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Green Bean Casserole


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I Found a Wonderful vintage cookbook today called "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics teachers: Casseroles, Including Breads." Published in 1965 by Favorite Recipes Press Inc. it has no less that 38 recipes for Green Bean Casserole! They are almost all the same basic recipe (can of green bean, can of mushroom soup, can of onion rings) with variations such as the addition of things such as bacon fat, dill seed, MSG, caraway seed and Swiss Cheese, Velveeta,  water chestnuts, Tabasco, slivered almonds,  Ritz crackers,  canned Cheddar soup,  soy sauce, bean sprouts,  Cheese Whiz, packaged dressing mix, cornflakes, lemon peel, canned pimento, bacon slices,  canned cream of chicken soup,  can of mixed Chinese vegetables, can of chow mein noodles, hard cooked eggs, canned cream of celery soup,  can of Parmesan,  bread crumbs,  and Croutettes (?).

Recipes hail almost exclusively from the Southern States. Titles include: French Beans A L'Orient, Green Bean lemon Supreme, and of course, String Bean-Croutette Casserole (from Flora Ward of Newville, Alabama). Bless her sweet Croutettes!

There are only 11 Green Pea Casseroles, 31 Eggplant Casseroles, and 19 Broccoli. I think I have to go back and get the other book they had in the series :"Favorite Recipes of Home Economic Teachers: Foreign Foods."  Actually there is a section in the book in the index called "Foreign Casseroles".

I think I have successfully repressed my memories of green bean casseroles at prairie potlucks, but am still traumatized by Chef BRD pizza in a can.

Zuke

This is exactly why I love to buy old "community/church/what-have-you" cookbooks. They give such insight into the variances of "cuisine/home-cooking" in all the areas of our country. I seldom cook from these books, but seek them out because they provide such a wonderful look into the various parts of our country.

I wonder if these kinds of cookbooks exist in other countries. Surely they must--and I'd love to get my hands on some of them!

Deb

Liberty, MO

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White. Have previously heard of, but still have not experienced, GBC. Sounds like a by-product of the '50s infatuation with the 'convenience' of canned food products of all sorts. Y'know, modern and progressive for its time. Not about "the food" at all.

But I must comment on the thread itself. I've seen it lurking on the forum and never stopped by for a visit until now. The most interesting things the topic seemed to be that it somehow persisted. Tonight, it somehow registered that it had reached 7 pages--there must be some there there. Very glad I finally checked it out. I don't recall seeing other threads that so explicitly addressed racial culinary traditions or divisions. I'm sure I'm wrong there and have just missed them. Any suggestions for other threads on this issue?

ps--just got home from a working meeting at Sandy's and MizDucky's alma mater. The food's gotten better.


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  Very glad I finally checked it out.  I don't recall seeing other threads that so explicitly addressed racial culinary traditions or divisions.  I'm sure I'm wrong there and have just missed them.  Any suggestions for other threads on this issue?

Welcome aboard the Good Ship eGullet, Linda!

At the risk of sounding self-promoting, here are a couple of threads I've started on ethnic traditions and/or phobias:

Yankees reluctant to try Southern food

The anthropology of poultry

Bagel or danish?

We're pretty candid about matters racial, religious, cultural, et cetera and how these matters relate to food. Frankly I think this is what makes eGullet so interesting.

Edited by Fresser (log)

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

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I Found a Wonderful vintage cookbook today called "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics teachers: Casseroles, Including Breads." Published in 1965 by Favorite Recipes Press Inc. it has no less that 38 recipes for Green Bean Casserole! They are almost all the same basic recipe (can of green bean, can of mushroom soup, can of onion rings) with variations such as the addition of things such as bacon fat, dill seed, MSG, caraway seed and Swiss Cheese, Velveeta,  water chestnuts, Tabasco, slivered almonds,  Ritz crackers,  canned Cheddar soup,  soy sauce, bean sprouts,  Cheese Whiz, packaged dressing mix, cornflakes, lemon peel, canned pimento, bacon slices,  canned cream of chicken soup,  can of mixed Chinese vegetables, can of chow mein noodles, hard cooked eggs, canned cream of celery soup,  can of Parmesan,  bread crumbs,  and Croutettes (?).

Recipes hail almost exclusively from the Southern States. Titles include: French Beans A L'Orient, Green Bean lemon Supreme, and of course, String Bean-Croutette Casserole (from Flora Ward of Newville, Alabama). Bless her sweet Croutettes!

