Tuesday, November 27, 2012

THANKSgiving 2012...the food and the day

first...the food:

Green Bean Casserole - Donna O. (A.K.A. Mamaw)

1 large can French cut green beans, drained very well (or frozen equivalent, cooked and drained)
(by 'large' it means somewhere in the vicinity of 32 oz...not the 15 oz cans and not the Costco industrial size but the other 'big' one - I don't know because I just use frozen and I use two of the average sized bags....not the steam-in-the-bag size but not the family sized...oh. my. gosh. remind me to never start a cooking blog!)
1 tsp butter
1 tsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced onion
1 c. sour cream (or Fage 0%)
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese (or 1/2 Swiss 1/2 Gruyere)
1 c. crushed corn flakes

Melt butter and flour.
Stir until thick.
Add next four ingredients, stir and cook until well blended.
Layer green beans, sauce and cheese three times in a 8x8 baking dish - if doubling, in a 9x13 dish.
Top with corn flakes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min's.

You can make this the day before and bake it the day of...it works beautifully!

This is what 'green bean casserole' IS to me.

I'll never forget the first time I tried 'green bean casserole' the way it is to most everyone else...I kid you not, I almost spit it out of my mouth.
I wasn't trying to be rude or snotty.
You will see why the very first bite of 'my' green bean casserole...they are from different planets and when you're expecting a sour cream rue with Swiss cheese and you get a mouth full of cream of mushroom....it was tough.
I'm better now, I know what to expect now and I can eat the traditional recipe but I don't really like it.

This one though....this one I can only make twice a year because otherwise I'd eat the whole dang thing myself every. single. time.

It's complex in flavor so some people aren't keen on it...if you are keen on it, we are blood sisters and you are welcome.

Fennel, Pinenut and Roasted Lemon Dressing
(the recipe reads: Stuffing...but that is incorrect.  Stuffing goes inside the turkey, Dressing 'dresses' the turkey/goes next too - there, now you know!)
wow...TIME consuming but the smell in my kitchen was to DIE for and I love the taste!
Fennel rocks.
I want to swim in fennel and then it went and added pinenuts.....hold me back.

Mashed Potatoes
no real recipe here, just potatoes, boiled to death, butter, milk, butter, milk....blend, mash, blend mash.

Cranberry Sauce
not that glop that plops out of the can - the real stuff.
although, I have it on good authority that if you like that glop stuff there is no going to homemade....you are lost, hopeless, might as well not even try....and that is sad. Because this stuff is amazing.
I use a recipe similar to the one above every year.
I could swim in that too...'cept I'd have competition with Lydia.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
we had these at a Tapas restaurant last week and we decided right then and there that these will be a part of our appetizer repertoire from now on. THEY ARE SOOOO GOOD. (this particular recipe needs some tweeking...like, the size of your dates matter...these are too big!)

An Olive Tray (or five)
My mom always did this. I love it.
It's random, just whatever my eyes fall on that year in the olive isle.
Except the black olives...we bumped up to five cans of black olives this year, between my six family members and who knows who else, we went through four cans in about 10  min's last year....five cans lasted at least 11 min's this year so we were doin' good!
this is why they only lasts 10 min's

and everyone else brought everything else:

there was chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato minestrone, carrot souffle, macaroni and cheese, seven layer salad, oh...and Johnathan brought a turkey...because he's awesome like that....he also brought his own personal can of cranberry sauce because he just can't convert.....we'll pray for him later.

dude. we have some yummy cookin' friends.

 yummy cooking friends with cute dresses I might add!

the day:

we feed kids first because we do host but we do have a teeny house so 26 people don't get to eat all at the same time, it all works out.

girls ate inside like sophisticated ladies:
 boys ate outside like savage beasts....about right?
 after the kids ate, we set up a Polar Express movie room and zoned them OUT:
 and then....we ATE!!!!! and ate and ate and ate...
 there were old friends and new friends at this table, it was LOVELY!

Thank you Sean and Gordon, Liza and Johnathan, Bethany and Eugene, Beth and Nick, Ann and Adam (and it was so nice to meet you! thanks for being brave and coming to a complete stranger's house! we fell in love with you!), Patrick and Ali  and the 12 kids- you have no idea what sharing that day means to me - for me personally, it's tradition to invite a large number of stragglers over to feast on Thanksgiving, it's what my family always did being in the military and not always getting to be home for the holidays!
You are precious to us!
Maybe you can all just come to California next year?


Tisha said...

You have redefined what 'green bean casserole' is to me, forever. I have never made it myself, but now I will! Thank you Holly and Holly's Mamaw!

Kim said...

Love your blog. I have followed it for awhile but never commented. ;-) My husband used to be AF - he graduated from USAFA in '96. He got out of the AF about 6 years ago. Love your family! We have three girls. :) I taught with Courtney when my husband was stationed at the pentagon. Anyway... your green bean casserole recipe looks amazing and i want to make it NOW! :) Quick question - when you say large can of green beans - like approximately what size - the 15 oz size?? Thanks. Good luck with your move! :)

Missy said...

Whoa...your green bean casserole is way weird!! I'm like, "swiss cheese, what the heck?!" I kept wondering how in all the years I've known you I hadn't eaten your green bean casserole...and then I remembered we're always out of town at Thanksgiving.

Love that you got to spend the day opening up your home to so many new friends just like you love to do! Sure do miss sittin' around that table!