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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl

2010 is the 50th anniversary of the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken.  The forward says, "The genesis of this book was a luncheon with several good friends, all of whom hate to cook but have to.  At that time, we were all unusually bored with what we had been cooking and, therefore, eating.  For variety's sake, we decided to pool our ignorance, tell each other our shabby little secrets, and toss into the pot the recipes we swear by instead of at.  These recipes have not been tested by experts.  That is why they are valuable.  Experts in their sunny spotless test kitchens can make anything taste good.  But even we can make these taste good."  If you're not familiar with this hilarious cookbook, that gives you a great idea of the delightful adventure that awaits upon reading it.

My mother used the heck out of the I Hate to Cook Book.  Not that she hates to cook.  Au contraire, she's a fantastic cook.  But, the recipes are almost all wonderful.  Sole Survivor, Risk it on a Brisket, Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl, Cockeyed Cake.  Those are the names I remember without opening the book.  My copy is very well worn.  I think it was the first cookbook I ever got.  And, yes, I can tell you the Cockeyed Cake recipe is on page 92.  It was Dad's favorite.  And, it's the easiest cake ever.  Moist, chocolatey.  MMMM. 

Babbling on about this cookbook makes me think I should go back and make some more of the old faithful's and try some new things from it! 

So, how did I come to fix Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl this week?  Connie's bridge partner, Marsha, just made life master.  For those of you who aren't bridge players, life master is a big deal.  A VERY BIG DEAL.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of skill.  Connie's got the 300 points but needs to win at a regional to get the rest of his gold points.  Marsha's celebration is at the bridge center this week.  And, I volunteered to take some casseroles and salads.  There'll be about 80 people there.  Thankfully, I'm not feeding the whole crew!  Others are bringing lasagna, chicken casserole, fruit salad.  A cake's been ordered.  And, I'll have to miss the party because I've got to tape the radio show...  Ah, work before pleasure.  Bummer.  Last night I put together two 9x13 pans of Chicken Green Bean Casserole.  We've got the hamburger browned and the tomatoes dumped in for the Glop.  Tonight, we'll make the mac and cheese to mix in.  Tortellini is cooked and chilled for Lana's Salad.  I'll put that together tonight.  And, I'll make the dressing for Casa D'Angelo salad tonight.  The morning of the party I'll get up way early and put that salad together.  Last, but not least, I thought of Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl.  It's easy, good and needs to be made in advance.  Even better.  It comes from a chaper titled, "Potluck Suppers, How to Bring the Water for the Lemonade."

Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl

1 can Del Monte Blue Lake Green Beans
1 can wax beans
1 can kidney beans
1 onion
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2/3 c cider vinegar
salt and pepper


Drain the green beans and wax beans and dump them in a storage container.  Drain and rinse the kidney beans.  Add them to the bowl. 

Dice the onion and add it.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  This needs to marinate in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  As Peg says in her instructions, "Stir it a few times if you happen to think of it while it marinates."  I always put it in a plastic storage container and just give that a few good shakes whenever I open the refrigerator door...  You can get all fancy schmancy and put the drained salad in a lettuce lined bowl or you can be plain pipe rack and serve it straight out of the container.  Whichever you do, this is fantastic bean salad.


The Mom Chef said...

I adore bean salads. I didn't when I was a kid, but now that I'm older and a little wiser, I do. I'll be making this but no fancy schmancy for me!

Monet said...

I also am a huge fan of bean salads. I don't know much about bridge, but I do know that this rendition looks great! Thank you for sharing, dear. I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Anonymous said...

Wow, i haven't had a bean salad in YEARS... looks better than what i remember as a kid! YUM!

Tes said...

This beans salad looks very colorful and yummy!

Yesim said...

looks yummy.. nice post;)

mimi said...

I love bean salads. I have some frozen beans I blanched this summer. I'm going to try using them in your recipe.

echoduck said...

OMG! I finally found the recipe for Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl. My mother had it in the '50s and it's now lost and gone. I couldn't find Bracken's book anywhere. I only wanted Aunt Bebe's Bean Bowl -- 'cause that's the one recipe that I loved as a child. So, thanks to google and SPECIAL thanks to you, I found it! (I might add some canned corn to this -- just for color -- and perhaps other kinds of beans.) THANK YOU!