So, I had to make beans.
I followed the recipe in Marjorie Standish's cookbook, but I remember my grandmother putting an onion in the pot. I scored an "X" in the bottom like she did. And I studded it with cloves, because it was New Year's Day and because I was topping my beans with leftover ham instead of bacon or salt pork.
I also used Yelloweye beans instead of navy pea beans like Grammie did, because those have gotten hard to find.
I read once that beans were dinner for many a working family in Olde Boston. Cooking fuel was precious, and you could get your beans ready in the morning and take them to a public oven on your way to work, then pick them up, ready-to-eat on your way home. It's also one of the many old New England recipes to take advantage of the readily-available molasses.
I like cooking them at home, as it cozies up a cold day. It also provides a great warm stovetop for bread-baking days. Maybe I'll try making brown bread next.