There are only 11 Green Pea Casseroles, 31 Eggplant Casseroles, and 19 Broccoli. I think I have to go back and get the other book they had in the series :"Favorite Recipes of Home Economic Teachers: Foreign Foods."  Actually there is a section in the book in the index called "Foreign Casseroles".

I think I have successfully repressed my memories of green bean casseroles at prairie potlucks, but am still traumatized by Chef BRD pizza in a can.

Zuke

This is exactly why I love to buy old "community/church/what-have-you" cookbooks. They give such insight into the variances of "cuisine/home-cooking" in all the areas of our country. I seldom cook from these books, but seek them out because they provide such a wonderful look into the various parts of our country.

I wonder if these kinds of cookbooks exist in other countries. Surely they must--and I'd love to get my hands on some of them!

In the February 2006 issue of Martha Stewart's magazine there's an article on the recent acquisition of "...one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of American cookbooks" by the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. (Just in case anyone was wanting to write a PHD on the diaspora of the Green Bean Casserole.)

Of course, now that Martha's got an article on collectible cookbooks the prices will skyrocket.

:angry:

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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Of course, now that Martha's got an article on collectible cookbooks the prices will skyrocket.

:angry:

Hmm, maybe I'd better put off putting up my next batches of cookbooks on ePay for awhile, and wait for the masses to get all hepped up? :sad:

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I don't recall seeing other threads that so explicitly addressed racial culinary traditions or divisions.  I'm sure I'm wrong there and have just missed them.  Any suggestions for other threads on this issue?

Personally, I love this thread: "How we ate growing up...."

It was, and continues to be, utterly amazing to me how different all of our families were, but yet how alike. I think that when we're little and sitting around our own dinner table, we just assume that what is normal for us is what's normal for everyone else.

And also, there was a great funeral thread a while back that hit upon the differences in how various cultures handle funerals and food.

Terrific.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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  • 8 years later...

I won't say exactly how, but a can of mushroom soup and French's onion rings will perk up any holiday dish and take it over the top.

 

If you were talking to gfweb, Alex .. I will defend him if he was the one who invented the dish I had never had till I moved to Texas - green bean casserole. If he did, I can vouch for the fact that there are probably only 2 or 3 people in the whole state who didn't copy the trick of using mushroom soup and a can of French's onion rings to amp up their holiday meals. It's a shame, mind you ... but ... it IS popular.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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If you were talking to gfweb, Alex .. I will defend him if he was the one who invented the dish I had never had till I moved to Texas - green bean casserole. If he did, I can vouch for the fact that there are probably only 2 or 3 people in the whole state who didn't copy the trick of using mushroom soup and a can of French's onion rings to amp up their holiday meals. It's a shame, mind you ... but ... it IS popular.

 

Nope, not about that post. In fact, I "liked" it. 'Twas just a general comment/reminder.

Edited by Alex (log)
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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

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With all due respect to traditionalists, green bean casserole using canned products is one of those dishes that was never good, even when soaked in nostalgia. Not that I would really remember, since I haven't had it in probably 40 or 50 years. Being responsible for the turkey and never for the vegetable at our Thanksgiving, I've never had the opportunity to try Smitten Kitchen's updated but still faithful version of the infamous casserole which entails making your own crispy onions, making the mushroom component from fresh shrooms and of coarse using fresh green beans. But if ever asked to provide it, that's the one I would tackle.

 

What this topic has to do with the original post is a bit murky, but there it is. Not only is GB casserole as invented by Campbells (or whoever) over the top, as gfweb notes, but it is also under the table. As in "I can't eat this but I don't want to insult my hosts so maybe this nice dog will help me out."

 

Fresh made crispy onions on the other hand, is a good trick that would elevate a wide variety of dishes. Yum!

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With all due respect to traditionalists, green bean casserole using canned products is one of those dishes that was never good [...] Not only is GB casserole as invented by Campbells (or whoever) over the top, as gfweb notes, but it is also under the table. As in "I can't eat this but I don't want to insult my hosts so maybe this nice dog will help me out."

 

 

 

<LOL>  Thanks for the chuckle ...

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 ... Shel


 

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We have a strange kid who requests the dreaded GBC as part of Christmas dinner every year. My solution is to make her a annual gift pack of all the ingredients so she can foul her own nest.  Even Santa won't respond to her request. 

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Oh come on!  There's nothing wrong with liking the old fashioned Green Been Casserole.  It's only once a year.

There are other versions for the snobs.  I've had both kinds, and both kinds are just fine.

