When I was a little girl, and the holidays would come around, I naturally looked forward to the feasting. To be honest, I find myself feeling less enthusiastic about turkey (although let’s give a big shout-out to the purveyors of cranberry sauce) and more interested in the accoutrements. The mashed potatoes always come out a little fluffier, people use more butter (which is, as you know, more better), sweet potatoes are in full force, and the green bean casserole makes its annual appearance.

When you really think about it, there is absolutely no reason why Americans shouldn’t be making green bean casserole all of the time. It takes five ingredients (one of them being pepper, so I mean…really, people) and thirty-five minutes. It’s creamy and a little crunchy and I’m fairly certain I could eat an entire pan on my own.

I was always in charge of the green bean casserole for family holidays. I imagine it was because I was young and it was extremely simple to throw together, but it was also largely because I pushed for it the most. As an infant, I could easily consume an entire can of green beans on my own, and I think the only people on earth who feel badly about condensed cream of mushroom soup are professional chefs who I can only assume weren’t loved enough as children. It made me feel like I was a part of the magic; that somehow my small contribution made us a closer family.

This year, Husband and I went to his parent’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, along with one of his sisters and her husband, who, we were sorry to learn, she refers to as Big Daddy. I jumped at the chance to carry on the family tradition started by my grandmother and offered to put the green bean casserole together. It was a small thing, but it made me feel a little bit like I was at home.

Today there’s about 10 pounds of turkey meat in the fridge, along with a half gallon of gravy and some sweet potato casserole. But the green beans are long gone; the first dish of the meal to be completely devoured.