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A Revolution of Canned Green Beans

[ 57 ] May 30, 2012 |

So it seems Quebec has started the Casserole Revolution. When I was growing up, casseroles were something I ate at hot dish night every Wednesday at our local Lutheran church. Today, they are revolutionary. Does this revolution include tater tot pie? Or canned green beans (french cut naturally)? If there’s no cream of mushroom soup, I can’t support it. After all, as the old leftist slogan goes, “It’s not a revolution unless you can eat gray food with it.”

Comments (57)

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  1. Randy Paul says:

    Banging pots and pans is a common method of protest, especially in Latin America (Southern Cone countries in particular) where they call it cacerolazo.

  2. Spud says:

    There is always the traditional tuna casserole of mac & cheese, peas, cream of mushroom soup and fish in a can.

  3. elm says:

    Not a casserole, but your cream of mushroom soup mention reminded me of the most hideous sounding (in retrospect) meal my mother would serve us as kids:

    Open-faced sandwiches served on wonder bread toast with canned asparagus and cream of mushroom soup on top. Yum!

    • Malaclypse says:

      Mind did the same, but the topping was boil-in-a-bag creamed chipped beef.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      Jello for dessert?

      • Malaclypse says:

        My family was Mormon on one side. Jello molds are a staple of my people. The marshmellos mixed in were what made it complete.

      • elm says:

        Believe it or not, my family is New York Jewish, but in my mind that dish is so goyische it is hard to believe.

        • Lee says:

          Heresy, this dish is even more goyish than a ham and chesse sandwich even though all the ingredients are technically kosher. It also seems something out of a Lenny Bruce routine.

          • elm says:

            It really is odd. I have no idea how it came to occupy a place in my family’s meal rotation, especially when I remember how angry my father got at me the one time I tried to order mayo on a turkey sandwich at a diner. I would have thought he’d do a better job policing the use of cream of mushroom soup and wonder bread.

            • Lee says:

              Under Jewish culinary thought*, a turkey and mayo sandwhich is highly offensive as dish. The anger is a bit understandable. Deli should be eaten with mustard or Russian dressing and on rye or pumperknickle.

              *The idea is that food should be spicy, fatty, and have the potential to at least cause belching. Bland foods are impermissible.

              • Hogan says:

                In Annie Hall one of her gaffes early in the movie is ordering a pastrami on white with mayo.

              • elm says:

                Yes, I agree completely. But I was seven. Being publicly yelled at for wanting mayo seemed more than a little disproportionate.

    • Lee says:

      One of the benefits of being Jewish is that you are spared from eating wonder bread.

      • elm says:

        One would have thought so! And, in fairness, once I turned 6 or 7 and discovered I liked other types of bread, Wonder Bread went away, except for this one dish.

        • Lee says:

          My parents refusedt to let my brothers and I eat wonder bread. White bread was allowed but it had to be from a more reputable source like the Italians. They tried very hard to get us to love rye bread, which eventually happened.

          Personally my favorite type of bread is sourdough.

  4. Hogan says:

    If it doesn’t have Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.

  5. STH says:

    My mother would make what we kids called “Barf Casserole”: chicken thighs in cream-of-whatever soup with parmesan cheese (from the green can, of course) on top. White, gluey, and smelly. Inexplicably, my mother and my sister still make–and eat!–this.

  6. elm says:

    Oh, and why are diaganolly cut green beans called “french cut?”

  7. J.W. Hamner says:

    Some of the best foods in the world are casseroles made by working class families stretching a budget with inferior ingredients… cassoulet, shepherd’s pie, lasagna, mac and cheese….

    Presumably at some indeterminate time in the future there will be restaurants in Brooklyn serving “artisinal” tuna casserole.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      “Presumably at some indeterminate time in the future there will be restaurants in Brooklyn serving “artisinal” tuna casserole.”

      Christ, don’t give them ideas.

    • firefall says:

      I’d lay odds there already are – I saw artisanal mac&cheese advertised (an excellent guide for where to avoid)

      • Erik Loomis says:

        I have been a sucker in the past for artisanal mac and cheese. I’m usually not convinced it is worth it, but with different cheeses, you can really do a lot with the dish.

        But I concede the point on principle.

