Fill This Old House with seventeen good eggs, slightly scrambled. Bind the batch with the strength and wisdom of Mama. Stir in a body of cold water inhabited by large eels and who knows what else. Add a measure of humor and curiosity fueled by a family well read. Include a dash of secrets and watchfulness. Combine the batter with a dedicated teacher and a touch of military might. Bake the whole concoction on a slab of black slate. The end result serves an entire community.