Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Green Beans are my bitch

I know everyone (Nessa) is dying to know how my first year actually making something for Thanksgiving went.  Let's take a look at the scoreboard:

Number of fingers lost: 0
Number of burns: 0
Number of family members who got sick after eating said casserole: 0
Number of panic attacks: 2

Green bean casserole master, thy name is Sarah

About that last of the things that makes cooking so difficult for me is that I really honestly don't understand it.  I have no concept of why certain ingredients should go together, how cooking times are determined-none of it.  That's why I can't just "eyeball" ingredients or make things without a recipe.  It is endlessly frustrating to be so incredibly inept at something-especially something essential to everyday life and something by which I'm completely fascinated.  So because of this frustration, I tend to panic while cooking.  A lot.

My first attack was the night before Thanksgiving when I was pulling out a casserole dish.  I kept thinking I had the wrong size because it was so small.  Then I looked at my recipe and realized it served 6.  We had 10 people coming.  Freak Out #1 began.  I did the only obvious thing when you realize you don't have enough ingredients.  I called my mom.  I'm sure in her head she was like, "Explain to me why you're calling me instead of just heading to the store to buy more stuff?"  But she didn't say that to me.  Instead she calmed me down and made me see that this was just not that big of a deal.  So yeah, I was totally at the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.  There was no one there.  And by no one I mean everyone in the entire world.  I seriously almost had to cut a bitch by the green beans. 

The second panic attack was while it was cooking on Thanksgiving day.  First of all, I had to assemble the casserole 3 minutes after a bunch of my family members showed up.  Naturally they wanted to talk to me to find out how I was doing which meant 5 people were literally standing and watching me make it.  My anxiety level was through the roof.  I immediately began sweating.  The thing is, everyone in my family knows that I am not a great cook.  So I felt a lot of pressure to get it right-all completely in my head, of course.  My family never had a doubt everything would be fine.  Anyway after it was in the oven for 15-20 minutes, it wasn't setting up.  It was still soupy, and that is where I really began to lose it.  See I made a creative choice to use French cut green beans rather than just the regular green beans.  I thought they'd look "more elegant" (green bean casserole is really elegant).  I was convinced the casserole was too liquidy all because I used the other kind of green beans, and I had just ruined everyone's Thanksgiving and I was officially a horrible cook/person.  This is why I am totally insane.  Because it took me less than 5 minutes to go from a little worried to "I am a bad person."  My aunt was like, "It will set up once it's out of the oven.  Calm down."  And she was right.  How did she know that?  How can I be someone who knows things like that?  Damn you, cooking!

Anyway, when it finally came time to eat it, it was absolutely delicious.  In fact, my dad decided not to have seconds this year because he's trying to lose weight.  However, he had seconds of the green bean casserole.  It was probably more out of fatherly support, but I appreciated it anyway. 

Even though most of my friends said that green bean casserole is ridiculously easy to make, I still feel a great sense of accomplishment.  I mean that's not saying much.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I remember to unplug my hair straightener in the morning.  But still.  I made something with ingredients, people ate it, no one died.  Mission accomplished.

A warning to all family and friends:  I will now make this for every single food-related event from now on.

I fully expect this dramatic Thanksgiving story to be turned into a made-for-TV movie.  Or at the very least to be on an upcoming episode of "Law & Order"-ripped from the headlines style.

How was everyone's Thanksgiving?

Music related but not Thanksgiving related P.S.:

1.  "The Time" by The Black Eyed Peas might be the worst song in the entire universe.  Not only is it just terrible in and of itself, but it also managed to ruin a classic song in the process.  I just...I feel violated when I hear it.  F-.

2.  I think it's highly possible Jason Derulo is just a computer generated creation-like that movie "S1m0ne" where a woman-completely computer generated-becomes a huge movie star.  But I just can't help myself:  I freaking love Jason Derulo and his possibly digital ass.  Sometimes he sings his own name.  Awesome.


Carly said...

You should try The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. She has a photo of EVERY STEP of every recipe so you see what it should look like. And it's good food, not like rattlesnake stuffed with cactus or anything.

With you on the BEP stuff. Sucks!

Fizzgig said...

what? you dislike the time? ohh i just love it when it breaks down "dirty bit" wooo waaaah.....wooo wahhh. I love it! Its so catchy but im also a helluva dancer, and maybe thats where we differ..? lol

Im happy to hear your casserole turned out. Thats how you learn you do!

I'm not a fantastic cook but im one of those people who cant give you a recipe cus i just put stuff together, and tell you, you know you put cheese in it. but you learn by trial and error.

get out there and trial!

Anonymous said...

Wale says his name about 10 times in every song... you would enjoy him.

Nessa, Nanook and Pooka said...

Ah hah! Awesome. Well done, you. I never had any doubt.

(Fears of Sarah in traction in local hospital notwithstanding.)

Next, CANDIED YAMS! (You can do it!)