This signature dish of Boston, Massachusetts dates from the 17th century, when the Puritan sabbath - a day on which work was forbidden - was observed from sundown on Saturday until Sunday evening. The baked beans would be started on Saturday morning and then left to cook slowly until dinnertime so that the Puritan housewife did not have to break the sabbath to cook a meal. Leftover beans would then be served for Sunday breakfast or lunch. Boston baked beans were often baked in communal ovens by the local baker, who would collect bean pots from the townspeople on Saturday morning and return the pots of baked beans in time for dinner that night. One of my most treasured possessions is my grandmother's bean pot.