Grateful for Green Beans (excerpt & recipe)

Happy Thanksgiving!  Are fresh green beans out of stock in your area? I had to go to two stores this morning, and I met a man who had been to three. So I am grateful for green beans! 

Read on for an excerpt from my book Dee’s Dishes and my recipe for Roman Beans.  I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as my family does!

Roman beans

Beans #greenbeans #pinenuts #bacon #gratefulforgreenbeans #deesdishes #thanksgiving

Scandalous! Unpopular Opinion

You know that I am a grateful gal. There are so many blessings in my life.

My husband loves Thanksgiving. It’s his favorite holiday: food, family, football, four-day weekend, and he doesn’t have to go to church or exchange gifts.

I confess: Thanksgiving is NOT my favorite holiday, because of the food.

[Insert needle jumping off vinyl record here.] WHAT?

I realize this is an unpopular opinion, which is why I have kept it secret for 34 years. Alas, I simply cannot stand it any longer. THE TRUTH MUST BE SET FREE!

I like turkey. I like real cranberry sauce. I just think the traditional trimmings with all the fatty starchy carbohydrates, not to mention all the bland mushy similarly boring taste(s) and texture(s), are plain as baby food to me.

One year I was blessed to share Thanksgiving dinner four times within five days. Like I said, I am a grateful gal. Among countless blessings, I am very lucky to have opportunities to visit and dine with three superior hostesses (and not have to cook, myself.). You know, it was one set of parents, and the other, and then said parents’ favorite neighbors, and then the obligatory leftovers. Oh. My. God. Make it stop! (Don’t even get me started on the vat of cornflake cheese potato casserole that someone brought one year.) Break a successful stream of healthy eating habits for this? I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’d much prefer a filet mignon, medium rare in a merlot sauce, baked asparagus with Parmesan cheese, and bruschetta on toasted sourdough followed by a respectable amount of chocolate. And I’d be just as thankful, if not more.

Roman Beans

Adapted from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook.I made this once for Thanksgiving at the in-laws’ and now they ask for it every year. As we say in liturgical music school, if the people like it, it’s a “tradition,” right?

2 lb. fresh green beans
4 oz. bacon cut crosswise into ½-inch strips
1 tablespoon. olive oil
½ teaspoon. salt
¼ cup pine nuts

Toss the pine nuts in the skillet without any additional oil. Using a wooden spoon, toss until they are slightly toasted. Set aside.

In 12-inch skillet (at least 2 inches deep) or 5-quart saucepot over high heat, in one-inch boiling water, heat green beans to boiling.

Reduce heat to low; simmer 5-10 minutes until beans are tender-crisp; drain. Wipe skillet dry.

In same skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until golden, stirring frequently. With slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain. OR, do this: cook the bacon in the microwave over paper towels. Allow one minute for each strip. The bacon is extra crispy this way, and not fatty. I think it adds a nice texture to the dish.

In same skillet over medium-high heat, in drippings and olive oil, cook green beans with salt, stirring frequently, until beans are lightly browned and tender.

Spoon green beans onto warm large platter; sprinkle with bacon and toasted pine nuts.

Wellness Wednesday

Hi, Guys ❤  OK, so I took a week off from Wellness Wednesday and Friday Friends.  It was Thanksgiving in America, and I was travelling with my family.  But do not worry, we are back on track this week. 🙂

Last Wednesday I was enjoying an 11 hour door-to-door road trip.  Most of the time it actually was quite enjoyable, thanks to my hubby for driving and my wonderful kids for being such good travelers!   We’d started out a bit later that desired, but since I’d made sandwiches and we are crazy quick pit-stoppers, we were making great time!  And then, L.A. happened.  Los Angeles is notorious for bad traffic, but this was seriously the worst we’d seen in the fifteen years we’ve been making this trek.  We approached Disneyland, for an hour.  During the course of an hour we drove only twenty miles. We witnessed no less than three accidents as they occurred, as well as passed two fresh accidents, all within the span of thirty minutes.  I couldn’t believe how many we saw, and we weren’t going very fast at all, but damage was done and fenders were on the ground.  I was extremely grateful none of the accidents happened to us.

My daughter and I sit in the back seat together, as now that my son is taller than me, I let him sit in the front seat.  My daughter is the best backseat buddy.  She is so joyful, we talk and play games, and at her suggestion, make selfie music videos.  I have always said that karaoke is great therapy, now we have a new video dimension for this activity!  I don’t think I’ll be posting any of our videos soon, but just imagine if you will, my 7 year old and I singing Adele’s Hello and Uptown Funk, and Lean On Me.  (OK, maybe I will.  check back here soon!) Selfie Music Videos.  Who woulda thought?  Let me know if you try it!


Lean On Me

I also read in the car.  I read an entire book, actually.  It was delightful.  I did enjoy the content and story of the book, but I also really enjoyed READING. Then yesterday I read another book, in its entirety.  I didn’t “finish” my NaNoWriMo project, but I’d made great progress in developing it during the month.  Sometimes art-making can grow daunting for we creative types- that’s when it’s so refreshing to take a step back from the art-making and just revel in somebody else’s created art.

Finally, the last bit I wanted to share with you all today: Advent is here and the Christmas Train is coming.  We gotta try to stay sane!  I was just freaking out about how I didn’t think I could get my stuff together and send my holiday cards to my Jewish family before Hanukkah starts this Sunday. Then I remembered, last year I recorded my Christmas Album in lieu of sending cards.  It was a great opportunity to enjoy a creative outlet, and then email mp3’s to my family and friends. (Let me know if you would like a link to the album!)  So I listened to the one song that everybody comments on.  This is the one that my  children join me in singing.  It’s not perfect, it’s off-pitch and delightfully random.  But I love it.  How lucky am I that I will always have this recording of my children singing when they were 6 and 12.

And so I offer you, my friends, the Rainbow Connection.