Real Food for Real Life

Friday, May 21, 2010

Am I ever tired (and the weekend's just started)...

Traditional Three Bean Salad

It's Friday evening and I am tired.  As I have mentioned before, I am heavily (the whole family actually) with Cub/Boy scouts, at the local (pack) level, as well as the district and council levels (Butler County, Ohio and a huge swath of SW Ohio and NW Kentucky).  I have spent the last two days preparing for what is in essence, a double header.

This evening the district (Ft. Hamilton) is running an adult training out in the sticks, otherwise known as the western and rural portion of Butler County.  Ten instructors will be teaching 30 scout leaders outdoor leadership skills for scouting.  While I may have made the arrangements, purchased the food, and helped set up the lodge (including hauling firewood- thanks for the help there Ben, not), I am not on the instructional staff for this one.  This gives me the night at home to rest up for Saturday and Sunday.

Back to the sticks with me tomorrow evening (with the Christopher in tow this time).  As the training wraps up, we will be getting ready for a cookout and campfire ceremony for our pack at the same location.  I'll be cleaning up from one event, to turn around and set up for the next.  I am really looking forward to this gathering- there will be 120 people (scouts and families) gathered for food, fellowship, and a cool fireside program that will include the boys "crossing over"- this is where they move up in rank.  After the festivities, it's off to our individual campsites for the night.  I'm really excited for this too, as it is our first chance to camp this season, and the weather is supposed to be fantastic for the rest of the weekend (it is however, rainy today, another reason I'm glad to be home tonight).

One of the lovely fun things I have done for the weekend (besides buying a TON of food), is making burger patties from ground beef donated to the pack by a local grocer (no names to protect the innocent).  This was not an experience I wish to repeat, EVER.  We have only ever bought ground chuck or sirloin, never the mysterious "ground beef."  These packages did not even list a fat to lean percentage as I am used to seeing, but in the end, I managed to transform 20lbs. or so of fat into 64 burger patties (it will be exciting to see the fire these start on the grill).
Lots of cheap meat.
64 patties ready for the grill.
Not for those with weak stomachs- the fat left filling in the ridges of my
pattypress when I was done (yuck!!); my hands were left in a similar state.

On a more appetizing note, I also prepared a huge bowl of three bean salad to take along.  I have made this recipe, pretty much unchanged, for 20 years (that would be before I could really even cook).  While I don't usually use canned veggies, I do for this salad- this is the way I have always made it, and this is he salad that I am always asked to bring to the big family cookouts.  This recipe can easily be doubled. tripled, or even quadrupled (as I did) for large gatherings.  This is one of the easiest recipes to make, but my mother refuses to do it, claiming mine tastes better (?).

Traditional Three Bean Salad

1 15oz. can cut green beans, drained
1 15oz. can cut wax beans, drained
1 15oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I use the dark red ones)
1 8oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced (I used red this time, but Vidalia is really good)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dry basil

Combine the ingredients at least a day before you wish to serve it.  Refrigerate, tossing occasionally.  This salad is great to take to picnics since it does not contain mayo.


  1. On Facebook: Kristy "Likes" this.

  2. "We have only ever bought ground chuck or sirloin, never the mysterious "ground beef."

    Sadly, im my experience, most stores seems to use the names "chuck and sirloin" as a simple indicATOR of "fat %". Not necessarily chuck or sirloin...


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