Fresh, homemade Thanksgiving

Fresh, homemade Thanksgiving

The one Thanksgiving memory that is etched in my memory is of green beans. Grandma’s home-canned green beans were my favorite Thanksgiving meal. They were not brought in a dish made up of mushroom soup with French-fried onions sitting on top.

As though they had just popped out of the ground a few days ago, they arrived exactly the way they were. Those green beans were some of the finest I’ve ever had. 


The taste of these beans was ancillary to their overall purpose. In August, when the kitchen was already hot because of the summer weather, the additional steamy conditions were brought on by the pressure canning. I had to sit this project out as it required blades and hot water. I was allowed to observe everything that happened, and if I was a good boy, I might get a cookie. 


There were other associations that these beans had for me. In May, when my grandfather created a circle of seeds around the posts he stood on and dug furrows between rows of garden pegs, I was there. When I finished, I crawled through those rows and pulled out the weeds. Grandpa had just finished watering, so I stood at the faucet waiting to turn it off when he shouted that he was done. When the beans were ready, I was able to help with the selection. 


Grandma’s canned beans tasted like either bush or pole beans, and I can’t tell you which one (I know we ate a lot of pole beans fresh in the summer). I recall that they didn’t have the creaminess associated with other canned beans, and they did not need salt. I knew that if you added a little butter to the still-warm beans, they would taste delicious. You were treated to something even better than stuffing and gravy: you had a gourmet dish prepared just for you. 


We, who produce our fruits and veggies, know the work that goes into it, as well as the time spent with family enjoying the fruits of our labor and savoring our success. It all gets better because of that. I’m glad for having a tiny garden and the resources to grow veggies. Because we’ve grown our food organically, we know we’ve helped safeguard our family’s health and well-being, and in the process, we’ve done our part to keep the world alive. We know that gardening is beneficial for the spirit. 

The Healthy Outdoors