Recently, I had a hankering for the salad. Also, I thought it might be a good meal to have on hand for visiting vegan children (once I located vegan Worcestershire sauce).
I had one recipe in my files, but when I realized it contained no Angostura bitters or celery salt, I knew it wasn't Grandma's. So I asked my mom if she had it. Yes, she thought she had the recipe her mom had written out. This struck me as a little odd, since Gert (as the family called her) really wasn't a recipe follower. In fact, she had a healthy disrespect for all directions, discarding the user manual for every appliance she ever brought home as soon as she took it out of the box.
Actually, I'm not entirely certain I interpreted Grandma's instructions correctly. It didn't taste exactly as I remember, but that could be the lack of anchovies in the Worcestershire sauce. After two potlucks and many lunches, we just finished the first batch, and will make another before the second batch of vegans visits.
Mom said Gert got this recipe at a cooking class at Lawry's California Center, a Los Angeles landmark for decades which closed in 1992 as a result of cost-cutting by the parent company. In addition to restaurants, the center offered cooking classes featuring Lawry's products.
One more note: Angostura bitters are most often used for mixed drinks, so look for them in the liquor aisle of your grocery store. When we first moved to Washington, I had to go to the State Liquor Store to find it.
Gert's Three-Bean Salad
1/2 cup each white and brown sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. Angostura bitters
1 tsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. seasoned salt
2 cans each green beans, waxed beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans
1 cup each (or to taste) chopped celery, green pepper and/or red onions
In one-gallon container, mix all ingredients except beans and vegetables. Drain beans and add to bowl. Add vegetables to taste. Refrigerate at least 24 to 48 hours, stirring twice a day. (Also can be made in plastic food storage bags for ease of turning to marinate.)
Salad only gets better with age and can keep for a couple weeks.
|Salad looks like this when first mixed. Not nearly marinated enough!|