Wash the beans first, then half fill a pail with them, put them over the fire and parboil them until their skins are ready to come off; they are now ready for the pot. But before putting them in there, peel an onion and slice it, placing the slices in the bottom of the bean pot. Now pour half of the beans over the onions and on top of them spread the slices of another onion. Take some salt pork and cut it into square pieces and place the hunks of pork over the onions, thus making a layer of onions and pork on top of the beans. Over this pour the remainder of the beans, cover the top of the beans with molasses, on the top of the molasses put some more hunks of pork, put in enough water to barely cover the beans. Over the top of all of it spread a piece of birch bark, then force the cover down good and tight.
Meanwhile a fire should have been built in the bean hole (Fig. 105). When the fire of birch has been burnt to hot cinders, the cinders must be shoveled out and the bean pot put into the hole, after which pack the cinders around the bean pot and cover the whole thing with the dead ashes, or as the lumbermen call them, the black ashes.
If the beans are put into the bean hole late in the afternoon and allowed to remain there all night, they will be done to a turn for breakfast; the next morning they will be wholesome, juicy and sweet, browned on top and delicious.
A bean hole is not absolutely necessary for a small pot of beans. I have cooked them in the wilderness by placing the pot on the ground in the middle of the place where the fire had been burning, then heaping the hot ashes and cinders over the bean pot until it made a little hill there, which I covered with the black ashes and left until morning. I tried the same experiment on the open hearth to my studio and it was a wonderful success.