    • Jeremy says:

      At the rate tuna are disappearing they won’t.

    • Joey Maloney says:

      OK, you got me. I’ve been known to make “deconstructed tuna casserole” – seared tuna sliced thin, fresh peas in wasabi cream sauce, and a parmesan cookie all piled on a lightly-fried lasagna noodle.

  8. rea says:

    Canned food really did work some rather revolutionary changes in human society.

  9. West of the Cascades says:

    Where does fit into this revolution?

    • Spud says:

      Where does fit into this revolution?

      Its the old guard. Its what we expect the police to be lobbing at the protestors to make them disperse.

      Poutine has been what kept Quebec part of Canada for centuries. It drove off American invaders during both the Revolution and War of 1812. Hundreds of American soldiers lost their lives to it. Their bodies covered in brown gravy and semi-curdled cheese.

  10. Murc says:

    Does it expose my bourgeoisie roots that this thread has made me want to vomit?

    I mean, seriously. I’ve eaten filthy gyros at greek joints that I knew for a fact were covers for the mob, and yet the stuff you guys describe here has put me off my dinner.

    • ploeg says:

      The way to get over this feeling is to have a good hotdish on a stick.

    • Lee says:

      Yes, yes it does. This stuff makes me want to puke to. I was raised in an upper-middle class Jewish household and this food offends both elements of my upbringing. The closest my parents got to this level was pasta and Prego tomato sauce, which is pretty good comfort food.

    • Spud says:

      I mean, seriously. I’ve eaten filthy gyros at greek joints that I knew for a fact were covers for the mob, and yet the stuff you guys describe here has put me off my dinner.

      Hey the mobsters know that part of a good cover is providing decent food.

      My favorite dim sum joint in Chinatown is most definitely a hangout spot for the triads as far as I can tell. The atmosphere is fraught with anxiety, but the steamed shrimp dumplings are phenomenal.

  11. Ruviana says:

    I could and do eat most of this stuff–it’s all traditional-like given my midwestern roots–but the great revelation for me when I moved out on my own and began doing my own cooking was asparagus. It was *green*! Who knew? Growing up I always thought it was grey. Only eat it fresh now.

    • elm says:

      Yeah, of all the vegetable the difference between fresh and canned seems to me to be biggest when it comes to asparagus. Also, not mushy!

    • DrDick says:

      I was in my early 20s before I realized that cooked vegetables had texture and that meat was not gray.

      • Hogan says:

        That’s about the age when I discovered that, apart from sticks, fish didn’t have to start out frozen and be baked with a canned stewed tomato on top. Ah, the culinary Tartarus that was the midwest in the ’60s.

        • DrDick says:

          I knew that about fish from a young age, but mostly because I learned to fish in my grandfather’s pond at around five and the rule was that you had to eat what you caught. On the other hand, I was in my 20s before I had fish that was not grossly overcooked (which is also true of pretty much everything else).

  12. Halloween Jack says:

    I have an aunt who was fairly unpleasant to me and others when I was a child in a number of ways, but one of her slim and sparse virtues was her tater tot casserole; not a lot to it besides ground beef, tater tots, and the ever-popular cream of mushroom soup. I asked one of my siblings who was still on speaking terms with her if they could pry the recipe out of her, but no luck there. Fortunately, I found a decent recipe in the second White Trash Cooking cookbook, which both satisfied my craving and also amused me to no end. (Both of the books are really good reading, even if you could have figured out how to put together a potato chip sandwich on your own.)

  13. creature says:

    Dried beef slices (from the little jar that looks like a recycled jelly jar), CCoM soup, fried/heated/brutalized in a skillet, then, dumped over toasted stale bread, doused with pepper & paprika, served hot! Truly a staple of all bachelor motorcycle enthusiasts the world over. And not kosher, at all, much to my mother’s chagrin. Also, according to my late mother, there is only one brand of motorcycle- it is ‘Goddam’.

  14. Lee says:

    Casseroles of the world unite, you have nothing to loose but your pots.

  15. Matt says:

    In French, “casserole” means (sauce)pan. And as other commentators have pointed out, banging pots and pans is an import from a Latin American repertoire of collective action. On an unrelated note, in French the big dipper is known as the big casserole (la grande casserole).

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