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OT Help With a US Recipe

2 years ago

I sometimes have a look at the 'Kitchen Table' site and although not interested in pics of people's kittens and puppies I find the discussions on what people eat in the US very interesting as it differs in so many ways from what I am familiar with in the UK.

One dish mentioned for Thanksgiving is Green Bean Casserole something I have never heard of over here.

Could someone please tell me/provide a recipe for this. Is it truly yummy?

Thank you in advance!

Comments (33)

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vee, Here it is. I’ve never understood why people seem to be so in love with this recipe.

    Green Bean Casserole

    Donna

    vee_new thanked msmeow
  • 2 years ago

    Vee, it's basically a casserole dish, basically green beans with gravy and crunch on top.


    Vee, I must tell you that you have mischaracterized Kitchen Table as a "kittens and puppies" forum. The camaraderie, knowledge and wisdom there is remarkable.

    vee_new thanked socks
  • 2 years ago

    Socks I take your point and, yes, I have found out many things of interest there. And nice to see that almost everyone is polite and friendly, unlike so many forums over here that are full of hate and bile plus expletives.

  • 2 years ago

    A Tasty Marketing Campaign

    During post-WWII America, the technology in which canning and freezing packaged food had progressed greatly for easier food accessibility. This, paired with the lift of canned good rations, allowed for working wives to prepare cheap, fuss-free meals. This had the Campbell’s Soup Company thinking: how do they market their product while providing a simple recipe for American families? Their solution: the green bean casserole.

    In 1955, the supervisor of Campbell’s Home Economics’ Test Kitchen, Dorcas Reilly, was put on a mission. Their goal was to give Campbell’s a product that could be relayed to the Associated Press. Herself and her New Jersey-based team looked, tried, and crafted recipes with household ingredients that any American cook would have. Through trial and error, Reilly landed on the green bean bake or casserole as called by a later date.

    Her recipe included Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, green beans, and fried, crunchy onions to name a few of the six ingredients. Reilly achieved three critical factors with this recipe: there was a minimal prep time, one could use fresh or frozen green beans, and it allowed for pre-packaged cooking. The campaign proved to be a marketing win for Campbell’s; these days an estimated 20 million Americans have green bean casserole for Thanksgiving.

    Try your hand at Green Bean Casserole

    To this day the recipe can be found printed on Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup cans.

  • 2 years ago

    Thank you Yoyobon. Amazing to think that an advertising campaign could have such a profound affect on a holiday meal. I remember when Campbell's soup first appeared in the UK, especially the chicken one it was considered quite something, 'though I don't know of anyone here making the green bean casserole.

    A cookery programme on the BBC radio was talking about the popularity of mac'n cheese in the US also at Thanksgiving. It was described as quite 'solid' in texture, as though it would have to be cut with a knife. Over here it is just a cheese sauce, poured over cooked pasta, grated cheese sprinkled on the top and either put in an oven or under the grill. Of course there are variations on the theme . . . I often add a spoon of mustard power to the sauce to add a bit of zing, others add onion. We have lots of cheeses available from mild to strong which alter the flavour.

    Also over here as we don't have a thanksgiving to celebrate we eat turkey plus all the usual 'trimmings' at Christmas. I guess most of you don't have turkey twice within a month, do you?

  • 2 years ago

    Vee - I don't know anyone who serves mac 'n cheese at Thanksgiving. No doubt there are many who do, but it's not a long-standing tradition in this country by any means. It's only in the last few years that I've heard of it being added to the annual feast. And by the way, green bean casserole has a distinctive taste that many love - including me. Commerce has not actually forced it onto our tables. They introduced it and we, in general, really like it. (I probably like it a lot because I am from a family who does not traditionally serve it at Thanksgiving.)

  • 2 years ago

    Vee, I may have said this before but I heard that what the U.S. calls Independence Day is what England calls Thanksgiving Day.

    One of my step-grandsons loves Green Bean Casserole, so I make it for our Christmas get-together with that side of the family. I use the recipe that Ms. Meow gave you, but I've never put soy sauce in it. That would probably be a good addition. We can buy crispy french fried onions in a can.

