Monday, April 15, 2013

Jan's Three Bean Salad

Amish Country last spring - this spring was too rainy!
Jan here, back from a week long trip to visit family back in Amish Country.

Now, some of you might think Amish Country is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, or even Holmes County, Ohio. And while there are large Amish settlements in both of those places, real Amish Country is in LaGrange and Elkhart Counties in northern Indiana.

Of course, when you visit Amish Country, you have to eat. And yes, we went to the best restaurants and had the best soups, mashed potatoes and PIE!!!

But I thought you'd like a look at my dad's refrigerator. This is the kind of stuff he keeps on hand for lunches....

These are the meats for sandwiches.

On the left is turkey...the kind normal people buy.

The top center? That's Lebanon baloney. Pure heaven. Oh my. I can taste it now, just looking at that slice....

But the other stuff? Souse.

Souse is made by taking all the leftover pig stuff after you're done butchering, adding in some onions and peppers, adding some good, rich broth, putting it all in a loaf pan and letting it solidify into a block of...this.

I tried it. I won't be making any at our house. I'll let your imagination figure out what parts of a pig would be leftover after making ham, bacon and sausage.

And now the cheeses.

Clockwise from the lower left: Colby from the Amish cheese factory out near Middlebury, Baby Swiss from Holmes County, smoked Gouda, New York Cheddar packaged by Yoder's Market in Shipshewana, and a bit of Muenster.

When you make a sandwich with wheat bread, spicy mustard, turkey and some of that Baby Swiss, you've got yourself a good sandwich!

Here's the final thing to round out a good, Amish Country lunch - Three Bean Salad.

Dad buys his from Das Dutchman Essenhaus (just the best restaurant in the area. Take a look at it here), and it's about the tastiest commercial Three Bean Salad I've ever had.

My mom used to make it quite often in the summer, and several years ago I developed my own super simple recipe.

Jan's Three Bean Salad


1 can green beans, drained
1 can yellow (or wax) beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 small onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
1/4 cup green pepper, cut in 1/2" chunks
1 cup Italian salad dressing

Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes. Drain the excess salad dressing before serving.

Now you're all set for an Amish Country lunch!


  1. yuck no souse pics! my dad used to do beef balogna and olive loaf and spam - blech! I've never tried 3 bean salad - my grandpa used to eat the canned version though. but a pic of souse should really be followed by something chocolate and yum - like rich brownies :-) now I'm craving cheese and homemade bread! and you didn't even show a picture of bread!
    yeah and the new and wonderful print friendly button! :-) sooo hahppy with the handy dandy button!

    1. Isn't that print button the coolest thing? And you can print the pictures, or delete them and print just the text :) Kudos to Missy for figuring out the complexities of Blogger life!

      And you're right. I really should have added a picture of something scrumptious after that picture of souse...except my dad would say the souse picture is beautiful. He loves the stuff.

    2. Susanna, I hope the printing works well for you! A very cool gadget.

    3. yeh my dad thought that pimento loaf and olive loaf were good too - blech!

  2. I see the 'print' button!! So exciting!!!

    And your dad and my dad would be good friends. Mine has lots of hard salami, etc. and at least 6 kinds of cheese at all times. Funny, we were there one day and my son asked for some cheese. My showed him what was available and he said, 'but where's the REAL cheese?' ha! He meant orange squares in a little wrapper...

    1. I don't know if my dad has ever bought the yellow square cheese. I do, though. One son loves it on burgers (while the rest of us eat cheddar or bleu cheese on ours). I do keep it on hand for dog treats, too. Wynter hates to be brushed, but she knows if she cooperates she gets that one treat I save just for brushing.

  3. Oh Jan, I'm praying this was a research visit into Amish country!!!!! Guess what I am reading right now? I'm 80 pages from the end and tempted to read the rest with my eyes closed because I know it's going to get bad before it gets better! Guess who has a new favourite Amish author? Please tell me you're going to write more. Pleas, please, please...pretty please. And regarding corgi puppy names. Honestly -- you have no choice -- gotta be Bram if it's male and Ellie if it's a female. Duh!

    And bah to the luncheon meat, yay to the bean salad recipe and yum to pie at any time!

    1. Hi Kav!

      Of course you say bah to the lunch meat - - but isn't that cheese fabulous? And the bean salad! I love the stuff.

      I'm so glad you're enjoying the book! I know I like to read it, but then, I'm biased :)

      And believe it or not, I never thought of Bram for the puppy's name (it's a male). We've tried out so many different names, voted down several, and have three or four we're thinking about. But we have time. This litter was born the same day as Ruthy's puppies, and I think we'll be able to bring him home around the end of May.

    2. Oh, and our visit to Amish Country? It was more of a family trip. My mom's health continues to decline, but I was able to have 30 minutes with her awake and holding my hand. It was more than I had hoped for.

    3. Kav, we should have warned you to turn away during the souse section! :) Jan, this bean recipe looks so good!

      But you know, I'll have to add a little sugar! I like a little sweet to take the edge off the vinegar of the salad dressing. :)

    4. Sugar would be a great addition! The Essenhaus salad has that touch of sweetness to it.

  4. Yeah, the first part of this post was not Kav friendly:-) I, too, will pass on the souse, but sign me up for ALL the cheeses.

    My mom used to eat three-bean salad when I was a kid. Never had much of an affinity for it, but leave it Jan to make me want to give it a try.