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Green Bean Casserole


MarketStEl
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Look. This thread is about green bean casserole. Don't EVEN try to bring jello into it. I live in the South. Jello crosses all cultural boundries. What's not to like. It's cool, colorful, and jiggly.

Get back to the Green Beans or the posts will start disappearing faster than green jello cubes on the line at Piccadilly.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Green jello jiggly bean layered cold casserole is my step-aunt's father-in-law's cousin's brother's uncles' friend's niece's daughter's twin's favorite recipe in the whole world, and she brings it to Irish-Mayan-German-Hittite-Babylonian families gatherings. It's a recipe they picked up in Narnia just after Tinkerbell dropped them off when she picked them up from visiting the wizard.

They make it with Baco's, Snausages, Funyuns, Blue Jello, Black Olives, Green Beans, Shredded Beets, Canned Peaches, Natural Ice Beer, and Store Brand Cream of Mushroom Soup. It's topped with Reddi Whip. They serve it right beside the Marshmallow-Candied Yams that they got from the Can.

Have I offended ya enough, Brooks?

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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They make it with Baco's, Snausages, Funyuns, Blue Jello, Black Olives, Green Beans, Shredded Beets, Canned Peaches, Natural Ice Beer, and Store Brand Cream of Mushroom Soup.  It's topped with Reddi Whip.  They serve it right beside the Marshmallow-Candied Yams that they got from the Can.

Have I offended ya enough, Brooks?

Offended me? Hell, I was hoping for a recipe. I bet it would look just great made in a little mold and served on a leaf of iceberg lettuce and be even better if you put a big dollop of Kraft Brand Salad Dressing on top.

That would be some good eating, in my book.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Offended me? Hell, I was hoping for a recipe.

Heck, the recipe is dead easy. One commercial package/can/bag/12-pack of each ingredient. Heat it til the smell drives your family out of the house. Then let it cool to set.

Edit to add: Make that 2 12-packs. One for the cook, one for the food.

Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Campbells used to advertise like crazy in the 50's: "That's why Campbell's Soup is mm mmm good."

Remember?

Then their think tank got together and brainstormed recipes to use the soup in "gourmet" ways. It was the decade of the casserole - they rivalled the newly introduced TV dinners - women everywhere were opening cans and mixing them together. I vaguely remember some recipe that called for one can of cream of mushroom and one of cream of celery. Casseroles were in, man. As were jello salads. And toothpick spears of pineapple and Spam. Tomato aspic.

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And toothpick spears of pineapple and Spam. Tomato aspic.

My fiance LOVES Spam and all of its horrid little cousins. I think at our wedding (which I'm catering, so I can make ALL of the food decisions), I'll make a table for the BAD friends... and serve them Spam and pineapple kabobs they can cook over Sterno cans.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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They say that confession is good for the soul. So here goes.

Sunday night, at a gathering of lily-white Kansans who are passionate about Ford Mustangs, I ate green bean casserole. And I liked it.

For dessert, I had red Jello with miniature marshmallows on top. I've certainly had better desserts, but the interplay of the slick, cold Jello and the chewy marshmallows was kinda fun.

Also, my mother made mac 'n' cheese with Velveeta. I absolutely loved it. I used to make it for my college roommates, and they thought it was the best ever. (But we will argued about which kind of cream soup was "supposed" to go in the tuna casserole.)

There. Now I can start the new year with a clean slate.

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I think tuna casserole is more "white" than green bean casserole. I guess that's because it was never made in my house growing up. But the gbc certainly was. My mom adds chopped water chestnuts and bean sprouts to hers. I've tried making it from scratch, and it was universally disliked. The only change I've made in recent years is substituting Vietnamese fried shallots (you can get them in most asian markets) for the Durkee onions, the really are so much better, and you can use them in other ways too. They are even good straight ouf the jar -- the Durkee ones leave a shortening film on the palatte eaten straight.

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Tell me about tuna casserole.  The kind with noodles, cream of something* soup, a drained can of tuna, crumbled crackers on the top, and shredded cheddar on top of the top.  Is that a white thing, too? 

Don't use that language in front of me! :laugh: My sister's favorite hot dish...and yet another reason why the midwest is a good place to be from!