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I liked it when I was a kid...but I just really don't care for it now.  I know it's because of the canned soup taste.  My step-daughter loves the stuff so someone always makes it for family dinners.  I politely skip it.

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Oh come on! There's nothing wrong with liking the old fashioned Green Been Casserole. It's only once a year.

There are other versions for the snobs. I've had both kinds, and both kinds are just fine.

Folks must like it or it wouldn't be ubiquitous. I was at a holiday potluck last year and there were three of them sitting in the "vegetables" section - the only apparent difference among them being the way that the perpetrators chose to arrange the onion rings.

Certainly not my personal favorite (and I've never made it) but, if it's the only green vegetable available, and it often is, I'll eat it.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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It was a staple at our family Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. Those were fun times, with upwards of 20 people telling stories, catching up on news, waxing enthusiastic about their latest projects. I liked the casserole back then. Our gatherings are much smaller now, and don't include that casserole, but I suspect that if I were to taste it again I'd have a flashback to The Good Ol' Days.

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I have never had it or even seen it but I suspect I would probably enjoy it in small quantities.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I have never had it or even seen it but I suspect I would probably enjoy it in small quantities.

I had a cousin that really loved it and made it all the time, year 'round. I remember a great many backyard steak cookouts where the menu was steak, salad, garlic bread and green bean casserole. She told me that one big reason why she made it so often was that it was the only green vegetable that her children would eat happily, no threats or bribery required.

I will say that she always made it with fresh green beans, never canned.

And she added water chestnuts, a nice crunch, which improved the texture considerably.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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I have never had it or even seen it but I suspect I would probably enjoy it in small quantities.

 

Is it an American dish? I don't think I have seen it in Canada, but I have run across it in the US at Thanksgiving (and/or Christmas?) dinners. I love green beans and the first time I saw it, I took a generous portion, but it was absolutely vile. Awful texture and taste, incredible salty and an artificial/over-processed aspect to it and unappealing glutinous sauce. Just everything about it was awful. I'm SURE there must be better versions though, else, as Jaymes says, why would anyone have it? 

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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Interesting that Canadian eG members appear unfamiliar with the dish.  Also interesting the revulsion of many others to the dish. :smile:

 

Eh, it's not gourmet food but it is not "vile", unless it truly was made horribly and left around to get stone cold and completely congealed. 

 

Original recipe, from Campbell's.

Wiki article - note that it says the original recipe card was presented to the Inventors' Hall of Fame in 2002.

Google answer set.

 

I would venture that there is also that "texture thing" again - where many people find gelatinous or glutinous textures repulsive, which gluggy renditions of the dish probably would have.

 

 

Cream of mushroom soup?  Heh, I have a few cans of it in my larder.  It's fine for what it is, and one thing I do sometimes is to make mushroom soup with a tin of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom with lots of sliced white button mushrooms added in.  I like it when I'm in the mood for that.**

 

** Wylie Dufresne said that he would rather not be pious about things in a NYT article discussing professional chefs eating fast food, supermarket food (when the sourcing is from Aisle 12) etc...and where Dufresne talked about eating a great deal of American cheese - yes, that "artificial"/processed stuff - everyday in his kitchen at work.

Edited by huiray (log)
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I like cream of mushroom soup, green beans, fried onions. I am looking at the original recipe and will likely have to try it at least once. I always thought it called for canned beans and that I couldn't do.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I like cream of mushroom soup, green beans, fried onions. I am looking at the original recipe and will likely have to try it at least once. I always thought it called for canned beans and that I couldn't do.

 

Good attitude! Maybe I should try making it myself as well and see how it goes. 

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I didn't discover green bean casserole till I moved away from home, because my family never made it. Since then, I've seen it done both ways: canned beans and frozen. I can't abide it with canned green beans. (Then again, I can't abide canned green beans in anything, even when they haven't been re-cooked.) With frozen green beans, I like it. I've also tried several of the homemade versions, and they don't do it for me the same way that the cream of mushroom soup and can of fried mushrooms do. That's not to say that the homemade versions aren't tasty; to me, they're just something different that isn't the classic casserole.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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I've only had it when the beans were so over cooked they were almost gray.  You start with canned green beans, dump 'em in a pot and boil 'em 'til they burst.  Taste and give 'em another ten minutes just to make sure there is none of that nasty crispness is left.  By then they look like dead slugs.  Turn them loose into a sea of goopy soup and bake them to make triple sure those beans are cooked.  Add onion rings to dress it up.  Now avert your eyes, while I pick off and eat the onions.   But yes, I would be more than willing to try it made with fresh green beans.

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