Food & Spirits: Does Anyone Actually Eat the “Green Bean Casserole”?

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Its the one dish guaranteed to be on most tables every Thanksgiving and Christmas: the infamous Green Bean Casserole. You know, that concoction consisting of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French’s fried onions, baked into a casserole dish and served steaming hot to the groans of your guests? I don’t know when it became a must-have on the holiday table. I can understand the ease, because out of all the things you have to cook, this might be the simplest. But for enjoyment, does anyone actually eat the stuff? I feel that no one does. The cooks, usually the mothers of the family, make it out of a sense of duty to the tradition. After all, it has been there EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. The guests then give themselves a heaping spoonful and pick at it once or twice before moving on to something more interesting. Its a hot mess, and you know it. You may even like green beans, the soup, and fried onions like I do, but together? No, I’ll pass. Its as Christmas as Mistletoe and probably just as dreaded. While grandma might shove it down after spouting out her first of many, “But its good for you!” utterances of the evening, you won’t dare touch it.

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A Proposal for a Food-Related TV Show I Would Love to See

We’ve reached that inevitable point in the middle of the summer months that dooms all bloggers. That is, the stretch of time where there is just nothing to write about. No movie or sports news—we are still waiting for a little bit of both. Because of that, I thought it was about time to finally set pen to paper on an idea I have had for a new television show, one that would combine history with the single item we can all find common ground on: food! There are an endless amount of documentaries on all time periods in history (though that number has been shrinking in recent years due to a mass-encroachment from mindless “reality”-based shows), but how many of them ever take the time to go into detail on the food consumed in whatever particular time period they are focusing on? The only one that comes to mind is one of my favorites, The Naked Archaeologist, hosted by Simcha Jacobovici, which I love for its simplistic, down-to-earth approach to archaeology, making it fun, interesting, and easy to learn for everyone. The reason why the show is titled as such is because he peels back the layers, so to speak, making the archaeology “naked”. Many times his shows will include little tidbits on food and lifestyles, which I always found fascinating. I think it is a topic that could do very well as a show of its own, because if there is one thing that can humanize a group of people who have been dead for hundreds or thousands of years, it would be details about, and demonstrations of how to cook the food they ate.

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Merry Christmas from FNYTSF!

I would like to wish all of my readers here on From New York to San Francisco a very Merry Christmas, and an upcoming Happy New Year! It has been a pleasure blogging for you for a little less than two years now. Let’s hope that we all have an enjoyable day tomorrow with our family and friends, which shows what the real meaning of this holiday is all about. I have already recieved my first gift of the holiday, from a friend, which was a Henrik Lundqvist t-shirt-jersey with the Winter Classic patch on the top. I am really pumped up for that game, and will definitely be wearing that shirt on January 2nd. As for tomorrow, I will be spending it with my family as I do every year, one of the only days where everyone can get together for a meal at the same time. I hope everyone else will be experiencing the same.

Sincerely,

Greg Caggiano

P.S Christmas is sure a lot more enjoyable knowing that the New York Rangers sit in first place in the Atlantic Division, and Marian Gaborik leads the league in goals. Still a long way to go, but last night’s victory over the Philadelphia Flyers was one of the best gifts I could have gotten!

A PC American Holiday Vol. 3: Why Leave New Year’s Alone?

Ah, it’s that time of year again where political correctness drives people mad! Last year, we attacked the myths behind Frostie the Snowman and Santa Claus, and because they went over so well, I decided to continue it again this year, with a different holiday that no one ever goes after. Well, why should we leave New Year’s celebrations alone? Surely, somewhere, someone is offended by such a day/eve, and on this blog, we shall set out to exploit it!

The War on Christmas: Does it Really Exist?

