Friday, October 23, 2015

Rage of Angels - Go Scratch Green Bean Casserole

Wednesday - Nothing went the way I planned. Oh, I got things done, but totally out of order.  And while I was out shopping, the pain hit in a new location, and proved itself resistant to Zantac. Always pain of one sort or another, and pain is a distraction. But I'm not disabled, says the State of Florida. Pain and fuzziness shift from hour to hour; oh sure I can do a TPR trial! Good thing I won't take opioids, eh? Oh sure, I can draft a Final Judgment from a two week trial, to be checked and criticized by Attila the Hunny.  And I can certainly put in day after day of court hearings and be expected to stand there with a poker face, parroting back every single thing that ever happened in the case, causing us to have to work 2 hours late every day, because I have my cane to lean on. And when Attila throws one of her patented hissy fits, I've got 25 years experience and some drug with a weird name to keep me from having that panic attack which is going to fracture whatever composure I have left ... except the drug is really for depression, so at least I won't be depressed about going to pieces in a public arena.

Bitter? Hear that hollow laugh!  Why yes, I put a little makeup on my face and look a little better, so how can I be sick? What the fuck does "sick" look like?  What job can I do, oh might Division of Disability Determination, if I clearly can no longer function consistently and efficiently as a lawyer?              

I don't usually know where the rage comes from, but when it's there, it's not easy being me. This is killer anger, and when I hold it in to avoid being arrested on possible charges of aggravated assault or battery, I feel like my head is going to explode. That's where I am now, and that's where I was a half hour ago when I posted this on Facebook:

"Despite 10 hours of being grilled, yelled at, insulted, and lectured to by partisan Republican hatchet men (and women), Mrs. Clinton remained calm and non confrontational, answered every question put to her by this travesty of a committee, never trying to avoid the tough questions, even though there were many times the person barking the question at her began hollering over her answers so that it was hard to hear her. I don't know why anyone would rhapsodize about Trey Gowdy's skills as a federal prosecutor. I would say, however, he has proven himself to be an able persecutor. This travesty of an interrogation has to end before the Republican members of the committee do additional damage to US reputation abroad and at home."

It's not just the Benghazi committee-from-hell, you understand; when this happens, anything and everything sets it off. I don't know if this is a symptom of the fibromyalgia or something from my long-term emotional issues. I do know that it interferes with my ability to function. I hate this.

Boy, the mood of this blog post went south all of a sudden. Let's change that ...

Today (Friday) is my cousin Cary's birthday.  Happy birthday to my brother from another mother, one of the nicest guys around. Love you, cuz!

Go Scratch Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

That should be "from scratch"- there's no cream of mushroom soup nor (sob!) French's French Fried onions in this multi-step, multi-pot casserole. Is it worth all the work? You be the judge (just not THAT judge. You know who I mean.) If it's not, I suppose you could tell me to "go scratch" or drop dead or even f**k off.  But I think you will be pleased, I really do.


1. Ree Drummond's Onion Strings (includes a soaking period, so start these first)

  • 1 whole large onion, sliced super-thin and separated into rings
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste (this is my addition to Ree's recipe)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (scant) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (to 1/2 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart (to 2 quarts) canola oil
Go to her blog by clicking on the link and then follow her directions.

2. Green Beans
  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds or quarters
Blanch in boiling water for five to six minutes, drain in a colander, and plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking. Return to the colander and drain well. Set aside.

3. Mushroom Bechamel Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • ground white pepper
  • smoked paprika
Melt the butter in a large skillet, and add the olive oil. Next add the mushrooms and cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent with some browning around the edges. Do not let the garlic get too dark.

Now add the flour, sprinkling it over all of the vegetables.  With a wooden spoon stir while cooking so that the flour coats all of the vegetables. You are making a roux here, so the flour will need a few minutes to cook out the floury smell.

Once that is done, add the wine and the Knorr cubes, and bring to a boil. Stir constantly; when the liquid has thickened, lower the heat and add the half and half and the remaining ingredients.  Cook until the sauce is heated through and well-thickened.  If it is too thick, add a small amount of half and half to thin it out.  Fold in the cooked green beans, and transfer to a baking dish.  Top the dish with about half of the onion strings, then cover with foil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until the casserole is bubbly.  Take the foil off for the last few minutes of baking if you like the onions extra crispy.

Yes, it is more work than the traditional casserole, but a real showstopper for your holiday table.

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