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Green Bean Casserole


MarketStEl
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Ah, here it is:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/prod_tunahelper.asp

Cheesy Pasta Tuna Helper.

Wow. My Tuna Noodle Casserole now seems very high end.

From the FAQ (yes, there are frequently asked questions about Tuna Helper):

Why did the product spill over onto the floor of the microwave?

    The product will spill over if you added more tuna than specified in the package directions. Or you may have added too much liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level.

:blink:

The liquid is water.

I will not snicker, I will not snicker, I will not snicker...

They can find their way to a FAQ on the Internet but they can't measure water, let alone boil it? No worries, I'm doing more than enough snickering for you and me both.

Other random comments:

Sandy: Isn't "inner Oreo" sorta-kinda redundant? I mean, given that the point of the metaphor is the white innards of the cookie? :wink::biggrin:

Oh, and folks, in case you didn't pick it up, Sandy and I met in college, so I can personally attest to him being a Brotha in good standing. (And an order of magnitude less Oreo than certain high mucky-mucks in the administration of said college at the time we were attending... :shock::laugh: )

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Other random comments:

Sandy: Isn't "inner Oreo" sorta-kinda redundant? I mean, given that the point of the metaphor is the white innards of the cookie? :wink:  :biggrin:

Oh, and folks, in case you didn't pick it up, Sandy and I met in college, so I can personally attest to him being a Brotha in good standing. (And an order of magnitude less Oreo than certain high mucky-mucks in the administration of said college at the time we were attending... :shock:  :laugh: )

The Duck went to Hahvahd? (Radcliffe?) I would imagine the soup du jour there would be clam chowder, not cream o' mushroom.

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

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Other random comments:

Sandy: Isn't "inner Oreo" sorta-kinda redundant? I mean, given that the point of the metaphor is the white innards of the cookie? :wink:  :biggrin:

Oh, and folks, in case you didn't pick it up, Sandy and I met in college, so I can personally attest to him being a Brotha in good standing. (And an order of magnitude less Oreo than certain high mucky-mucks in the administration of said college at the time we were attending... :shock:  :laugh: )

The Duck went to Hahvahd? (Radcliffe?) I would imagine the soup du jour there would be clam chowder, not cream o' mushroom.

Oh dear. The subject of culinary atrocities perpetrated on the students of Fair Harvard by their dining halls, while fascinating in that train-wreck way shared by some of the tales in this thread, would probably lead us way off-topic. Suffice it to say that a goodly amount of the stuff they attempted to feed us would make even a GBC made with canned green beans look like haute cuisine in comparison. Whatever that school was doing with the money we paid 'em, very little of it involved buying good food. :rolleyes:

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A fellow called John Harvard went to my esteemed college here in Cambridge. I believe he did good work in the then colonies. We have a Harvard Scholarship, where someone from that place comes for a year, They get to live in John Harvard's original room, complete with original plumbing, or lack of it.

We also have the Gomes Lecture and Dinner (on Feb 17th next year) in honour of Peter Gomes, an Honorary Fellow of the College, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard and Minister of the Harvard Memorial Church. An excellent person, and a witty dinner companion.

GBC is never served. In fact I don't think I have ever seen in in the UK.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I don't think I've ever found it at a buffet, strangely enough.  Or, more likely, I saw it, but did not partake, a la Bill Clinton.

You mean you didn't inhale the casserole? For shame! :laugh:

What inhale? I flashed a mental picture of the casserole fondling him!

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

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It's that time of year again.

Every time I turn on the television, eventually that commercial comes on:

"Every holiday, every special occasion, the recipe we all remember is Green Bean Casserole."

Are you implying that the commerical has been on TV for years? Like someone else who posted above, I never saw the darned thing until last week.

Makes me wonder if the ad itself has some subliminal thing going to make folks think they've seen it, as well as eaten the GBC, in years gone by.

For the record: white boy from the 1950s St. Louis suburbs. Never heard of GBC until a couple of years ago when it showed up at a restaurant somewhere in the Northeast (I honestly don't remember where) in the guise of retro comfort food. And it was as vile as it sounds.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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We were talking about this thread and green bean casseroles on our way to go shopping this afternoon when I brought up the topic of using canned green beans. She informed me in no uncertain terms that not only must they be canned green beans they must be store-bought and not home canned even. Her mom canned her own beans and neither those nor fresh were acceptable for GBC. Judging by the sterness in her voice I know she was very adamant about this aspect of GBC.