Over the last few years, it has become ever-apparent that the Christmas season has undergone drastic changes. Long gone are the days when we can exclaim “Merry Christmas” to the general population, for fear of someone being offended. Everything has now shifted to “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings”; schools now have a week off for “Winter Break”. Just like everything else in this country, the situation has turned into a political soapbox. Those deemed liberal get their chance to step up and denounce the wishing of a certain holiday’s greeting to the masses, while those who society sees as conservative shove that person to the ground and climb up on the proverbial box to speak exactly the opposite. It is because of this hotbed that I address you today with a question regarding a phrase we are hearing more and more: is there really a war on Christmas?

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Moment of the Day: Lawrence Meets a Christmas Tree

Today was the unofficial start to the Christmas season in our house, as we began to put up decorations and outside lights, which we will finish tomorrow. Though I was never a fan of rushing things in November, I will be away next weekend (a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania) so we wanted to get things done now. This will also be our first holiday season with Lawrence, my ever-nosy and troublesome cat, who seems to always do something destructive on a daily basis. If you have read my “Week in Review” articles from the past summer and spring, then you are well aware of his antics, and how he was named after Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Over the last few weeks, I have been anxiously awaiting his reaction to my family putting up a Christmas tree. Whenever we bring something new into the house, he has to pretend he is Inspector Clouseau and check everything out—the “bomb-sniffing cat”, as we call him. Because he always finds ways to get into trouble and have fun with decorations, I was very nervous about our tree. We decided to not put up the big tree in the family room just yet, until we get back from Pennsylvania, because he would probably find a way to destroy it.

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‘Twas the Day After Thanksgiving: A Poem

In about a week, we will celebrating everyone’s favorite day of encouraged gluttony: Thanksgiving! This was long the holiday that could not be commercialized, because nothing could be bought except food, and the activities for the day include eating, spending time with family and friends, and perhaps watching some football. In recent years, though, the actual day of Thanksgiving has been pushed aside, as merely the precursor to a day of insanity and lunacy: Black Friday. Sure, it used to be charming; waking up early and going to hunt bargains, but now, it has become madness, which has seen people literally being trampled to death in stores by nut jobs with shopping carts. This is yet another great day of traditions being destroyed in this country, in the name of the Almighty Dollar, and there is really nothing we can do to stop it. As I always say, “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying”, so I offer up this poem to you in order to help celebrate these two great days of destruction. I hope you enjoy!

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, it has come at last
The memories of yesterday’s feast, they are all in the past
Getting up at midnight to do your shopping
The blood vessels in your eyes are sure to be popping

The turkey you ate, it has not even been digested
And you know hundreds of morons will soon be arrested
Rush your family out of the house, you need to get your rest
Will you become immersed in Black Friday madness, the ultimate test?

Who really cares about Thanksgiving, it’s just an ordinary day
The pilgrims who we celebrate, they were murderers anyway
So come on, get your wallet, and fill it with cash
5 a.m shopping at Wal-Mart is going to be a bash!

When you cannot buy your favorite items, you are filled with sorrow
You’re too dumb to realize, they’ll be there tomorrow
You lash out at the cashier, you attack your loved ones
A barbarian you look like, even to Attila and his Huns

Running through the store you go, a maniac with a cart
Like a killer you pounce, with a black hole for a heart
In the sporting goods section, someone was strangled with a fishing net
Hey, it beats getting run over by a shopping cart in Target

Every store offers such great discounts
In hospitals and trauma centers, the number of wounded amounts
People just don’t understand, this is the American way
Destroy all that you want, just make sure that you pay

The stores open so early, they call it “Moonlight Madness”
The crazed psycho shoppers fill me with sadness
Trampled to death someone will be
As they always are, by a 400 pound woman who has a bum knee

When you get to the checkout line, you realize the store told a lie
Remember when you came through the turnstiles wondering if you were going to die?
But you don’t care, you got what you came for
Just make sure to get dad’s gift at the discount liquor store

The Macy’s Parade, you had watched it the day before
When all you wanted to do was shop, my, what a bore!
You come home late at night, and watch the news reports of all the shoppers that died
But you got your child the latest toy, and are more than satisfied

Pretty soon, it will be the Christmas season
We have to call it the “Holidays”, for a non-offensive reason
A month later, the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care
As I hope the apocalypse soon will be there