    For Thanksgiving dinner this year, 14 of us ate 3 quarts of my sister's home canned green beans. They don't need any embellishment. It was the only dish of many that was completely emptied.


  • 2 years ago

    I think they call for too much milk in that green bean casserole recipe. (Yes, it's THEIR recipe, but they got that part wrong, in my opinion.) I think it only needs a splash of milk, if any at all. But yes, Carolyn, the soy sauce adds a little sumpin' sumpin' - and low-sodium soy sauce is just fine.

  • 2 years ago

    Carolyn, I don't recall having any kind of a Thanksgiving Day in the UK. However I have been away since 2003 so it might have come to pass. Like Black Friday which has no traditional relevance here in Australia other than being a sales generating scheme!

  • 2 years ago

    Annpan, perhaps Carolyn's comment about Independence Day/Thanksgiving is said tongue in cheek?!

    But Black Friday, now all over the TV adverts, is just a gimmick to help us part with our money for stuff we neither need nor want and is often no cheaper than before the 'sale' sign went up.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    It is always suggested that Christmas, at least as we know it in England and Wales (Scotland was never big on that Season as Hogmanay was the main holiday) was 'invented' by Charles Dickens and helped by Prince Albert's German childhood of decorated trees.

    So we had/have Christmas pudding, mince pies, turkey which has long taken over from the more traditional goose etc but . . . do you in the US have family customs perhaps carried to America by ancestors from many years ago? It must be so meaningful to keep these old memories alive even if it just small but precious decorations brought out each year.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vee, regarding green bean casserole: I like it when it first comes out of the oven and the french-fried onions are crunchiest. However, the onions quickly become sodden, thus the dish doesn't hold over well nor does it reheat to anything close to the original semblance. Some people don't seem to mind that, but my family members are picky. If leftover green bean casserole appears on the table, they studiously avoid it -- the dish goes begging and I wind up discarding most of it into the 'slop bucket'. You might consider that if you ever decide to make it.

    I agree with kathy_t that the Campbell's recipe calls for too much milk.

  • 2 years ago

    Although my family provide me with home cooked then frozen meals mainly, occasionally I buy Microwave single serve dinners but I avoid any with green beans (which I knew as runner beans) as they are rarely enjoyable. I don't know what the Test Kitchens are thinking but I have had anything from almost raw to limp and soggy!

    I was brought up to eat everything on my plate but those beans have to go into the food scraps green waste bin.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ladies! Ladies! Buy an extra container of those french-fried onions. When serving leftover casserole, stir the no-longer-crispy onions into the beans and add a fresh layer on top before rewarming the casserole. (I too am from a waste-not, want-not family.)

  • 2 years ago

    Growing up in the deep South, it was often more the tradition to serve a baked ham at Thanksgiving, instead of turkey. In fact, I never had a Thanksgiving turkey dinner until my early '20's when I married my Northern PA husband.


    As for Mac 'n Cheese: as Vee does, I always add a smidgeon of mustard. Makes all the difference! I also like to add brocolli to this dish.

    vee_new thanked woodnymph2_gw
  • 2 years ago

    Annpan, I was brought up on runner/string beans picked when about a foot long and very tough, despite l-o-n-g cooking. UK gardeners seem to think bigger equals better! DH always grew French beans which we much prefer, they don't go soggy when taken out of the freezer and keep their colour well.

    Woodnymph, when visiting with my Southern (VA) relatives the favoured food was fried chicken which I always enjoyed. Before KFC it was never available over here, nor do I know anyone who cooked it at home.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Kathy, as for Waste Not Want Not. My late Mother took this to extremes even after food rationing had ended. You would find little blobs of food saved on saucers at the back of the 'fridge. If humans refused something the dog could be relied on to finish it up.

    On one memorable occasion while staying there with the two older children she served them something for supper only for it to reappear many times during the night. No sooner had I cleaned up one than the next chundered. We spent a quiet following day with two very pale kids and a tetchy and tired parent. In this instance M did admit that the so-called food had been resting on the windowsill of the larder which opened out into the next door farmyard.

  • 2 years ago

    Kathy, I think your suggestion is great. I'm afraid, though, my crew would still be suspicious. Green bean casserole for only one meal a year is all they will tolerate. I think it's the onions they don't like.


