Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beans! Beans! Beans!

Beans! Beans! Beans!

I wasn't quite sure how to draw your attention to our humble friend, the legume, so just imagine those words on a blinking neon sign (in the same style as the "Girls! Girls! Girls!" signs at "gentlemen's" clubs) and see if that helps.

Okay, probably not. Other people's lack of enthusiasm didn't stop Jacqueline Heriteau from writing The Complete Book of Beans (1978), so I shall follow her example and plow ahead anyway.

A lot of the book is as expected-- dozens of variations of bean salads (like the one above), chilis, and baked beans-- but my favorite recipes are the ones that seem kind of random.

Heriteau likes international cuisine, and some of the recipes appear to be what we would now call "fusion" before the term was trendy...

Is Seasoned Beans and Meatballs supposed to be Italian? The meatballs are flavored with garlic, savory, basil, marjoram, and parsley, so I would be tempted to say yes.

Is the recipe supposed to be (Americanized) Mexican? The sauce based on pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, and taco seasoning suggests this.

Is this supposed to be more like a regular meatloaf dinner? The carrots and potatoes are plain old American sides for a meat dish.

Even though this seems like an odd mashup, it might be kind of good.

Here's another recipe with an identity crisis:

The rice crust and soy sauce would automatically lead to "Chinese" (or "Oriental"!) labels in a lot of vintage cookbooks, but the pink or pinto beans and cumin suggest Mexican.  Throw in some carrot and good old Cheddar cheese and I don't know what to call this-- but it actually sounds pretty tasty to me.

Randomness does not always lend itself well to a recipe, though. I understand the need for variety in providing a selection of bean salads, but...

I don't think the world was exactly clamoring for a way to combine canned peaches, garbanzo beans, green pepper, celery, onion, and mustard.

And people who want a pimiento-cheese dip or spread...

...probably do not want to randomly throw lima beans into it just because they can.

But this is not the worst random addition of lima beans in the book. I've already given that secret away, but maybe it was long enough ago you've forgotten it or didn't see it in the first place. Click the link and try to get THAT creation out of your head! *Shudder*

Happy Cookbook Wednesday! Thanks to Marjie of Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet!


  1. You do manage to find some strange old recipes!

  2. These recipes, WOW! Yr colour commentary makes The Complete Book of Beans somewhat palatable