A Very City Paper Thanksgiving: Last-minute green beans

So, I've known this for weeks, but I'm on for making the green beans for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and I haven't really prepared, other than to pick up some beans at the grocery store last weekend. Rather than look up a recipe, I'll just share what I intend to do, which just simply can't fail because, well, it's all about the ingredients. Here's what I plan to work with:

3 12-ounce bags of haricots verds, those fancy French green beans
A bunch of whole garlics, stems still on, that I got at the farmers market a few weeks ago
A bag of slivered almonds
A few lemons
A jar of capers
Olive oil
A bottle of lemon bitters
Ginger-spiced balsamic vinegar that I also got at the farmers market
Sea salt

Heat the oven to 350 F.

First, wash the beans in a colander and snip the very end of the tips off with scissors.

Shell two heads of garlic and smash them up real good with the flat side of a knife. Then melt a half—no, wait, a whole—stick of butter in an 8-inch iron skillet. After adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet, toss in the garlic and a cup and a half of slivered almonds to saute on low heat.

After about 5 minutes of sauteing, start steaming all the beans in a steamer for 5 minutes. Have a casserole dish waiting on the sidelines.

Once the steamer's kicked into gear, take a kid's old baby spoon and put three or four spoonfuls of capers into the skillet, then add the fresh-squeezed juice of 2 lemons and about 5 dashes of lemon bitters, and keep sauteing it. 

When the steamer's timer goes off, take the skillet off the heat and stir, like, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar into the mixture. Then dump the steamed beans into the casserole dish, spread them around, ladle the sauteed almonds-garlic-and-capers mixture across of the top them, and stick the dish into the hot oven—and then crank it up to 450 F.

Then I'll make myself another drink, sip it a bit, make sure the kids aren't breaking anything or hurting one another, and, after, oh I don't know, like 5 or 7 minutes, I'll put my ear next to the oven door and listen. Is it sizzling yet? If it is, I'll give it a few more minutes. If not, I'll wait until it does, and then give it a few more minutes.

After taking the dish out of the oven, take some salad tongs and toss the whole mess, then let it sit out in the open for a few minutes as you enjoy the sounds of "Hey, that’s smells amazing" coming from other parts of the house. Then I'm going to transfer it to my favorite big blue ceramic bowl my sister gave me for my birthday a bunch of years ago, and toss it again with sea salt, to taste.

Hopefully not all of the beans will be eaten tomorrow, because I'm definitely going to want to bring them cold to "Guys Day Out" at Laurel Race Course on Friday, and share them with friends. Hi ho, even though it's not Pimlico!

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