Kate

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Sandra Lee of the unfortunate Semi-Homemade show is the current spokesperson for this dish, what more needs to be said? :rolleyes::biggrin:

Seriously though, I am a definite white girl, although I never had this growin up. That probably had to do with being a military brat and moving around all the time. No green bean casserole at our house on the base in Misawa, Japan. My mother did make something pretty nasty once in a slowcooker with packaged beef, bottled french dressing, and I think sauerkraut. Hell, I didn't know you could make Mac and Cheese without the blue box until I was 10 and started cooking for myself. Thirteen years later, my dad always asks me to fix them dinner to "give my mother a break." My Father complained about his lunch my mom packed the other day: Wonderbread (naked, no mayo or mustard) and thick slices of Ham Loaf (?). Once, during a health kick, my mom tried to make her cream of chicken, sour cream, chipped beef, and chicken slowcooker deal with fat free sour cream and reduced fat soup...needless to say, she wondered why the thing was so dreadfully seperated and nasty looking (to me it just looked a lot nastier than usual). So, it actually is surprising that the greenbean casserole did not show up on our table. Now, as for the cranberry sauce with no attempt to hide the ridges from the can it came in (and that no one eats), that is a holiday must! Sweet potatoes from the can used to be a staple, with the marshmallows, until I showed my family how easy it is to work with fresh sweet potatoes and how much better they taste roasted or mashed with a bit of cinnamon and butter, no marshmallows needed since they are sweet enough.

I do have to say thought that the ladies in the classifed ad section of the newspaper I work at talk about these sorts of casseroles all the time (Columbus, Ohio weekly paper). Once they talked about mixing canned green beans with cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, cheese (probably "american"), onions and putting this in a casserole dish, covering it with leftover mashed potatoes and then sprinkling more cheese. Sometimes they add whatever leftover meat they have in the fridge (I think at the time they were discussing ground beef). Ewwww...

my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

"...but I'm good at being uncomfortable, so I can't stop changing all the time...be kind to me, or treat me mean...I'll make the most of it I'm an extraordinary machine."

-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

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Campbells used to advertise like crazy in the 50's: "That's why Campbell's Soup is mm mmm good."

Remember?

Then their think tank got together and brainstormed recipes to use the soup in "gourmet" ways. It was the decade of the casserole - they rivalled the newly introduced TV dinners - women everywhere were opening cans and mixing them together. I vaguely remember some recipe that called for one can of cream of mushroom and one of cream of celery. Casseroles were in, man. As were jello salads. And toothpick spears of pineapple and Spam. Tomato aspic.

Exactly. Does anyone else remember when Kraft sponsored TV shows and demonstrated various "Holiday" recipes using Kraft products during the commercial breaks? This was when there was no cable and only 3 television networks, so you could figure that most people in the country were watching this at one time or another.

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a Catholic thing, people. Used to be that Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, fresh fish was unavailable in most of the country, and was expensive if you COULD find it. Thus, the cheap-to-make casserole was born. I ate tons of this stuff growing up. Along with "fish sticks." :wacko:

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Interesting. To me, the green bean casserole is much more "white" than the tuna noodle casserole. In my second-generation Jewish-American family, tuna noodle casserole (or mac-a-tuna as we used to call it) was a regular staple, while I never even heard of green bean casserole until I was an adult. My mother never made those classic Betty Crocker Cookbook 1950's recipes that were popular in so many families, and I was frequently teased in my small mid-western town for eating "Jewish" food, though in fact what we had most of the time was just food made with fresh, healthy ingredients, most often with a mediterranean influence, but right there in the mix was tuna casserole.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole is a Catholic thing, people.  Used to be that Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, fresh fish was unavailable in most of the country, and was expensive if you COULD find it.  Thus, the cheap-to-make casserole was born.  I ate tons of this stuff growing up. :wacko:

Au contraire, my fellow monotheist. Tuna casserole is a staple dish in the Jewish household as well, prepared with Creamettes elbow macaroni, tunafish cream o' mushroom soup and (of course)...frozen peas! I must have consumed this dish once a month growing up in the Tribal 'hood of West Rogers Park in Chicago.

