Photo of green been casserole

Remembered Flavors

It’s getting to be the time of year where nostalgia begins creeping into my kitchen. How about in yours? What remembered flavors are imprinted in your brain?

I must confess I love, yes love, green bean casserole. And not any modernized version. It’s got to be the one Campbell test kitchen manager Dorcas Reilly created in 1955 with just five ingredients: Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom Soup, milk, fresh cooked green beans, soy sauce and French’s® French Fried Onions. I also highly recommend an extra can for can’t resist snacking.

A little over a month ago, I had an accident that required hand and wrist surgery on my dominant right hand. The road to recovery is going great and I’m blessed with an amazing support system. It’s the reason the class schedule is so light. Not being able to drive is a bummer.

Looking for ways to pass the time, I discovered that even with hundreds of TV channels to choose from, there never seems to be anything good to watch except old episodes of “Seinfeld” that are still hilarious.

There’s been plenty of time to remember favorite meals shared with and cooked by family and friends. What was the now in charge left hand capable of making? A couple of weeks in, perfect grilled cheese sandwiches, done on the stove, not under the broiler, had me convinced they were James Beard Award worthy.

Juicing some key limes? No problem, even if I only did about 10 and a friend finished the batch. I discovered you need two hands to get all the sweetened condensed milk out of the can when making key lime pie; another reason why it’s fun to cook with friends.

Every day I’m inching closer to trading the microwave for pots and pans. I’m compiling a list of remembered flavors I’m looking forward to savoring and encourage you to do the same.

News & Notes
There are so many terrific ways to shop local throughout this season of giving. A great starting point are local restaurant gift cards. Here are some other ideas:

“A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson’s Culinary Heritage” by Carolyn Niethammer
“Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona” by Jackie Alpers
Whiskey Del Bac is celebrating its 10th anniversary, weaving our Southwestern heritage with traditional Scottish distilling methods.
Desert Provisions curated Holiday 2021 gift boxes in addition to their salts and spices.
In addition to their wines and spirits, Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery has Arizona Rub products and spices. They also have a partnership with Udderly Natural Products for a special goat milk soap made with their wine.
Udderly Natural Products also makes handcrafted goat milk soaps, bath salts and lotions with scents designed for all, for women and for men. They even make a flea repellent soap for dogs.
Gallery of Food is filled with locally sourced gourmet food items and artwork.
El Charro offers a Tamale of the Month subscription.
Book a staycation at Hacienda Corona Bed & Breakfast in Nogales or The Armory Park Inn bed and breakfast in Tucson.

Wishing you joy in the kitchen,

Campbell’s® Original Green Bean Casserole
Yield: 6 servings

1 can (10 ½ oz.) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 ⅓ cups French’s® French Fried Onions

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, beans and ⅔ cup onions in a 1 ½-quart casserole. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until hot. Stir the mixture then sprinkle to top with remaining ⅔ cup onions.
4. Bake another 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Photo credit: Campbell’s

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