I also brought up one of the other white foods mentioned here, the bologna sandwich on cheap white bread with Mayo. She informed me that in her family they always had fried bologna sandwiches on white bread with mayo. Would this be considered kicking up the whiteness a touch to fry the bologna?

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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  I also brought up one of the other white foods mentioned here, the bologna sandwich on cheap white bread with Mayo.  She informed me that in her family they always had fried bologna sandwiches on white bread with mayo.  Would this be considered kicking up the whiteness a touch to fry the bologna?

I have had GBC a few times, but it was never a part of our holiday dining, particularly not when my mother was cooking. Of course, fried bologna sandwiches on white bread is another matter. For a short time, when I was very young, we lived in a small house owned by my father's boss. One night, as Mom was frying up some bologna for sandwiches, the boss strolled by on his way home. He stopped to chat with Daddy through our open kitchen window, and commented on the wonderful smell of the Canadian bacon (he thought) Mom was cooking. Daddy rushed him away so he wouldn't know what our poor man's supper really was. He laughed about that for years.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Oh dear. The subject of culinary atrocities perpetrated on the students of Fair Harvard by their dining halls, while fascinating in that train-wreck way shared by some of the tales in this thread, would probably lead us way off-topic. Suffice it to say that a goodly amount of the stuff they attempted to feed us would make even a GBC made with canned green beans look like haute cuisine in comparison. Whatever that school was doing with the money we paid 'em, very little of it involved buying good food.

A fellow called John Harvard went to my esteemed college here in Cambridge. I believe he did good work in the then colonies. We have a Harvard Scholarship, where someone from that place comes for a year, They get to live in John Harvard's original room, complete with original plumbing, or lack of it.

We also have the Gomes Lecture and Dinner (on Feb 17th next year) in honour of Peter Gomes, an Honorary Fellow of the College, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard and Minister of the Harvard Memorial Church. An excellent person, and a witty dinner companion.

GBC is never served. In fact I don't think I have ever seen in in the UK.

Catch-all reply:

OT: Then I imagine our esteemed Cantab friend knows all about the Statue of the Three Lies. (In front of University Hall, where the Dean of the College at Harvard has his office, is a statue of a seated figure with the following inscription on its base:

"JOHN HARVARD

Founder

1638"

The three lies, in reverse order of significance:

1) Harvard was founded in 1636, not 1638;

2) The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony founded the college. John Harvard was merely its first big benefactor--the colony named the college for him after he gave it half of his library;

3) The seated figure is not John Harvard. No known likeness of him exists. The person who sat for the statue is some anonymous Harvard student of the late 1800s.)

Back OT, sort of: So, Ellen--should we start a new thread singing the praises of Polynesian Meatlike Balls? The ways the Harvard Dining Services folks tried to foist tofu off on us scarred me so badly, I refused to touch the stuff for at least 15 years afterwards. Indeed, next to these creations, GBC is haute cuisine indeed.

And to our Cantab friend: I'll see your GBC and raise you a can of Heinz Baked Beans. (Heinz Baked Beans are as ubiquitous in the UK as Campbell's Tomato Soup is in the US, or so I understand, but the Pittsburgh food giant barely makes a dent in the US canned bean market.)

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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My father's mother was a Home Economics teacher. She was an enthusiastic cook, and one of the worst cooks I can remember. More than anything else, she loved to put together a big family dinner at Christmastime, with all of the uncles and cousins and brothers and sisters and grandchildren in one house. She would burn hams, make horrid floury soups, and, each Christmas without fail, make Green Bean Casserole. The relatives on that side of the family were not particularly discriminating in food, and generally hungry, so most of the glop disappeared quickly.

Her brother, Clement, was a notorious miser. He hated to throw away any food. Uncle Clement gnawed cabbage cores and cheese rinds, saved bits of leftovers and fried them up in olive oil for his breakfast each morning. My grandmother's ham always had a scorched skin; he would cut this into small pieces and chew on them.

