I LOVE green bean casserole. I love it so much, that it was the first holiday food tradition that I adopted as my own.
My mom didn’t really care much either way about it, so she never made it, and I didn’t know what I was missing for the first couple decades of my life. When I was in college, my grandma brought one to our house for Christmas Eve. I was blown away.
There was nothing particularly earth shattering about her recipe. It was just canned beans, canned soup, and canned onions, but I was in heaven.
The next year, I decided to make it myself, and *chin held high in a self impressed manner* I would make it from scratch. I found a fancy recipe in one of my cookbooks, and spent literally hours making it. I made the cream of mushroom soup from scratch, and the green beans were fresh.
The green beans. This is where my pride completely made a fool out of me. The way that I thought I was supposed to prepare them, and what the directions said were completely different. I literally didn’t figure out how ridiculous I was being until this year, not until I revisited that old recipe for inspiration and “re-read” the directions…
It turned out that I had wasted hours over the years, because I misread ONE WORD in the recipe.
That first time I made it, after slaving in front of a hot oven, simmering down my from scratch cream of mushroom soup, I peeked at the book to see what I was supposed to do with the green beans.
Here’s what the directions said, “Cut green beans crosswise in half.”
Here’s what I read…
“Cut green beans lengthwise in half.”
The difference between these two methods of cutting green beans in half may not sound all that different, but in practical terms, they are VERY different.
I still have no idea why I mixed up the concept of crosswise and lengthwise, but I didn’t even question it. In my mind, anything this cookbook said must be gospel. They were the experts, not me, and I would follow their instructions to the letter!
I figured that green beans split down the middle must be more tender, they must taste more delicate, and they must be far superior to any other green beans.
Needless to say, I spent quite a while that Thanksgiving splitting green beans, lengthwise, one at a time…
The casserole was delicious, the beans tender, and my little proud heart hardly enjoyed any dish more. I had worked SO hard for it
The worst part is, I didn’t just do it that time. I did it at least 3 more times, each time growing more weary and suspicious of why it was necessary to split them one by one down the middle.