Throwback of the House: The Taboo of Polynesian Green Beans



When I was a kid, my dad often drank soda and iced tea from a big avocado-green tiki mug. That thing scared the hell out of me. I'd seen those Hawaii episodes of The Brady Bunch enough times during after-school reruns to know that idols = increased odds of getting whacked on the head with a surfboard or taken hostage in a cave by Vincent Price.

I was afraid of a lot of things back then. Like the Hamm's Beer cartoon bear mascot.

I'm not quite as paranoid as I used to be, thanks to outgrowing my childhood gullibility and partaking in a lot of cognitive-behavioral therapy. And yet I got a chill when I saw a recipe for Polynesian Green Beans in 1970's Green Giant's Vegetable Cook Book.

The Green Giant? Don't even get me started on him. I'm still terrified of giants and large statues because of that asshole.

Hack a pineapple in half and gut it, making a shell of the skin. Heat the shell in the oven. Saute chopped onions in butter.

  • Robin Wheeler
Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, dry mustard, pineapple juice and corn starch to make a bland sweet-and-sour sauce. Add chopped pineapple, water chestnuts and a can of drained green beans and heat through.

  • Robin Wheeler
Dump the mess into the warmed pineapple skin. Top with a maraschino cherry, which is a bit like garnishing a Shirley Temple with a pickled green bean. If you're like me and still traumatized by growing up in the 1970s, sprinkle with crushed Valium and Quaaludes (optional).

Serve with a giant tiki mug of Hamm's and just go ahead and shoot me in the head because this meal will give me a fear-based stroke.

If you survive the terror long enough to taste the Polynesian Green Beans, you'll be sorry. The glaze adds just enough syrupiness to the fresh pineapple to make it taste canned. The good news is, the flavorless green beans provide taste-dulling mushiness.

Alice probably served this to the Bradys as revenge for having to sleep in that room behind the oven.

Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom and is a regular contributor to Gut Check. After years of making and eating fancy food, Robin is sick of it all. She's returning to the basics: recipes that haven't surfaced in three decades. She reports on the results every Monday.

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