Friday, November 29, 2019


My contribution to the family Thanksgiving table is usually a veggie dish, since I make so many of them at home and everybody else tends to bring dessert. Recently I've been making roasted broccoli, which keeps well for the couple hours between coming out of my oven and being set out on our niece's kitchen counter, and which has gotten its share of compliments. But this year I decided on something different.

B's youngest sister, who died last summer, was the family's mistress of what we called the greenie beanie casserole. Perhaps you've had this too; it's a common dish, made with frozen green beans and a can of cream of mushroom soup, plus a package of toasted onions. Since she's gone, we will have this no more.

But I found a recipe for the same dish made with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms. I looked it over and decided I could do this, so I did, as a memorial for Jo. Bought the veggies at the best of the local produce markets, and prepared everything except for the final mixing and baking at home in the morning. Brought the creamed mushrooms (surprisingly easy to make) in the casserole dish, the blanched green beans in a tupperware container, and the split toasted onions in baggies, and hit it to the oven at the right moment. I was pleased at how well it came out: the beans were cooked just right and never stringy, and while I don't much like mushrooms, the pieces were tolerable and the cream sauce actually good.

Next time I may try making it with home-made cream of celery done the same way.

This dish also marked a notable landmark for me. The big 26-ounce canister of salt, which I've been using ever since I was in college, finally came to emptiness. I always wondered if I'd outlive that. Now I have to buy a new one, but I think it will be a smaller size.

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