Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kidney Bean Salad

It's snowing outside.  Beautiful.  I'm hunkered down for the evening.
My daughter just left for work...there's that niggly worry he bites hard.
She's suppose to call once she gets there, so the bug can ease his grip.
Until then, I'll sit here and distract myself.

Let's see, what is this?  Recipe number 5 from Grandma's Private Cookbook?
Today, let's try a salad. 

Can you see where she wrote "Favorite"  near the top right of the recipe?  You'll find out why soon...
(My daughter just called...she made it safe and sound.)
The ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now.
Really, this couldn't be simpler...

For me, this was the funky part.  I just couldn't wrap my pea-brain around the sweet pickle thing.  Sounded like something my kids might have tried doing when they were five years old.  But, surprisingly, it does work!

When everything is assembled and dressing poured, this is what you get.  Yum.  
As usual, here is the rewrite, and notes...

Kidney Bean Salad 
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ large onion, minced
10 small sweet pickles, cut into small pieces
2-16oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ c. vinegar
½ c. sugar
1 egg, well beaten
½ t. ground mustard

Mix celery, onion, pickles and beans.  Make dressing by mixing all ingredients and cooking in double boiler until it reaches boiling point, then mix with other ingredients.

**You can see I used 2 cans of kidney beans (light) and ½ of an onion.  Go for a whole one if you like onion, I just think it would be overpowering.
**I also used the 'Midget' variety for the sweet pickles.  Easier to chop.
**The don't need the whole amount for the salad.  I'd add half, mix it in, then see where you stand.  I poured the whole thing in and ended up straining a bunch off.  Silly me.
**You really do need to cook the dressing.  I didn't use a double boiler, I just stirred like crazy, keeping the heat at medium to medium-low.  

I really liked this recipe.  Some of Grandma's recipes have been hit-and-miss, though aren't all cookbooks like that?  I'll be making this for potlucks and picnics this year.  I think everyone is getting tired of the same ol' potato salad from me.  It will be my personal repertoire rejuvenation.

I suppose I'd better go start much for's spaghetti with canned sauce.  Oh well, I can dream...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Please pray

I know you don't know me from Adam.  I like to think there is kindness and mercy in every heart.  So I am asking, in all boldness, that you pray for my friends, their 17 year old son  is missing.

Thank you.

**Update added Feb. 1st.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pioneer Soup

I guess it's time to come wandering home with my tail between my legs...
I've taken such a nice little holiday, that I hate to admit, I kinda hated to come back.   Not all of my time was spent in merriment.  I had knee surgery December 1st (still recovering from that) and three days later my daughter generously brought home and shared a cold, then over New Years' came a visit from the flu bug.  Ack.
The in-between times were great though and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had with my girls.

So now that the update is done, I'll start off with a new recipe from my grandmother's cookbook!

This was a very simple recipe to pull together and I think you'll enjoy the flavor.  I couldn't believe such a simple assembly of ingredients could produce such a nice soup.
I placed the spare ribs in the bottom of an 8 quart stock pot and covered with 2 quarts water (Grandma doesn't specify this, but the amount was a perfect guess!).
After a 1/2 hour boil, add the onions and tomato... 
Another 1/2 hour...and the salt, pepper and potatoes go into the soup...
Now comes the really interesting part...the RIBBLES!!!  Don't ask me...I haven't a clue as to what these are...  I did an online search and came up completely empty, which is really rare.  Usually someone, somewhere has heard of what you're searching for, but this is apparently a unique name my grandma had for...plain old, pinched off, egg noodles. Just egg, flour and salt...
(Okay, I just added this picture to show off my salt cellar.  I found the pressed glass bottom in an antique store last March and begged my father-in-law to make the lid for me.  He did an absolutely beautiful job, making it out of Myrtle Wood, which is only found in Oregon and the Holy Land.  I'm more than thrilled with it.)

Now back to business....
This is how I worked or "pinched" the ribbles between my fingers.  I don't have a clue if this is how it's suppose to be done, but I do have a vague recollection of someone in the family doing this...

Here is the finished product...
 (Sorry about the bad lighting, it was evening by the time this was finished and the sun had already set.)

MY NOTES:  The only real major changes or additions I have to this recipe are...
**I might try separating the ribs from each other before tossing them into the pot to boil next time.
**As I mentioned above, use 2 quarts of water to cover and boil the ribs, it worked perfectly.
**I used two onions instead of three.  Though now, I wish I had used three.  My daughter, who hates onions, couldn't even tell they were there and I think that three would only enhance the flavor!
**I added 1 t. salt with the potatoes.
**I used a fresh tomato, but canned would work just as well.
**and Good Lord....the ribbles....Grandma calls for 2 cups flour, salt and 1 egg.  The flour is WA-A-AY too much!  I used only 1 cup of the flour and think that was probably far more than I needed.  So go easy and adjust the salt accordingly.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  It's unique, but familiar.  The flavor is wonderful and with a side of rolls or cornbread it would be a terrific and easy winter meal.

On a personal note.  I enjoy posting recipes here, but find the whole blogging thing a little more time consuming than I'd anticipated.  Having said that, I'm not going away, but will be cutting back on what and when I post.  I don't wish to become self absorbed and as an end to that, I've removed the stat counter from the side bar and will not allow myself to feel pressure about how many times I've posted something in a given month.  I'm hoping that applying these pseudo-resolutions will increase my own enjoyment .  And really, that's all I'm looking for.  I need no accolades, though I wouldn't mind some constructive comments here and there...sometimes it gets lonely in the big bad blogosphere!