And yes, green bean casserole held its honored position at the Fresser Family Thanksgiving this year, with my sister preparing the back-of-the-label dish.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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My mom made it to go with the ham, for New Year's Day. She always used frozen green beans, and frozen onion rings, not Durkee's. I don't hate it, but I've never been inspired to make it for my family either.

It's definitely a mid-twentieth century, suburban, women's magazine kind of recipe.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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My mom made it to go with the ham, for New Year's Day.  She always used frozen green beans, and frozen onion rings, not Durkee's.  I don't hate it, but I've never been inspired to make it for my family either.

It's definitely a mid-twentieth century, suburban, women's magazine kind of recipe.

So, I shouldn't be cruising my back copies of GeezerJock for it?

Damn. They always have such good diet advice.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Au contraire, my fellow monotheist.  Tuna casserole is a staple dish in the Jewish household as well, prepared with Creamettes elbow macaroni, tunafish cream o' mushroom soup and (of course)...frozen peas! 

It most certainly is NOT! :shock: Tuna fish is for sandwhiches. Full stop. :raz:

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I must say, Sandy, you've brought up a great subject with one of the best posts I've seen on e-g.  Moreover you've brought up a subject that has led to some deep soul (food) searching questions.

You're welcome. I've found the subsequent discussion fascinating as well.

And I think that that TV commercial is indeed a clever marketing ploy, given that we have heard from some actual white people who have never even been in the presence of Green Bean Casserole.

  Now, as I plan this years Christmas dinner, with no green bean casserole on my menu I'm forced to look in the mirror and ask 'what's happened to my whiteness?'  Has my Berkeley upbringing turned me away from my heritage of white trash cooking?  This can't be totally true, as after all I love mayonaise.

Tabasco! You forgot the Tabasco!

I like Mac'n cheese as well.

Have you searched your family tree far enough back? There must be some African-American blood in it.

Unless, that is, you make yours with Velveeta.

But then again I think to myself, when was the last time I had tuna noodle casserole?  I can't remember.  Correct me if I'm wrong though, but I think now that tuna noodle casserole is acceptable as non-white trash cooking providing you don't put the crushed potato chips on top.

I've certainly been to black family gatherings and parties where tuna and noodles in cheese sauce has been served*, so I'm not sure we can use that particular variant of tuna casserole as a marker for whiteness or white-trashness.

The kind Garrison Keillor sang about--which IIRC also requires Velveeta, according to the song lyrics, and which sounds like the chip-topped curiosity you've invoked--can be.

*I've also made this dish myself several times. As often as not, I add peas, and on rare occasions, peas and carrots.

  I'm curious, cetainly green bean casserole heads the list of white food, probably with tuna noodle casserole and mayonaise close behind.  Are there any others?  What have I been missing?  Have I been eating white food without knowing it?  So many questions, and by the way, shouldn't we be reffered to as cauc-non-asian?  So much confusion.

To add to this, if I'm not mistaken, many of the present-day inhabitants of the Caucasus are ethnically Armenian and Turk, and not terribly white.

Happy Holidays to all!

And to you and yours as well!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Sunday night, at a gathering of lily-white Kansans who are passionate about Ford Mustangs[...]

Except that she was black, that could have been my mom (KU alumna, BSN '54, MSN '70, first black woman to receive both degrees from the school, and had a '65 Mustang that she loved to death).

Did any of said Kansans arrive in Mustangs bearing license plates with the letters JO or WY in the upper left corner?

If so, did you require them to take a citizenship test?

:hmmm::wink:

--Sandy, forever Kansas Citian (Missouri) in a piece of his soul, not unlike Calvin Trillin

Edited to add: Confidential to NWKate: I share your sentiments about the Midwest, although I would assert that Kansas City is underrated as a place to live by East Coast natives (most non-Asian, non-Hispanic Californians have a relative who lives somewhere in the area and thus are not completely unfamiliar with the place). However, I've also often been known to assert that after wheat and corn, the Midwest's biggest export is Midwesterners.

