For the past few years I have been making Alton Brown's green bean casserole recipe. My friend Eliza made it originally, and I was hooked. I love that it's made from scratch (no canned cream of mushroom or green beans), so fresh and so easy. It just makes me feel pretty good about myself because 1) I seem like a really great cook when I am really not and 2) I feel healthier eating it because of its pretty healthy ingredients, minus the cup of half-in-half, I suppose.
I do, however, make a slight adjustment on account of my lack of cooking skills but mainly because of my lack of patience. I just use plain old pre-made fried onion thingys instead of making them because they are so, so tasty and surely better than what I could ever make myself.
Also, as my dad has helpfully pointed out for the past two years, I tend to undercook the green beans every. darn. time. So when I went to Publix the day before Thanksgiving to buy them, what do you know? They were all out. Except for the microwavable kind that steams in its own plastic bag. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as green beans apparently cook to tender perfection in their own plastic bags in the microwave. Victory was mine this year!
Anyway, this is a delicious recipe, and I hope you get to try your hand at making it sometime!
Instead of going around and saying what we were all thankful for this year, my brother Patrick came up with the idea of sharing our happiest memories. His was when he played baseball as a kid and got to be the catcher. Mike's was when Evie finally took formula (I think this was just still fresh in his mind). My other brother Scott's was waking up on Christmas mornings when we were kids.
Mine was our family vacations to Ohio that we took every summer to visit my grandparents. They have both gone to be with the Lord now, but I remember my time with them so sweetly. They were so kind and always full of joy to see us. They lived in a tiny town, Millersburg, near the Amish country. It's where my brothers and I were first exposed to hills and how your stomach drops down to your toes when you go over them real fast in your mini-van. My grandparents house is also where we discovered basements and how awesome they were. We would spend hours down there playing with my dad and my uncle's old toys. Summer wasn't so ridiculously hot up there, and so we would spend a lot of time playing outside, too. We'd ride the old mini-bike, which made you feel like a rock star or some kind of action hero because it was pretty much like riding a tiny Harley in our eyes. And the fireflies. They were the most magical of all. I loved watching them glow and blink out in my grandparents' soft grass and in their wildflower bushes. Being up there in their tiny town, where other travelers probably drove right through without a second thought, was where I felt the perfect combination of feeling so alive at all the wonder in the world yet completely at peace.
It seems like my brothers and I came up with memories from our childhood, and I am so thankful that our parents gave us so many wonderful ones. I hope Mike and I can do the same for Evie.
Speaking of my parents....I don't remember them sharing their happiest moments. We must have gotten distracted. If you're reading this, parents, we have some unfinished business! In the meantime, if anyone else would like to share a happiest memory, write it in the comment section. I'd love to read it!