Best Dishes

Before I begin with today’s post, I just have to say:
How in the name of complete and utter fuck is it September already?

Moving on…
When I was on college, I once whipped up some green bean casserole after a night of drinking and et cetera. A couple of my friends were amazed by it. “Green beans and mushrooms and some kind of creamy sauce?” Outrageous!

I didn’t know how anyone could get through life without encountering green bean casserole. This is even more true when you’re talking to people whose families go to church. How do you get out of a church picnic without a scoop? Not to mention um…Thanksgiving.

Years later, H told me the same thing. He’d never heard of green bean casserole, but he really liked it. He wanted it all the time. A few years ago, H’s grandmother told me about this wonderful dish she had at a church Christmas dinner or some such. She also had never heard of it and was really hoping she could find the recipe. She described it–and it was green bean casserole. Of course I sat down and wrote it out for her, and sent it in the mail so she’d have a hard copy. I don’t think she has a computer.

Thinking about it, I realized that all of the people who didn’t know about green bean casserole were African American. In case you don’t know, green bean casserole was invented in the 50’s. Campbell soup company put it in a recipe book called “Cooking with Soup.” They used to send it out free to–well, wives, so they’d have even more reasons to buy Campbell’s soup.

A few days ago, I told H that I had a craving for tuna casserole. He asked me what that was. *blink blink* Really? Tuna noodle casserole? How is it possible that–oh…it’s yet another recipe that calls for Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (or thereabouts). The stuff in the Cooking with Soup cookbook is mostly recipes that require no fresh ingredients. I honestly don’t know whether or not that would have been more economical at the time.

Now I want full data on how those cookbooks were distributed, and to what target demo. I mean, I have a guess…but it’s just weird to me that with people living in the same cities at the same time (Detroit, for example, or Philly)–some people completely missed out on information others were given for free. Surely Campbell’s wanted as many people as possible to buy their yummy, salt-filled soups?

Anyway, we’re having tuna noodle casserole tomorrow. I don’t think I have any peas though, so probably I’ll use broccoli. It won’t be completely authentic. H should like that fine, and it’s not like he’s gonna know any better. He’s never had it before. o.O

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