I talked to my best girl, Tara, this morning, and when I had to make myself get off the phone because I needed to go write something, she told me, “Write about when there is a family gathering and people bring food that they think you really love but you actually don’t.”
She said, “They should know that they did something wrong when there is tons of it leftover. OR if no one tries to take the leftovers home. I mean, take a hint.”
And that pretty well sums it up. No one ever wants to be the person that made THAT dish. You know- the weird bowl sitting on the table full of covered dish-i-ness that never gets touched. Or there is one spoonfull missing, presumably taken by the person that made it, and no one else dares go there.
On the flip side, you know you did it right if there is nothing left (even if your boyfriend is muttering disappointment because there are no leftovers– he will be okay– you can make him more later). Your dish was a hit if people make sure to try take some home, or if they ask who made it, and definitely if they want the recipe. This is the goal.
And if you can’t cook, make it pretty. People always eat the pretty food.
So this holiday season, with work parties, family gatherings, cookie exchanges, and all things potluck on the agenda, let’s do ourselves a few favors:
* Make it before you take it– don’t make unsuspecting people your guinea pigs! If you are trying a new recipe, work it out at home before subjecting the rest of us to your kitchen crazy.
*If no one ate it last time, please move on and don’t make it again.
*If you buy it in a store, don’t bring it in still stuck in the plastic grocery bag with the receipt. Just pretend to try a little bit.
*If it’s your favorite, they will like it too. Obviously that’s the thing you do well- so do THAT.
This easy bean salad is my contribution for the day.
Sometimes I use 5 kinds of beans for this salad. This time I only used 4: black beans, green beans, wax beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). If you want the 5 bean salad, use light or dark red kidney beans in addition to the others. Drain the canned beans and rinse. Set aside.
Red onions are pretty. Chop them up with some celery and green bell pepper for crunch and flavor. Mix the drained beans, celery, bell pepper and onion together in a large bowl.
Then you will need salt, pepper, and some granulated sugar.
Wisk the salt, pepper and sugar into some red wine vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Gradually pour in salad oil (olive, canola, whatever you like for salad dressing), wisking constantly.
Pour the dressing over the beans and mix it all together.
Refrigerate. Serve. Easy. Delicious.
Bring It! Bean Salad
1 (14.5 ounce) can of each: green beans, wax beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, and kidney beans
1/2 a large red onion, diced
2 large stalks of celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil (olive or canola, etc…)
Drain and rinse beans. Stir beans, red onion, celery, and green pepper together with the rinsed beans in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl wisk together salt, pepper, sugar, and red wine vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Then gradually pour in the oil, wisking constantly. Stir dressing into bean mixture, tossing to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, overnight if you can (the longer this sits, the better it is!)