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Since we are all pulling down our genes and showing our privates, I will divulge that at the ripe old age of 40, I recently (last week) learned that I am an 'Octoroon'. I had no idea. Oh I knew my birth mother was 1/4 black, but until I overheard two little old ladies at a Christmas Bazaar pointing at my mother and saying 'that's Mrs. Peters...you know, they adopted that little Octoroon baby' I have to say I had NO idea. None. The fact that said adoption was 41 years ago not withstanding, it was a shock :laugh::laugh: Good Lord...41 years later and that's all you can think of to say? Struck me dumb.

Anywho...never had that casserole...not at any family gathering of any family I have.

I personally think the dish has it's roots in southern kitchens that employed black women as cooks...these women just dreamt up something foul and fed it to the white folks as a little 'stick it to the boss' kind of a deal...and it appears to have worked, so good for them!

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Speaking of forays, mizducky please don't get me or Sandy started on sweet potato pie vs. pumpkin pie!  :biggrin:

Aw, s**t, Diva, now you're making me have to come out of the closet and reveal my :sad:Inner Oreo!

My grandma on my Dad's side, at whose house I ate Thanksgiving dinner every year from when I was old enough to remember until the day I left Kansas City for good, fixed only pumpkin pie for dessert.

I didn't taste sweet potato pie until my teens, when I went to a feast at my Aunt Elaine's (one of Mom's two sisters) where it was served.

I must agree with you on the relative merits of the two, but I'm afraid the cultural imprint left by Grandma Smith is way too strong for me to overcome without concerted effort. However, you may contribute to that effort with a decent recipe. :wink::smile:

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Tuna Noodle Casserole is a Catholic thing, people.  Used to be that Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, fresh fish was unavailable in most of the country, and was expensive if you COULD find it.  Thus, the cheap-to-make casserole was born.  I ate tons of this stuff growing up. :wacko:

Au contraire, my fellow monotheist. Tuna casserole is a staple dish in the Jewish household as well, prepared with Creamettes elbow macaroni, tunafish cream o' mushroom soup and (of course)...frozen peas! I must have consumed this dish once a month growing up in the Tribal 'hood of West Rogers Park in Chicago.

And yes, green bean casserole held its honored position at the Fresser Family Thanksgiving this year, with my sister preparing the back-of-the-label dish.

Regarding the tuna casserole, just to clarify things Fresser and everyone else, indeed this dish is Minnesotan, Norwegian, Swedish, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, Black and White. Not at all the line drawn in the sand that is green bean casserole. :raz: My mom made this for us growing up. She had been a cook (in hotel restaurants and homes) and a housekeeper. Actually, I really loved and craved this dish, but only when she made it. The only difference is--Sandy please back me up here--that Black folks "refined and perfected it." :biggrin: At least my mom did. :smile:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Since we are all pulling down our genes and showing our privates, I will divulge that at the ripe old age of 40, I recently (last week) learned that I am an 'Octoroon'.  I had no idea.  Oh I knew my birth mother was 1/4 black, but until I overheard two little old ladies at a Christmas Bazaar pointing at my mother and saying 'that's Mrs. Peters...you know, they adopted that little Octoroon baby' I have to say I had NO idea.  None.  The fact that said adoption was 41 years ago not withstanding, it was a shock  :laugh:  :laugh:  Good Lord...41 years later and that's all you can think of to say?  Struck me dumb.

I had to look up Octoroon. I'd never heard that term before. According to the American Heritage Dictionary:

"The terms mulatto, quadroon, and octoroon originated with the racial policies of European colonizers in the Americas, especially the Spanish. Because civil rights and responsibilities were based directly on the degree of European blood that a person had, such classifications were highly elaborated, and minor distinctions in ancestry were carefully recorded. While these terms have highly precise definitions, in actual practice they were often used based on impressions of skin color rather than definite knowledge of ancestry. "

I'd heard of that kind of differentiation, of course, but I didn't know there were actual terms associated with it.

We need a word for so-called white trash who don't make their green bean casseroles correctly --adding things like water chestnuts, and using golden mushroom soup instead of regular. (What is "golden mushroom", anyway?)

:raz:

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using golden mushroom soup instead of regular.  (What is "golden mushroom", anyway?)

:raz:

It's shorthand for "3 X worse than the regular cream of mushroom soup." :raz:

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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