Once upon a time before dr bob was even mr bob, his life was totally saturated with salt-laden Campbell's canned soups, nearly every day for lunch, and yet somehow miraculously he survived these dark ages of his culinary life to become an adult, or at least some reasonable facsimile of one. Growing up in the 1950s, green bean casserole was part of the culture, cleverly marketed to sell more soup year round. But a lifetime went by without this treat, who knows why. And for Thanksgiving 2020, some wierd food association coupled with too infrequent purchasing of fresh green beans inspired the cooking team to give it a try, riffing on the basic recipe from Campbell's by the addition of some recipe ready assorted mushrooms, and letting Isgouhi help us with her version of caramelized onions used on some Armenian pilafs. Just the three of us this pandemic year, but in spite of the low guest count, bob managed to snag a Whole Foods dark chocolate pecan pie for himself and Isgouhi, a guilty pleasure which Ani does not help out with as a dessert sharer. Half the pie was sacrificed to her brother's family to lessen bob's consumption burden. And for the first time chicken instead of turkey, a break with tradition.
Memory also contains images of the tater tot topping version, another marketing ploy no doubt, but not for this return-to-yesteryear. The traditional Armenian/Lebanese way of preparing green beans is with a tomato (garlic!) based sauce. Middle Eastern cuisine is a bit mixed up from the Ottoman Empire days so multiple groups lay claim to this dish, even Persian cuisine has a similar dish. Fassoulia is the Armenian name, though they can't seem to even agree on the spelling or the word (lupia!). And some recipes mix in ground meat for a complete one dish meal. The Sarks just do the green beans in tomato sauce, always. So bob wanted to show them another way.