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House was full of beans, romance

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Daisy Plummer cooked baked beans and brown bread for unmarried fellows.
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In their early married years, Henry and Daisy Plummer lived on Zumbro Street, now Second Street Southwest, in Rochester.

Henry liked having people over, but he was shy so Daisy posted a sign at Mayo Clinic saying "Dr. and Mrs. Plummer will be at home every Sunday evening with baked beans and brown bread for unmarried fellows." The beans were prepared New England style from Dr. Plummer’s mother’s recipe. Daisy cooked them on Saturday in their wood-burning furnace and served them with brown bread, pickles, donuts and coffee.

The gatherings were on the third floor and often went into the wee hours. Guests were welcome to "bring their girl" but few did, so Daisy began inviting some of her unmarried girlfriends. More than one romance was nourished by New England baked beans.

Certain rituals were attached to the suppers. Dr. Mathews carried the beans from the basement to the third floor. Dr. Guthrie did the dishes. Dr. Balfour played the Gramophone, especially Caruso, and Dr. Braasch read aloud.

Daisy’s bean pot was recently purchased from the Plummer family by the Friends of Mayowood to come back to Rochester and remind us what a special role simple pleasures can play in our lives.

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Next week: On the street where you live — Carroll’s Addition.

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