley adds ham to the pot. Jack Smith, left, and Logan Blood observe. (Photo by Tina Shute)

Students on Monday shelled yellow-eye beans grown in the THMS garden, dug a hole, made and tended a fire, mixed ingredients and covered the hole.

Tina Shute
Steve Tanguay, left, and Jon Thurston place the bean pots into the hole. (Photo by Tina Shute)

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Brandon Porter rakes coals in the bean hole. (Photo by Tina Shute)

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Students and Steve Tanguay bury the bean pots. (Photo by Tina Shute)

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Students cover the area with leaves. (Photo by Tina Shute)

Students uncovered the beans Tuesday morning and all 95 students gathered to indulge.

Tina Shute
Kellie Howie adds black strap molasses. Garth Clements takes in the smell and appearance of the beans. (Photo by Tina Shute)

Tina Shute
Molasses is drizzled over the bean mixture. (Photo by Tina Shute)