    Lutefisk is a Christmas tradition in my Upper-Mid-west family, although barely anyone really likes it. It honors our Norwegian ancestry and particularly our 'Marmie' who always prepared it. Two in the younger generations have taken on the mantle of carrying on the tradition. The adults usually take a bite or two, but most of the kids refuse it, except one nephew who at three years old attacked his first offering with great relish. We still call him our "Lutefisk Disposal"..

    vee_new thanked friedag
  • 2 years ago

    I grew up with the traditional turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes/carrots/green bean casserole Thanksgiving dinner and still make it for the extended family. Sadly, the Campbell's green bean casserole fell out of favor just a couple of years ago (we were down to just one Aunt who still wanted it) and so was replaced by fresh green beans with almonds. Oddly, my husband and both kids loathe turkey, so I bake a ham for them in addition to the turkey.


    When we got married decades ago, we claimed Christmas Eve as our holiday to host. It has since grown into a big holiday open house for extended family and friends with lasagna for dinner (a dish chosen only because I could make it ahead and two pans can feed an army) followed by several pies and alarming quantities of Christmas cookies. Now that my mother is in her 80s, I'm doing Christmas Day dinner, too, and that is almost always a ham.


    Vee, I've always been fascinated by the English Christmas puddings that I've read about in books. Are they really made months ahead? Are they anything like our fruitcake? Do you make one?

    vee_new thanked sheri_z6
  • 2 years ago

    Sheri.......I'm with your hubby and kids ! I hate the taste of turkey. Simply horrible. It's right up there with venison.

  • 2 years ago

    Ann, Vee was right. My comment was a joke; i.e. you all were happy to be rid of us.

    Frieda, as a Kentucky farm girl, I'm amused by you reference to a slop bucket.

    Sheri, my daughter shared your curiosity about Christmas pudding so much that she ordered one from the Norm Thompson catalog and paid a lot for a little cake.

  • 2 years ago

    Vee, my hubby’s family has turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. They serve two meals on each day, so that’s turkey X 4!

    I grew up in the south (well, Florida…geographically south but not really part of The South) and we never had mac & cheese as part of a holiday meal.

    Donna

    vee_new thanked msmeow
  • 2 years ago

    I like pretty much all the Thanksgiving dishes with the exception of candied yams. I actually prefer the jellied cranberry sauce from a can to the home made whole-berry sort.

    I've had family members who did not like the traditional dishes and sometimes make lasagne for them. It makes them very happy. I've even noticed that the lovers of the traditional dishes take a serving of that as well.

    Here in California where we have a large Asian population, Dungeness crab is also popular, that is, in the years when crab season opens in time for the holiday. In recent years it has been delayed too late for that.

    vee_new thanked Rosefolly
  • 2 years ago

    Sheri re Christmas pudding, yes they can be made months before as they are virtually full of dried fruit bound with suet, some breadcrumbs and a quantity of Guinness or similar dark stout, spices etc. that will 'keep' for about a year. They need steaming for many hours in a pudding basin . . . formally wrapped in a muslin cloth . . . then covered with grease-proof paper and stored. Even then they have to be thoroughly reheated in a pan of gently boiling water for ages.

    The home-made ones taste much better than shop-bought which are often over-sweet and dry, but making them is a performance! Not to be confused with the performance of serving it.

    A spoon of brandy has to be poured over the pud then set on fire so it is brought to the table in a sheet of blue flame. My youngest brother on witnessing this for the first time cried out "It's bonfire cake!"

    Mince pies are much easier to make . . small pastry cases with a dollop of mincemeat inside. Originally real minced/ground lamb with lots of dried plums/prunes and spice.

  • 2 years ago

    Re the mention of a 'slop pail'. After WWII our family, like many others, kept hens and all the edible food waste was boiled up over night in an ancient heavy saucepan. Before school it was my brother's job to mix it with 'layers mash' and serve it to the hens. The smell was not unpleasant.

    All big institutions, hotels, schools, hospitals etc had 'pig-swill' bins/containers out the back which were emptied into trucks (now that did smell bad) and taken to somewhere . . .presumably farms where it was boiled up and fed to the pigs.

