My German family has been so kind as to indulge my need for American holidays and has help put together Thanksgiving dinners for the past two years. It’s fun introducing them to American foods, and seeing how baffled they were last year at the idea of sweet potato casserole as a side. I think Germans like to keep their meals savory and their desserts sweet, so mixing in a sweet dish with the main meal just felt wrong to some of them.
Both years I made green bean casserole. I’m not very handy in the kitchen, so once I figured out how to make something decent, I stuck with it. My main problem was converting the recipe to be useful for getting ingredients from a German grocery store. When cooking and baking, Germans tend to stick to measuring ingredients by weight while Americans tend to measure by volume. So I was stuck trying to figure out how much 4 cups of green beans weighed. I was able to find out how many 14.5 oz cans of green beans equaled 4 cups and then converted that to grams (822!).
What was more difficult was figuring out the soup. I used the official Campbell’s recipe, which, of course, recommends using a can of one of their condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. Maybe I could have found it in a larger grocery store, but my Lidl does not carry condensed soup in cans. They carry powdered soup instead. Using my powers of logic, I deduced that if I added half the water to a packet of soup, it would make condensed soup. Voila! Success!
I also substituted Maggi for the soy sauce, because that’s what I thought we had. Turns out that when I thought Mr. Faultier was complaining that we were almost out of Maggi, he was actually complaining that we were completely out of Maggi. Good thing we had this mini one lying around.
So, per the instructions. I mixed everything together, saving some of the fried onions to put on top at the end. Not going to lie, even though I do have American measuring cups lying around, I did not actually use them for the fried onions. I just put half of the package in to cook and the other half on top at the end. Mr. Faultier was disappointed that I did not leave him any to snack on.
I neglected to get a decent picture of it fresh out of the oven. I just snapped a quick picture on my phone to send to people. I did however make sure to take some pictures of it and the other food once I was at my mother-in-laws house. We hosted last year when our guest room was empty and we could put a picnic table in there, but now we are almost finished renovating and there is stuff in there!
We didn’t have pumpkin pie, because the ingredients were too hard to track down. But we did have some muffins and these adorable berry parfaits made with yogurt quark and strawberries.
While I missed my family back in America this Thanksgiving, having it here reminded me how wonderful my German family here is. They do so much for me and I’m very grateful for them helping me feel at home here.