Thanksgiving 2022 has come and gone.
And it was a good day spent with my mother who turns 90 years old this December 16th. We baked a hen, had cornbread dressing and mashed potatoes with gravy. And a green bean casserole that was stellar! The recipe came from my mom’s BFF Nancy Irwin, also known as Carolyn Brickhouse. Nancy/Carolyn is on the right in the picture below which is a 2004 reunion at Eulaton Methodist Church in Eulaton, Alabama. My mom is fourth from the left.
NOW - IS SHE NANCY IRWIN OR CAROLYN BRICKHOUSE?
When my sister and I were little all we knew of our mom’s best friend was that she had a job and seemed very sophisticated. For some reason known only to them apparently, our mom has referred to Nancy as Carolyn from childhood. When our Carolyn/Nancy got married, her wonderful fun-to-say last name changed, too. But to my sister and me, this beautiful lady who is our mother’s BFF will ALWAYS be Carolyn Brickhouse. We fought over who would “be” Carolyn Brickhouse when we played house. I remember wailing, “I WANT TO BE CAROLYN BRICKHOUSE!” My sister and I just loved saying her name. Nowadays, my mom still talks to her friend on the phone frequently. I asked her to ask Carolyn if she had a good recipe to share, and she sent her recipe for this Green Bean Casserole. It turned out to be the delicious high point of our Thanksgiving meal.
CAROLYN BRICKHOUSE'S GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Carolyn’s casserole recipe calls for Swiss cheese, but Swiss cheese didn’t make its way into my dish. I told my mom dinner would be ready for 2:00 p.m. and at 11:30 a.m., she was on her way to my house. During the last few minutes of cooking, I was running around in my kitchen trying to beat the clock like I was on Chopped. “JUST GET IT ON THE PLATE!” To tell the truth, I really liked the casserole without the cheese, although I imagine the addition of some good Swiss cheese would be wonderful. What made MY dish special was the fried shallots on top, and next time, I think I’ll smother the top with those things because they were delicious. The mustard in the Bechamel gave the dish a nice little sophisticated kick!
THIS IS CAROLYN BRICKHOUSE'S GREEN BEANS SWISS CHEESE CASSEROLE RECIPE:
1 No. 1 can green beans
2 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Accent
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 TBS. butter
1/4 cup fine bread crumba
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 TBS. instant minced onions
GREASE A BAKING DISH. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 TBS. butter, add flour, salt, pepper & Accent. Heat until it bubbles. Remove from heat, gradually add sour cream and mustard, stirring constantly. Heat thoroughly, stirring constantly. DO NOT BOIL! Drain beans and then add beans, cheese and onion to the above sour cream mistrue. Toss gently. Turn into baking dish, top with bread crumbs, which have been brown in remaining 1 TBS of butter. Heat 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings. NOTE: I prefer cracker crumbs, dotted with butter, takes about 10 soda crackers.