My father's family was prolific as well as hungry; when my grandmother celebrated her hundredth birthday there were something like 80 very close relatives present. One Christmas we had around 40 of them in her house. Grandma was excited about the number of people she had to feed, and she made a huge vat of Green Been Casserole.

This time the casserole was so horrible that nobody ate more than a few bites of it. So the Green Been Casserole pot went back into the fridge, and it came out the next day, and the next.

Finally, several days after Christmas, she again served warmed-up Green Been Casserole with lunch. Uncle Clement looked at it -- by now a grey-green porridge -- on his plate. Then he stood up, went to the stove, took the pot (still about half full of casserole) and tipped all of it into the bin. We were stunned. "Uncle Clement is throwing away food!" whispered one of the younger cousins. My grandmother quietly left the kitchen. I don't recall her serving Green Been Casserole again.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Last night for Christmas Eve dinner, the children requested GBC. I made my usual double batch, and between two adults and two teenagers, it was all eaten. As a side note, this is apparently the warmest Christmas ever in the Seattle area, with the temperature in the high 50's and even the low 60's in some parts of the area. Perhaps GBC is to blame....

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Jonathan Day, that is a most wonderful story! Not to mention that it confirms all my worst prejudices about old-style Home Ec teachers (sez she who suffered through a Home Ec class whose teacher could neither cook nor sew well--geez, what the heck's left?!? :laugh: )

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By the way, my partner's white.

Well then, you're all set! All you need is a bonafide white guy and you too can soon be eating one of the most traditional staples for "White Folks who can't cook"!

Now all you need is some canned green beans, some bacon, little onions, cream of mushroom soup, (and for the daring, pimento-but that's really pushing it) and some canned fried onions (though I reccomend Zapp's Crawtators as a sub).

Guess what I found while picking up meats and cheeses at DiBruno Brothers on Chestnut Street on Friday!

They're real crunchy and nice 'n' spicy. Yeah, they'd be much better than canned fried onions on GBC.

Not that I'd go out and make any for that reason.

On the other hand, the next batch of turkey tetrazzini I make would no doubt be greatly improved by their presence.

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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Followup from the front lines:

Last night, Gary and I visited a Community College colleague's home in Mt. Airy (relatively affluent, quasi-racially-integrated neighborhood in the northwest part of Philadelphia) for a "Feast of the Seven Fishes." I was the only black person in attendance (which made for some punny clues later that evening in a guess-the-word game; the word in question was "blackmail.")

After the boulliabaise (mussels, clams, shrimp and cod--four of the seven in one dish; the main course contained the rest--anchovies, crab and scallops; a tin of smoked oysters was passed around as a bonus), I asked, tongue firmly in cheek, "So after this is the Green Bean Casserole, right?" to general laughter from those assembled.

I then explained the little sociological experiment I had been conducting. Gary assured me and everyone else that Green Bean Casserole was indeed a staple at dinners his mother prepared, and that it would no doubt be part of the Christmas Day dinner his sister, niece-in-law and mother were all pitching in on.

I just got back from Haddonfield (affluent, terminally charming Southern New Jersey community connected to Philadelphia by a subway line, where just about all of Gary's family lives now). On the menu tonight:

Havarti with dill and Brie for appetizer.

Roast turkey.

Mashed potatoes.

Peas in their pods with peppers.

Cranberry sauce.

Stuffing made with celery and onions.

Celery and carrot sticks.

Homemade coleslaw with apples.

Homemade dinner rolls.

Seven-layer chocolate and coconut cake.

I just double-checked this list. Nope--no Green Bean Casserole to be found on it anywhere. Since I see the Mullin/Donch clan at least three times a year, and usually more often, I did not feel like causing a racial incident by accusing any of them of not upholding their cultural heritage.

But I am sure that deep down inside, Gary is ashamed.

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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But I am sure that deep down inside, Gary is ashamed.

:laugh:

You so silly.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Followup from the front lines:

Last night, Gary and I visited a Community College colleague's home in Mt. Airy (relatively affluent, quasi-racially-integrated neighborhood in the northwest part of Philadelphia) for a "Feast of the Seven Fishes."  I was the only black person in attendance (which made for some punny clues later that evening in a guess-the-word game; the word in question was "blackmail.")