    Some years ago this was deemed unhygienic as the stuff wasn't being 'cooked' properly leading to the spread of disease.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Carolyn and Vee, I put slop bucket between inverted commas because I wasn't sure readers would know what I meant. Some people consider it synonymous with chamber pot, and they get the wrong idea that I add food scraps to that thing that used to be kept under a bed for night relief instead of traipsing outside to a privy. Er, no. I was town-raised, but that was in Iowa where even townies know a thing or two about pigs and pig-swill.

    Moving back to things more appetizing: What about the traditional holiday pies, U.S. style? Vee, do the English countenance pumpkin pie -- in any style? I can eat pumpkin pie, but IMO most Americans make them much too sweet. I don't really like the blend of spices always referred to as 'pumpkin spice', either. This drives some eaters -- and drinkers -- into ecstatic, delirious pleasure. I recall the story about the Frenchwoman tasting her first slice of American pumpkin pie. She spewed it into her napkin because she wasn't expecting it to be sweet. I felt the same way about sweet potato pie, but luckily I didn't spew.

    However, the food hypocrite that I am: I adore a good slice of Southern pecan pie or English walnut pie, usually served at Christmas dinners in some regions.

    Oh, and I like fruitcake, too, despite its reputation -- the urban legend being the same fruitcake is passed on to/foisted upon attendees at Christmas events year after year. One fruitcake was rumored to be a half-century old. You all have probably heard that. I think there's an English variation as well.

    vee_new thanked friedag
  • 2 years ago

    Vee, thanks for the Christmas pudding explanation - it does sound a bit like fruitcake, though certainly with more work and time involved.


    My Dad was a big fan of fruitcake, particularly the sticky-icky grocery store ones that were more candied fruit and high fructose corn syrup than cake. I prefer a "cake-ier" version myself. Years ago we had an elderly neighbor who made her own from scratch and that cake was beyond delicious -- it was a weighty, moist spice cake with a perfect balance of candied fruit and nuts to cake. How I wish I'd asked her for the recipe!


    Frieda, I'm with you on the pecan pie - yum! My whole family loves it and I make it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vee, I didn't know that brandy has to be warmed before pouring it over the pud.

    I couldn't get my first effort to come alight and so we had saturated Xmas pudding from my continual dousing. I was told later that I could warm a serving spoon of brandy then set it alight to pour over the pud. Quick fix!

    A Xmas pudding is not like fruit cake, it has less flour and no eggs usually. That was how the wedding cake my future MiL made for us became a wedding pudding as she was interrupted mid mix and left the eggs on the kitchen table!

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Annpan, I had forgotten to mention about warming the spoon/ladle for the brandy!

    Frieda, re pumpkin pie. No we generally don't/make eat it over here. In fact it is only in the last few years that pumpkins have started to be grown commercially and are for the most part just used to make 'lanterns' for Halloween, which is another recent import from the US.

    I would agree that the American pies I have tasted have been too sweet for me.

    Sheri we have many different recipes for fruit cake. Some simple one egg type, others very complicated such as a wedding cake. Others are of the tea-bread variety, where the fruit is first soaked in tea sometimes adding an egg or an 'eggless' sort. Probably a Dundee cake is the classic fruitcake, always with a pattern of almonds on top.

    Dundee Cake

  • 2 years ago

    Vee, my grandmother used to make Dundee cakes for Xmas gifts and decorated it with almonds from our tree. After she sent one to an elderly friend she read that almonds can be poisonous and cause death.

    After a moment of concern when she told us about the article I remember she shrugged and remarked coolly that the friend was old anyway! I am sure the friend survived...

    Victorian era people I knew seemed very pragmatic about death.

    vee_new thanked annpanagain
  • 2 years ago

    Vee, the Dundee cake looks delicious!

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I love good fruitcake myself. There are many, many different recipes, and the result is quite variable. Some are indeed quite dreadful. It is a good idea to avoid ones that have neon colored green and red "fruit" in them.

    One year I made three different fruitcake recipes just as an experiment. I absolutely loved one; one was rather good; and the third one deserved the classic anti-fruitcake propaganda.

    I've never had Dundee cake. It sounds intriguing.

    vee_new thanked Rosefolly