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Magic Beans July 27, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food.

It’s not working.

You know, with the weather.

If you don’t like the weather in upstate New York, wait five minutes.

PhotobucketWell, we’ve been waiting, and it hasn’t really gotten any better, has it?

I mean, here we are, middle of summer, enjoying a string of 90+-degree days.

Around these parts, 3 90-degree days constitutes a heat wave.

We’ve had a few heat waves this summer, then.  Right in a row.

It’s been over 70 degrees when I walk the dog – at 4:30 in the morning.

PhotobucketThe lawn is starting to look like a thatched roof.

That’s just not right.

It makes it kind of hard to want to do anything – even cook.

Especially cook.

Have I ever mentioned that our grill is on the deck which is on the west side of the house?  Yep.  Right around dinnertime, it gets the full brunt of the scorching sun.  Who’s idea was that, I wonder?

PhotobucketSure, we could live on take-out.  I guess.

If we didn’t care what we ate.  And were made of money.

But we do and we’re not.

There are always sandwiches.


And yes, as soon as I’m picking more than one tomato and 3 cherry tomatoes at a time, we’ll definitely be enjoying our cold soups again.

PhotobucketBut what about now?

Well, now is the time to get creative, I guess.

So we rooted around in the pantry, and we rummaged around the fridge, and we came up with a dinner salad that is tasty, light, satisfying, and, above all, cold.


Cold bean salad.

No, wait, don’t go!

PhotobucketHere’s the thing.  We cooked some pinto beans (in the pressure cooker) early-early in the morning before it was too hot to move.

And then, and here’s the trick, while they were still warm, we drained them and dumped them in a mixing bowl with (get this) the rest of some homemade vinaigrette and let the beans just sort of soak in the flavor of the dressing.

And once the beans have cooled a bit more, then we just toss in whatever we want – in this case, some diced red onions, a little tiny bit of ham, and a few walnuts.

PhotobucketAnd that’s about it.  We stuck the whole thing in the fridge and knew that we’d come home one evening to a cool-and-refreshing, zero-work dinner.

Which is exactly what we did – a hearty spoonful of bean salad on top of a healthy portion of lettuce, and, well, it was a surprisingly tasty – and filling – meal.

I think we’ll be experimenting with this idea off and on this summer.

Plus, after such a healthy, light dinner, I think I could even afford a scoop of Peeps’s homemade vanilla ice cream.




1. judy - July 27, 2011

Well hello! That salad looks wonderful and COOL. You have a great imagination for putting foods together and making magic. May I have some ice cream too please?

I hope it cools down some for you so you can enjoy your deck soon.

hey, Jude, thanks. 🙂 I’m finding, more than anything, that less is more. As long as I don’t try to do too much in one dish, I’m happier. It’s Peeps’s turn to make the next batch of ice cream (we take turns), and I will be sure to save some for you. 😀

2. anne - July 27, 2011

Right there with ya, Sistah! We’re looking to possibly set an all time record on Friday. Forecast is 104, the record highest ever recorded is 105. Me, I’d prefer to let the old records stand. We can’t stand the thought of eating anything hot, but salads are getting pretty boring.

Ah, well. Soon enough we’re be complaining about the cold.

I can’t wait. 🙂

We set a record last week, too. Blech. We’re finding the whole cold bean thing is working well for us, though. At least one day a week. And a couple of lunches for me. 🙂

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