After the boulliabaise (mussels, clams, shrimp and cod--four of the seven in one dish; the main course contained the rest--anchovies, crab and scallops; a tin of smoked oysters was passed around as a bonus), I asked, tongue firmly in cheek, "So after this is the Green Bean Casserole, right?"  to general laughter from those assembled.

I then explained the little sociological experiment I had been conducting.  Gary assured me and everyone else that Green Bean Casserole was indeed a staple at dinners his mother prepared, and that it would no doubt be part of the Christmas Day dinner his sister, niece-in-law and mother were all pitching in on.

I just got back from Haddonfield (affluent, terminally charming Southern New Jersey community connected to Philadelphia by a subway line, where just about all of Gary's family lives now).  On the menu tonight:

Havarti with dill and Brie for appetizer.

Roast turkey.

Mashed potatoes.

Peas in their pods with peppers.

Cranberry sauce.

Stuffing made with celery and onions.

Celery and carrot sticks.

Homemade coleslaw with apples.

Homemade dinner rolls.

Seven-layer chocolate and coconut cake.

I just double-checked this list.  Nope--no Green Bean Casserole to be found on it anywhere.  Since I see the Mullin/Donch clan at least three times a year, and usually more often, I did not feel like causing a racial incident by accusing any of them of not upholding their cultural heritage.

But I am sure that deep down inside, Gary is ashamed.

Damn Sandy you been doin' some good eatin' lately--coleslaw with apples, no less. I think I'll have to make a trip to New Jersey and hang out with you and Gary. BTW, do you have any straight brothers? I mean, hook a sistah up why dontcha? :wub:

Merry Christmas to you and yours. :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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I don't know about the original premise of this subject...whether green bean casserole is a white phenomenon. I doubt it. It might be more about region. But it sings to me a sweet song of tradition from a more innocent and uncomplicated time called childhood.

The green bean casserole became a staple at our holiday dinners and for that reason I celebrate its appearance on my menu once in a great while. Once or twice a year is plenty to accomplish my culinary trip back in time to another time and place. I am not sure the reason for it becoming so traditional in our home,

along with such items as oyster dressing, turkey, yams with brown sugar and tiny marshmellows,mashed potatoes, fruit salad, and hickory nut pie. I suspect it was a combination of economy and coming from simple stock with simple tastes. Maybe we had a starch deficency. But it had nothing to do ethnicity.

It might have been boring to some palates, but to ours it was ambrosia. I have since spread my wings a bit more, but occasionally I still hunger for the some of the old dishes. Or is it the old memories I seek?

Many peoples have items on their menus for which I don't understand the appeal, but knowing it brings back special memories for them, I say bring it on! I'll try it and maybe I will learn some of why it appeals to you. If not, we have at least shared a part of you.

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Many peoples have items on their menus for which I don't understand the appeal, but knowing it brings back special memories for them, I say bring it on!  I'll try it and maybe I will learn some of why it appeals to you.  If not, we have at least shared a part of you.

Thank you for an eloquent defense of Green Bean Casserole.

Certainly there are many others like you for whom it conjures up images of happy times; it does fall in the category of "comfort food" for many.

I did find it interesting, though, that there seemed to be a racial split in my informal survey. This discussion suggests that it may be regional as much as racial, but I still have yet to encounter a black friend or acquaintance for whom it is part of their culinary heritage.

Until tonight, that is. A black couple whom I see often dropped by our belated Christmas dinner towards the end, and when I asked The Question, both of them said they had eaten the dish. The older half of the couple said that not only does he eat it fairly often, he absolutely loves it.

That this person is the head security guard at Campbell Soup Company headquarters (the only remnant of the company in its birthplace of Camden, N.J.--well, that and a new minor-league ballpark bearing its name) is pure coincidence, I can assure you. But it does mean that he can get Cream of Mushroom soup cheap whenever he wants. (He's more enamored of the huge grab bags of irregular Godiva chocolates the company offers for sale to employees at super-bargain prices. I've made a mental note to approach him next Christmas and whenever a birthday approaches.)

As for what I fixed for dinner tonight: Photos will be posted to the "Dinner!" thread in Cooking tomorrow. The turkey and ham have been put away. Half the pots are in the sink awaiting cleaning; I've had my fill of the kitchen for today. Creamed spinach was on the menu, but no GBC.

