Pickled Bean Salad

The next recipe in Mamaw’s box is “Pickled Bean Salad”. What’s that you say? You’re not excited about that? I wasn’t either. Maybe that’s partly to blame for why I have not written in a while, ha! I wasn’t too excited to make or eat this one, BUT I said I’d make them all AND… the next recipe is brownies so… Hang in there. Brownies are coming! That being said, I must say, this salad really surprised me. It. Is. So. Good! I made it with the help of my favorite tiny chef. How cute is he?? I did tweak it for our preferences and will share those yummy changes with you!

I usually consult with my daddy for fact checking and timelines and memories and such. His exact reaction when I told him I had made this one was: “Yuck!” LOL He remembers it from growing up served as a not so favorite side dish at supper (that was the evening meal at our house). It was then served as leftovers (there was always a lot left over apparently) the next day at dinner (dinner meant lunch😉). Mamaw and Pa ate it, but… the youngins… not so much! I imagine my father looked something like this during the time of his pickled bean rebellion…

Look at that lovely little family; the glasses, the hair gel, it’s all solid gold! Despite the yucky claims of Mamaw’s beloved son, we loved this dish! Billy ate so much of it in one sitting that I thought it might make his stomach hurt! It didn’t. It’s delicious! It’s crisp and crunchy and cold and refreshing. It’s the perfect summer side. I can see it at picnics, barbecues, and church gatherings!

As I said in my last entry, this move across the country has made me ponder a great deal over the moves my Mamaw and Pa made while raising their family. Back then, (and when I grew up) pastoring meant moving… often. One thing my father recalls was the fact that many of the parsonages they lived in during the early years were not very nice. Furniture was handed down from the church members. It was already worn out before being donated. I can relate to this, as our own couch was handed down to us before we got married. It is done, y’all. Done. But budgets…. so, I wait. In spite of mismatched, used furniture, Mamaw took great pride in making sure the house was always tidy, presentable, and clean. When the time would come to move to a new church she wanted to make sure the parsonage was spotless when they left. She would tell her boys, “You always leave a house better (cleaner) than it was when you moved in.” This is something I too recall her saying as I watched her  scrub a bathroom sink, while donning a full skirt and perfectly pinned hair mind you, during a move they made when I was a child.

Is this not also true with life? Every place we touch should be better when we leave it. We should be changing the atmosphere with our faith and our passion, uplifting those who are struggling, serving those who are tired, and using our giftings to fulfill our purpose. That is how they lived their life before the Lord and before people. That is how I hope to live my own life!

Speaking of improvements… I made some on this recipe! I’ll share her version and then my own!

Mamaw’s Pickled Bean Salad
1 can French style green beans (drained)
1 can small English peas
1 c celery, chopped
1 c onions, sliced thin
1 c green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 7oz jar pimento, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 c sugar
3/4 c vinegar
1/2 c Wesson oil

Make and let stand 24 hrs in the refrigerator.

America’s Pickled Bean Salad
1 can French style green beans (drained)
2 cans red kidney beans
1 c celery, chopped
1 1/2 c green bell pepper, chopped
1 4oz jar pimento, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered onion
1 c sugar
3/4 c vinegar
1/2 c olive oil

Make and let stand 24 hrs in the refrigerator.

Billy suggests adding shredded peperoncinis and a dash of hot sauce! He added these to his helpings and said it was perfection!