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Two kinds of chills

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You can get chills from something weird or mysterious happening to you, such as the following story. In Northport there once stood a mansion owned by the Grove family up until 1954, when it burned down. One version of this story has the building as a hotel and the family that of Edward Grove, but extensive research by yours truly has shown it was indeed a private, extravagant residence of the family of Edwin Cosgrove.

The land that once held this stately home is vacant, but still houses a resident or two. Edward Cosgrove was a patent medicine millionaire, getting his fortune through the sale of Bromo Quinine. On Dec. 16, 1954, Edward and his wife left their three minor boys in the care of two nannies while they went to Boston to have her fourth child. The boys' names were Edwin Jr., aged 8; David, who was 6 when he died in the blaze; and Geoffrey, only 4 years old at the time. After the children were tucked in for the night and the nanny was sound asleep (supposedly), the house caught on fire and destroyed everything except the brick chimney and some scattered, blackened toys. What is very strange about this property is the fact that people have taken pictures of the area where the house once stood (for posterity's sake or to quell their own curiosity), and when the pictures were taken, all that was there were the brick remnants of the chimney. When the pictures were developed, the mansion was quite clearly in the photograph the way it was before the fire. Many people have taken pictures of the grounds and chimney stones, only to obtain the same results.

Also quite strange is the crying of children so often heard to this day in the exact area of the fire. Now the question remains, what of the fourth child born in Boston? I will leave it to you to find out.

The other kind of chill is the one you can do something about: the winter chills. Enjoy this hearty stew to alleviate those goosebumps - but as for the chills associated with stories such as the one above? Sorry, you're on your own.

New England winter stew
2 T. olive oil
4 shallots, minced
1 t. minced garlic
2 (15 oz.) cans of white beans, rinsed and drained *
3(15 oz.)cans of whole kernel corn, drained and divided
1 (15 oz.) can of sliced, cooked carrots, rinsed and drained
2 c. frozen (or canned-drained) peas
2 c. diced ham
2 c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 c. canned pumpkin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 c. light cream **
2 T. molasses

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the shallots and garlic. Sautee about 4-5 minutes or until shallots are tender. In a blender (trust me on this) or food processor, add 1 can corn, carrots and pumpkin. Puree until as smooth as possible, adding a bit of broth if needed. Add to the pot along with the remainder of the corn, peas, ham and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, frequently stirring, reduce heat to low and add light cream and molasses. Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to temperature and serve.

*or use navy beans, chick peas, garbanzo beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas or black beans

** or use half-and-half, buttermilk or whole milk

Speaking of molasses, have you ever heard of the Boston Molasses Disaster? On Jan. 15, 1919, the Purity Distilling Company located on Commercial Street in Boston had a little cleanup to do. One of their 2 million gallon holding tanks let loose a wave of molasses that nearby residents said sounded like a train going by beneath their feet. The Boston Globe reported that people "were picked up by a rush of air and hurled many feet." Others had debris tossed at them from the rush of sweet-smelling air. A truck was picked up and hurled into Boston Harbor by a 35 mph and 8-foot wave of molasses.

Approximately 150 were injured; 21 people and several horses were killed some were crushed and drowned by the molasses. Wreckage of the collapsed tank is visible in the background center, next to the light colored warehouse. The North End Park bathing beach can be seen to the far right.

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