Recently, I heard the phrase, “Love is the dream…marriage is the alarm clock.”
This is the time of year for the annual ringing of our marital alarm. Is it about money? No. Is it about in-laws? No. Is it about household chores? No. It’s about green bean casserole. Forgive me Julia Child, for I have sinned. I love green bean casserole. While it is true that I have taken a number of courses at the Culinary Institute of America and our friends think that our home is one of the best restaurants in town, I can’t help myself. I love green bean casserole.
My wife, Anne, on the other hand, feels that a dish that consists of milk (a good start), canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup and fried onions does not belong on a Thanksgiving Day table. This is unusual for several reasons.
First, in all other matters gastronomic, she has rather wide ranging tastes. Secondly, she was born and raised in Louisiana where the response to the statement, “This is delicious — what is it?” is very often, “You don’t want to know.” And third, she thinks Cheetos is a food group.
Several years ago, I tried telling her that many respected historians have posited that the South might have won the War Between the States if the troops had eaten more green bean casserole. She didn’t believe that. The following year I told her that when Tevya was singing about tradition in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, he was singing about green bean casserole. She didn’t believe that either. She can, at times, exhibit a strong streak of skepticism. It’s a Southern thing.
But let not your heart be troubled — there is a happy ending to this saga. The solution is a Thanksgiving crepe. A dish that, if requested, could get Anne to bark like a dog. I place turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and gravy inside a savory crepe, put more gravy on top and surround my creation with side dishes that are, in the opinion of my best beloved, much more civilized than green bean casserole — with an Indian Pudding thrown in for dessert.
If I prepare all of that, I get to eat my green bean casserole in peace ... in the garage ... with the dogs. And what does my wife say about that?