Monday, October 02, 2006

Green Beany Goodness

I didn't think there was anything I didn't know about Andrew, he's pretty much an open book, I thought I could predict his behavior in any given situation after having lived with him over 14 years now.

Saturday night I learned something new.

Grace came home at eleven from a babysitting job and came up to our room to check in. Andrew and I were reading on the bed and I asked her how her job had gone.

"Fine. Except I had a hard time with dinner."

"What do you mean?"

"Well I ate dinner with the kids before their parents left and they had spaghetti and meatballs."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing, except they had beans."

"But you're okay with beans aren't you?"

"Yeeeesss . . . but these weren't regular beans. They were from a can with that leafy green guy on the front."

Now I must stop here and explain that I've always had a problem with canned vegetables. Fresh, frozen, fricaseed, whatever but not canned--no vegetable should ever be canned. I repeat no vegetable. As my feelings are rather strong in this area my kids have never experienced the joys of wrinkly, grey peas or lifeless strings of what had once been beans.

I still have nightmares about coming home from school as a child and finding String Bean Casserole bubbling away in the oven--you know, that one with the Cream of Mushroom soup and canned string beans with crunchy somethings on top? And a note here in my mother's defense. She's a brilliant cook who is amazing in the kitchen, but she cooks very differently now than she did 30 years ago when she had less experience and money for groceries. Back then she wasn't the gourmet she is today and occasionally we had the dreaded S.B. Casserole.

If I was ever a contestant on Fear Factor this would be the thing they'd pull out to stump me. Cockroaches? Cow intestines? No problem, but I'd never make it past the S.B. Casserole.

But I digress. My kids know so little about canned vegetables that the Jolly Green Giant has been reduced to the "Leafy Green Guy." To continue with the conversation:

"So did you eat the green beans?"

"Yes, but they were horrible."

I nodded my head in agreement, completely understanding her pain. But this is the point where the conversation hopped tracks into a parallel universe. Andrew put down his book, looked up and said, "I like canned beans. They're good."

This simple statement from the man who won't look at a mushroom, who once told a woman he was allergic to tomatoes just to avoid tomato soup, who had never tried cream cheese until he'd met me, who picks through his dinner like he's the world's greatest archeologist on a dig LIKED CANNED GREEN BEANS? I mean they're not even legitimately green, more grey really.

My jaw went slightly slack as I stared. But wait, folks, there's more.

"Yea," he continued, "They're really good. When I was a kid I used to eat them cold out of the can." He picked his book back up and disappeared behind it as he said, "Then I'd drink the juice."

"WHAT?" I couldn't help myself. "You DRANK the Green Bean Juice?"

"Yea!" He'd gone back to his book as if it was the most natural beverage in the world, "It was good."

Grace and I were open-mouthed-staring-couldn't-believe-it. What does one say after that kind of a disclosure? If he'd told me he'd been raised by wolves it wouldn't have been more astounding. You think you know someone . . .

P.S. I guess it could be worse. When Andrew was out of law school he clerked for Judge Souter (no, not that Judge Souter) and the judge used to bring bananas to the office for a snack. Big deal you say? Well he would wait until the bananas were so black they had liquified inside their peels, then he would stick a straw in the top and slurp out the guts. Yes, we still talk about it.


emily said...

That banana business is gross.

My husband likes Green Bean Casserole. I hate it and always have. Every now and again I'll make the casserole and Stovetop Stuffing and it'll just make his day. I couldn't do it for years while I was pregnant or nursing b/c the smell of it made me gag. I don't use canned veggies though. But still, it's gross.

Damselfly said...

Oh. yuck. "Ho, ho, ho," jingle and all.

It's interesting to note how people's cooking styles change over the years, like your mother's. And mine. When I was growing up, a meatloaf was ground beef with ketchup sploshed on top of it, baked in the oven. Uck.

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Julie said...

I know what you mean about the color being grey instead of green. Something's just not right. I come from a proud family of corn snobs myself. We usually ate frozen, or better yet, fresh on the cob from grandpa's farm -- complete with the occasional worm or two. I still think corn is supposed to be yellow, not pale brown. And that school lunch corn? Ick.

Lauren said...

Okay, the banana, nasssty.

The green bean juice? Oh man!!! It's like you don't even know the man! ~laughs~

~whispers~ I used to drink the pickle juice out of the jar once all the pickles were gone.

Ni Yachen said...

I love canned green beans. Maybe it is a guy thing. All of my boys like green beans.

The only thing I have ever eaten that makes me really sick is beef stroganoff. Not the good stuff made from beef strips and rice, but ground beef, canned mushroom soup, and egg noodles. I would dread my parents going out of town because it seemed the only thing my sisters could make.

scribbit said...

Okay I'm highly suspicious of that last comment, is that you lurking out there Dan? I can't believe there's another Chinese-speaking, beef stroganoff-hating green-bean eating man alive who'd post a comment.

Anonymous said...

Recipe: Chill brand name green beans in the can (make sure the beans are still actually green). Tear fresh, crisp greens fresh tomatos, slice green onions, add chilled green beans, top with a good quality vinagrette. Yum!!! That's where Andrew learned to like green beans. No green bean casserole ever tainted the M's oven. MOMM XOXOXO

Margo said...

I so understand how you feel about canned veggies. I can't even bear the smell of them. And my 11-year-old sister in law slurps artichokes and asparagus from a can and - drinks the juice. She's a good kid, but also, apparently, a bit of a freak.

Thanks for coming by :)

Jenny said...


My VERY picky husband informed me one day that he liked peanut butter and cheese sandwhiches, and if that wasn't bad enough, that he even liked peanut butter and cream cheese! EWWWW! This from a man who doesn't eat any fruits or vegetables save orange juice and lettuce drowned in ranch dressing.

The Freelance Cynic said...

Did the husbands of the green beans involved know your husband was drinking their juices

Michemily said...

I know this post is super old, but I just had to ask: do you like canned fruit? I like fruit no matter how it comes, except for bananas, especially when they're black and slurpable.