I’m very excited to see my family tomorrow.

First, my brother and his wife live on a sort-of gentleman’s farm. They don’t till the soil, but they are a local repository for used farm animals: donkey, llama, horse, cows, goats, chickens, ducks. I’ll try to post some pictures after I go. You will love them. The menagerie seems oddly at home and also like they’re living in temporary housing – – shelters and cubbies – – because when Dave or Carlene get a call, I don’t think they can say, “No.”

Then, I haven’t seen many of my family members for at least a couple of years, since my oldest daughter’s wedding and my grandmother’s funeral. Is it any wonder that so many movies are made around this theme?

And I love the food. There’s nothing like a couple of picnic tables spread with people’s favorite (or first-time) recipes. You can take huge piles or tiny bites and no one is offended. Everyone’s plates are overflowing.

Love it? Have more. Hate it? Get a new paper plate.

Here’s a new recipe I tried. First, full props to The Silver Palate Cookbook (C1982, Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins, w Michael McLaughlin, Workman Publishing NY). This is a rendition of their Technicolor Bean Salad and totally their Garlic Dressing.

Bean Salad

1 can each garbanzos, white kidney beans (I used cannellini), red kidney beans, baby lima beans, and black-eyed peas
1 lb. green beans (fresh) cooked crunchy-tender in salted water (cut in 2″ lengths)
Garlic Dressing (following recipe)
1/2 c. green onions (be sure to have some greens)
1/2 c. chopped Italian flat-leafed parsley chopped (for garnish on top)

Drain canned beans, rinsing thoroughly with water. Toss canned and fresh beans together in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing. Stir in green onions. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. Garnish w/ chopped parsley. Serve at room temp. 10-12 servings (looks like more to me). You could easily add chopped bacon or some herbed goat cheese with this – or on the side.

Silver Palate Garlic Dressing

1 egg yolk
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. granulated sugar
1 T. chopped garlic
salt & pepper
1 c. best-quality olive oil

Combine egg yolk, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and seasonings in the bowl of a food processor fitted w/ a steel blade. Process. With motor running, dribble in olive oil (I used a mini-chop processor, due to the amount, and added the oil 1/3 c. at a time). About 1 1/2 cups.