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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I've read this entire thread with much amusement....

To be honest, I hadn't even heard of GBC until about 4 years ago. It was the topic of a thread on another online message board and I clicked on it curiously since I had no idea what it was.

Well I was pretty revolted by the idea of it. First of all, I hate canned string beans. And canned stringbeans in combination with salty, goopy Campbell's cream of mushroom soup just doesn't appeal to me at all. And then it has the nerve to be topped off with those crunchy fried onions??? *ugh*

None of my extended family and friends serve it at their holiday meals either. I don't know any black folks who eat it, cook it or serve it.

Conversely speaking though, it's not a holiday meal, family gathering, hell - even a baby shower without baked macaroni & cheese as a side dish.

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I spent most of my life chuckling at the idea of green bean casserole, and never tasted it. Then, on Christmas Day at a friend's house - there it was.

And I actually LIKED it. I was floored. (It was also the one dish that they ran out of!)

The next day I was watching a show on the Food Network that I'd recorded. It was "Pot Luck Challenge" on Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. They had updated some retro dishes and one was...green bean casserole! It had brandy, wine, fresh garlic, fresh thyme, and freshly made fried onions on top. The recipe is here.

Tonight, I noticed this thread for the first time. (I am sure I passed right over it before Christmas).

Someone, somewhere, perhaps some higher power, believes it is time I stop ignoring green bean casserole. :raz:

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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"inner oreo" ? do you know how gross it is to blow cabernet threw your nose!!! :shock: Then I had to clean the screen of my laptop off.

Yes but did the cab have a good nose :laugh: .

On topic: Irish/Cuban(Spain) and thankfully I have never come across this....ummm....this....well words to describe this escape me. :wacko:

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Here ya go: Green Bean Casserole Turns 50 This Thanksgiving

It only seems as if it's been part of Thanksgiving dinner forever.

The green bean casserole is the most popular recipe ever to come out of the corporate kitchen at Campbell Soup Co.

To add my 2 cents, I grew up in Brooklyn. Causcasian, nominally Jewish. I never heard of GBC until a few years ago (guess I don't watch much TV!), and never tasted it until last year, and I'm in my 50s!

We never, ever ate casseroles at my house, and to this day, "casserole" to me is the name for an ovenproof dish, not part of the name of the food it contains.

We never, ever ate sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, either, or molded Jell-O salads -- but that's another story!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Here ya go: Green Bean Casserole Turns 50 This Thanksgiving
It only seems as if it's been part of Thanksgiving dinner forever.

The green bean casserole is the most popular recipe ever to come out of the corporate kitchen at Campbell Soup Co.

Ah, but the story reveals a deeper, darker secret:

Green Bean Casserole is actually a press fabrication!

In fact, the story celebrating its semi-centennial is self-promotional:

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) — [...]

The recipe, created for an Associated Press feature in 1955, is still a fixture on soup cans labels and, this time of year, Campbell television commercials.

(emphasis added)

(FWIW, the story was probably reported out of the AP Philadelphia bureau. All the people quoted in it live in the South Jersey 'burbs.)

Wonder if it's served at AP bureau holiday parties?

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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:rolleyes:

Ehh. If I got any whiter I'd faint. I did, in my early/mid twenties, do GBC with the mandatory Campbell's and Durkee's, along with frozen green beans. God help me and all I served: everybody loved it.

These days, if I do anything that remotely resembles GBC, it's with fresh green beans and made-from-scratch bechamel and separately roasted mushrooms (involves EVOO, sea salt, fresh-ground pepper, and fresh thyme). The onion component may come from sauteed shallots. Or not.

Everybody loves that, too. Go figure.

:unsure:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Looks like the article reveals another key to this dish's perennial popularity:

Older women told the company that it's so easy to make that even young kitchen novices or the family's worst cooks can't mess it up, said Jennifer Hartley, a senior brand manager at Campbell.

Aha! Imagine all the holiday familial quandaries this dish must have solved! "Oh dear, that new daughter-in-law who can barely boil water is begging to make something for the big Thanksgiving dinner--I know, let's assign her the Green Bean Casserole, there's no way she could possibly screw that up!" :laugh:

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