(I’m sorry if these look unappetizing – they were totally delicious!)
This afternoon my folks stopped by while looking at properties in the area, and so because my Dad is a fan of beans and Spolumbo’s sausage (OK, we all are), we had a late lunch of Spolumbos chicken-apple and turkey-cranberry sausages, grilled on the barbeque until dark and crackling, a quick bean salad and some tart homemade applesauce I froze vats of in the fall when my apple tree was threatening to drop rotten fruit bombs all over the yard, and the magpies were getting drunk off them. We had the coolest yard on the street, if you were a bird.
At Superstore they have cans of ‘bean blend’: chick peas, kidney beans, cannellini beans and… navy beans? Legumes, anyway, for about a dollar a can. They all look the same shade of taupe when they come out of the can, but they do make an almost instant bean salad. Add a chopped stalk of celery and maybe some red pepper, and for the dressing it’s equal parts vinegar, sugar and oil: simmer the vinegar (I use plain white, but you can experiment) and sugar on the stovetop or in the microwave to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the oil, and if you like, a squirt of mustard, shake of celery seed and grinding of pepper, and pour it over the beans. If you make a large bowlful of this, it’s good to dip into all week long. Unlike most salads, it gets better with age.