Monday, March 3, 2008

Green Bean Week

Greetings, readers! Yet another fine week has transpired, and a hell of a week it was. For a number of non-vegetable related reasons, my attention was taken from green beans during the week. Really my only during-the-week encounter with them was at lunch in the dining hall, which (as you may well imagine) was only so-so. Never fear, I made up for it by gorging myself on green beans over the weekend. And what a bean feast it was!

The only recipe most people associate with green beans (and consequently the only recipe most people offered me) is the traditional Thanksgiving casserole, so I started with that. I'll admit I was wary at first--it involved mushroom soup and fried onions, both as of yet un-friended. However, my worry was unfounded, and it turns out that people are on to something with green bean casserole. I no longer wonder why its a Thanksgiving staple. Fact, I wonder why people don't seem to eat it on just an average Tuesday. But, and I hate to say this on green bean week, its really not the legumes that make this casserole. Allow me a minute to rhapsodize on the show-stealing French's french fried onions. I guess its just another testament to the fact that anything bad for you probably tastes delicious, but man alive are those things good! I almost made it onion week this week in their honor, but ultimately decided to save that for when I've given up interpersonal relationships.

Leaving casserole for a minute, I also made "green bean almondine" which is my short hand for "steamed green beans tossed with hastily sauteed blanched almonds." From this I learned that steaming vegetables in the microwave would be easier if I had some sort of covered microwaveable dish, and that, in fact, a bowl with a plate precariously balanced on top of it is not the most efficient cooking system.

I also made a green bean tomato salad, the recipe for which I found online. I was planning on posting said recipe, only I can't say I entirely recommend this salad. It ended up more like a sauce than a salad, and when I added sour cream (per the recipe) it looked like something regurgitated. Aesthetics aside, it was completely edible, but still nothing I would add to my culinary repertoire.

I was going to take pictures of some of my green bean creations because 1) I've grown accustomed to putting pictures on each post and a google image search for "green beans" reveals nothing remotely funny, sexy, or in any other way interesting, and 2) It hardly seems a danger to anonymity, because really if you can recognize me by my mismatched kitchen ware, you've probably already breached my security. However, I did not take any picture and sadly will be relying on the (less than satisfactory) bounty of google images because 1) I can't find my camera cord, and 2) I just now though of the picture taking thing, and all my culinary creations are long since digested. At any rate, enjoy this lackluster picture of a boy who has yet to be seduced by green beans:

Hang in there, kid; I was you once. (Just so we're extra clear: this isn't a picture of me.)

Next week: various squashes!


Susan Thompson said...

I was all set to give you some suggestions for yams until it occurred to me that yams aren't members of the squash family. At least I don't think they are. It turns out I don't have any squash recipes so I will read with interest to see if you come up with any.

If pumpkins count as squash, that would open the door to many pie, cake, bread, and cookie ideas.

Susan T.

Susan Thompson said...

Now that I think about it, I have prepared some kind of squash by baking it in the oven and serving it with a little butter and honey.

fafner said...

I'm not sure if I should count pumpkin as squash or not. My general rule of thumb was to only include things that actually had the word "squash" as part of their name, and any other gourd to be filed somewhere else.

Then again...I do really like pumpkin.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there's a Black Eyed Pea restaurant where you live, but you should try to find their recipe for yellow squash. I think it involves cooking it until soft, mashing with an egg, tons of butter, a teaspoon of sugar. Then top with bread crumbs and more butter (hey, maybe some of those French's onion?) and bake until cripy. My mother's squash is basically the same, without the bread crumbs. But it takes a long time. Try your local diner.

I don't subscribe to the butter and sweet stuff on winter squash (acorn or butternut), but many people do. Cut in half, remove seeds, moisten top and cover with waxed paper and microwave for 5-8 minutes (until soft). Then mash add brown sugar, honey OR maple syrup and butter -- maybe a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg and reheat to melting. Definetly microwave -- it takes a looong time in the oven.