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Summer is here, time for Summertime and the Livin' is Easy Recipes! The following is a modification of a recipe from The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken.

I always double my version because otherwise it disappears too fast. Put the following ingredients into a large bowl:


2 cans pantry cut green beans

2 cans cut yellow wax beans

2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed

2 cans chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans or ceci

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can pinto beans, rinsed

one-half chopped Vidalia onion, or red onion, if you prefer

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed

2 teaspoons salt

black pepper to taste

1 cup of oil of your choice (go all out here and spend the money on extra virgin, premium olive oil) My alternate oil is canola, but I found O-LIVE & CO, slightly on sale; it is first cold pressed, estate grown and produced in Colchagua Valley, Chile. The bottle claims they use "a secret formula by the people of the southern andean region. Due to the long time tasting of medicinal herbs, they have a highly developed gustatory system. Our olives are grown and pressed, within hours of harvest on our estate in Chile. We capture the very best flavors and ensure highest quality with minimum acidity."

1 cup white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar

Combine all of the above and stir gently, then let it sit. It is best when marinated all day or overnight, covered and refrigerated, (although it can be eaten immediately). Drain off the sugar-oil-vinegar liquid after marination and serve on a bed of lettuce or kale. For those of you who think you hate beans, just try it. I promise you will have friends and family begging for this recipe, or more likely inviting you to barbeques and block parties, with the offhand remark, "you could bring your Cool Beans Salad."

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