Flat-out dirt-cheap cookin’, 250 pp.
by Bruce Carlson
Quixote Press, Iowa, 1993
Cooking on page 32
I found this book on the shelves of Trails’ Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota. We were driving to my cousin, Jean’s place, in Hastings.
I know, I know. I should have bought the cookbook, but I just couldn’t resist snapping a couple of pictures.
Heck, I’ll be travelling for six months. And as much as I’d like to, I simply can’t afford to lug around a backpack full of cookbooks. So I’ll be collecting recipes on the sly when I can.
I pounced on this one because I grew up eating various versions of three and four-bean salads. Not sure when I might find another one on page 32.
As an aside, I liked the author’s dedication to his mother—’For if she hadn’t been able to feed me cheap, she wouldn’t have been able to feed me at all.’
Three bean salad
1 can green beans
1 can yellow wax beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 c. celery, chopped
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Drain beans and add remaining vegetables. Combine sugar, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the beans. Let stand overnight.
How it played out
I nearly fell over when I saw the call for 3/4 of a cup of sugar. No way. So I changed the dressing amounts to about 1/4 cup each of sugar, oil and vinegar. I made this at Jean’s house in Minnesota. On tasting, we decided to add another couple of splashes of vinegar. And it really was just splashes—I managed to keep spilling half of it on the counter.
I also added a can of garbanzo beans, which are usually called chickpeas in Australia. As an aside, the can size referred to in the ingredient list would be 14–15 ounces or 410–420 grams.
Made for a huge family dinner of page-32 recipes, including Aunt Bee’s roast leg of lamb, guacamole, scallops, deep chocolate cake and more.
I love three-bean salad. My mum used to make it often. Everyone enjoyed this version, but I’m glad we cut back on the sugar and upped the vinegar. This will be a go-to recipe.