Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving planning and lost in memories

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Years and years of having the honor of bringing green bean casserole to Thanksgiving dinner has inspired me to get creative. Don’t get me wrong….I really do like a good green bean casserole but holy hell, what a boring dish it can be to prepare. No matter.... tradition and so on. I am fortunate to have been gathered into the fold of my husband’s family to participate with his rowdy congregation of serious eaters.

This year I am looking at adding honey caramelized onions and pancetta. This may take another twist before I am done with it.....we’ll see.

Past Thanksgivings I would bring two casseroles. The variation goes like this:

One green bean casserole (GBC) with mushrooms, crispy Durkee fried onions and béchamel sauce – the second GBC containing the aforementioned and bacon. (This was the year my niece was vegetarian…hence the meatless version. The bacon laced GBC was devoured first. And quickly I may add.)

Sometimes I change the cheese out and use Swiss cheese, sometimes sharp cheddar. Sometimes zero meat products.

You get the idea. This has been going on for years. Messing with the ingredients. So…………..this year, definitely using caramelized onions and maybe goat cheese. Marsala……that would be good.

I miss my son being part of these gatherings. He’s been at Ft Polk in Louisiana being tortured participating in extensive training. More than likely it’s in prep to be sent overseas. I hate very much. He’s newly married and it would be such a wonderful thing for us to all be together on the holiday, participating in conversations, beer pong, hugs, …………..all of it. Last year we drove up to see him and his bride. This year he will just be getting back from training.

It’s been 46 years since I had a Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my father and 47 years with all of my family. Mom, Dad, the uncles, sometimes my sister would come with her kids. Sometimes it would snow early and we’d play around outside until it just got mushy. The house would be so warm, hot even, from the constant use of the oven and all the stove burners as my mother moved in a blur. Her hands were always occupied with pot holders, or a wooden spoon, or a pie or {insert any food item} and she was in her glory. Loved the kitchen.

(My sister Linda, Mom, me and brother Jim..........enjoying road side picnic. Always prepare for emergencies)

Boy…….did I ever meander around holiday memories. Ok (shaking my head)…the GBC. Back to it. I hope to get more creative this year and we will see what I can post and share next week. In the meantime, looking forward to some time off work and good eating.

I hope you all are well, whoever is reading this, and I thank you for visiting.

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives.”
― Oscar Wilde


Debra Eliotseats said...

I love your ramblings. And I can never think about GBC without thinking of Cream of Mushroom soup. I love the sounds of your version---especially your baconized version!

drick perry said...

I know you will get it right, ya can't have TG without GBC, it just isn't the same. Good choice with caramelizing the onions, kinda like a bacon/onion jam and I like the Marsala too, as an aftertaste... kinda like I sometimes do by adding Worcestershire... Enjoy your time off, good eating and do enjoy the family time (Maybe you'll get a surprise visit, wouldn't that be great!) My week is a working hell, no cooking as it is one of our busiest times of the season, the Carnival season kicks off with the Debutante ball TG eve so until then, it is all work and I will do a simple meal on Thursday... again, enjoy your holiday my friend and tell Doug to get the drinks pouring...

Pierce said...

Thank you Debra.....sometimes I remember this is my online journal and not just a recipe sharing site. I lose track of my intents sometimes :-)

Drick, You sound incredibly busy. Speaking of TG and GBC, we have made your version of the casserole many times. Must be the time of year for sentimental feelings to surface because I don't usually dwell on the family. Thank you for your kind words and I assure you, Doug is doing his part :-)

Debbie said...

I always love a good trip down memory lane. And a good GBC too!

CJ - Food Stories said...

Funny how everyone has their own family traditions ... I've never had green bean casserole before in my entire life ... Maybe this is the year to try it :-)

Pierce said...

Thanks Debbie, happy thanksgiving (early).

CJ, really...I think you'd like it. You are all about healthy eating and there are ways to make this casserole without fats!

Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today said...

Wonderful post, I hope that you'll spend the next Thanksgiving with your sun and his wife. And the planning for meals - good idea. I celebrated Thanksgiving last year with my American friends and I must tell you, food was amazing, totally different from traditions in Europe :)

Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today said...

Wonderful post, I hope that you'll spend the next Thanksgiving with your sun and his wife. And the planning for meals - good idea. I celebrated Thanksgiving last year with my American friends and I must tell you, food was amazing, totally different from traditions in Europe :)

Le laquet said...

What a truly beautiful set of words pulled together to make a post *wipes a tear or two away* and that's before the thought of the GBC!!
Much love Mrs C x

Rita said...

Really loved reading your post this morning; so many things, so many memories. You have special talent putting your thoughts together and sharing. I can almost feel your joys and sadness. Enjoy those beans.
Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

Christine said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family... even those not under the same roof with you today. What a wonderful post to have read today.. thank you for warming my heart. :)

The quotes you chose for today are PERFECT.

I make GBC every Thanksgiving, too. Mine has gone through changes over the years as I've become a more experienced and discerning home cook. I now make it with all fresh ingredients--green beans, milk, butter, mushrooms, s&p-- except for the fried onions. Those I buy at Trader Joe's over the last few years with natural ingredients, at least. It's a big hit! I'm thinking of the bacon idea for next year, though.. ;)


p.s. Did you get the Dec. issue of EDF yet? Oh man--they're discontinuing the magazine!!! I'm so heartbroken. The remainder of the subscription will be substituted with MS Living.

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