It’s the one dish guaranteed to be on most tables every Thanksgiving and Christmas: the infamous Green Bean Casserole. You know, that concoction consisting of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French’s fried onions, baked into a casserole dish and served steaming hot to the groans of your guests? I don’t know when it became a must-have on the holiday table. I can understand the ease, because out of all the things you have to cook, this might be the simplest. But for enjoyment, does anyone actually eat the stuff? The cooks, usually the mothers of the family, make it out of a sense of duty to the tradition.
After all, it has been there EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. The guests then give themselves a nice big spoonful and pick at it once or twice (usually consuming the fried onions—which everyone loves—leaving the rest in a cold, disgusting heap) before moving on to something more interesting. It’s a hot mess, and you know it. You may even like green beans, the soup, and fried onions like I do, but together? No, I’ll pass. It’s as Christmas as Mistletoe and probably just as dreaded. While grandma might shove it down after spouting out her first of many, “But its good for you!” utterances of the evening, you won’t dare touch it.
Admit it. As all the dishes are being loaded onto the table and your eyes glance upward and locate the sturdy glass casserole dish holding the annual nastiness, you’ve said to yourself, “Damn, here comes that shit again. Again! Why? Why?!” It was on the table every single year until I was about fourteen. I was the only one brave enough to confront my mother. I remember it going something like this: “Mom, do we have to have the green bean casserole this year?”, to which she responded, “You don’t like it?”. After being frightened and sheepishly answering in the affirmative, she said something along the lines of, “Thank God I don’t have to make this crap anymore!”, and that was that. No more Green Bean Casserole in the Caggiano household for the holidays. Don’t worry about grandma’s feelings. She’ll get over it. After all, Brussels Sprouts are “in” now. Do you have the courage to do the same as I did?