Monday, September 3, 2012

Three Bean Salad and Senior Lunches.

I've not posted a great deal about the senior lunches we've made this summer, mostly because I've been too busy cooking to take pictures, other than the occasional one.    And really, how many times can you take pictures of the basic dishes we make and have them look fresh and exciting.   Although I should have gotten a shot of the Three Bean Salad I made a couple of weeks ago.      I have to say, it was well received, and very tasty as well. 

I gave my resignation a couple of weeks ago to the Senior Center, I have obligations that I've been ignoring, or pushing aside in order to cook there once a week.  But, as it turns out, I wasn't just giving them one day a week.   By the time I ordered or shopped for the food, and helped plan menu's, did cost abstractions, and cooked, I was actually giving a lot more time than I had planned on.    So my original plan of helping out one day a week, got stretched out to more like 2 days or more a week.   If I went to a grocery store, I was on the lookout for items that were on sale that we could use, and tried to plan menus that incorporated foodstuffs we had on hand or were given to us by FarmShare.

 I thought I would share how I made the 3 Bean Salad I made a couple of weeks ago.     OK, so it's got 4 beans in it, but who's counting.   I just thought it would look purty.    And this is so easy, you can add whichever beans you like as well.     And it was a big hit.    We even took the leftovers and added them to a can of beets and those got gobbled up as well.   And be warned this makes a lot, but then again, we served upwards of 80 + people every week.

3 cups white vinegar *
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar *
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Celery Seed
2 tablespoons Mustard Seed (if you have a mortar and pestle handy, crush the seeds lightly)
1 teaspoon celery salt
 2 sliced onions, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced across
Bean Salad
#10 can Cut Italian Green Beans, drained
#10 can Cut Green Beans, drained
3   28 oz. cans of Cut Yellow Wax Beans, drained
3    15 oz. cans of Light Red Kidney Beans, drained
2-4 Green peppers, seeded and sliced  or diced (optional)
1 Red Onion, diced or sliced (optional) 
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 teaspoon Fresh ground Pepper

Mix the vinegar, sugar, onions and seasonings together in a pot and let it come to a boil, cook until the onions are just translucent.  Taste and correct the seasonings at this point.  You can add some more sugar at this point if you like.   Just stir it in well so that it dissolves.   Set aside for a few minutes, but don't let it cool too much.   Pour over the beans and let them sit at room temp for a few minutes, give it a stir, and then put into the cooler.    Grind some black pepper over top, about 1 teaspoon or so.  You want the beans to rest in the vinegar and absorb the pickling for a little while. 

*I would have used half white vinegar and half cider vinegar if I'd had more cider vinegar.  But you can play with the portions however you like. 

Here are a few of the dishes we made the past couple of weeks. 
Redneck Stroganoff using the leftover Hamburger Steaks cut up into chunks as our meat.

Bacon and Tomato Pasta salad using cherry tomatoes, halved and some bacon with a mayonnaise dressing.   I got the inspiration from the Pioneer Woman's show,  her Kid Friendly Pasta Salad

Pork Pot Pie with Puff Pastry topping

 Hint:  If you score the pastry before cooking it, you can actually serve it without the pastry shattering into crumbs. 

Green Beans with Bacon

Turnip Greens and Collard Greens

Cabbage, Sausage and Potato Boil

Chicken Cutlets with Baked Penne Pasta and Marinara Sauce
Danish Style Red Cabbage

Pickled Beets using the leftover Three Bean Salad as the basis.   Feedback on this was very good.

Deviled Eggs

Biscuits, ready for the oven

I'm actually pretty sad I won't be cooking there anymore.   The past few months have been a lot of fun, I got to work with some great cooks, learned so much, and made some good friends.   Don'tcha just love it when it all comes together.      Of course this doesn't mean I won't be cooking anymore, just not in the quantities I got used to thinking in.   I'm ready for new challenges and experiences in my life.

 I was accepted into the Secret Recipe Club, and am so excited about making and blogging about that as well.  So keep a lookout here for my adventures with that.  

In the meantime, go out and have some fun in your kitchen, experiment, have fun, play.    Oh and Happy Labor Day.  

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. Good Morning,
    I really enjoyed having your blog as my assignment this month. It was great getting to know you and we just love the Pasta Salad. It is fun cooking with you in The Secret Recipe Club! Hope you have a great day.
    Miz Helen
    SRC Group B

    1. Thank you so much. I've been enjoying your blog as well. In fact I'm going to be making one of your recipes tonight for a get together. So glad you like the Salad as well. It was a big hit at the Senior center when I made it there.


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