Annual baked bean supper goes virtual



MOUNT DESERT Baked beans are an important part of Maine culinary life. Recipes are much debated, with bakers arguing about which ingredients make the best beans, and which variety of beans to use. Baked bean suppers are a Maine tradition, bringing generations together to share a meal, exchange news and spin a few yarns.  

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society’s 10th Annual Baked Bean Supper will still capture these important elements of a traditional baked bean supper, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will take place online instead of at MDI High School.  

The virtual supper and presentation will take place on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. Participants are invited to bake their own dishes at home from a new digital cookbook commemorating 10 years of community suppers. Advance tickets for the event are required and come with a digital copy of the Baked Bean Supper Cookbook.  

The society has a fun lineup planned for the evening including locally beloved storytellers Earl Brechlin and Dennis Damon, who will entertain guests with stories. They will be joined by Bill Horner, founder of the society’s bean supper, who will offer a humorous explanation of the gastronomical impact of consuming beans, and Sharon Joyce, owner of Ambrosia Cooking School and author of “A Culinary History of Downeast Maine,” who will share recipes and ingredients found among Downeast bean recipes. Participants are asked to share some of their tips and secrets for cooking the best beans. 

The digital Baked Bean Supper Cookbook features some of the most beloved recipes from the annual event. The book includes many varieties of traditional New England baked beans in addition to recipes of “beans from away,” brown bread, side dishes, pies and cookies.  

Guests can purchase tickets at mdihistory.org for $10 to receive a Zoom link and passcode to the live event, a copy of the Baked Bean Supper Cookbook and support the mission of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society to foster meaningful engagement with the histories of the island.  

For more information, visit mdihistory.org. 

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