It is not likely that when indigenous peoples of North America and European settlers sat down together to give thanks, they had crock bowls filled with green bean casserole topped with fried onion rings at their tables.
It is likely that green beans were among the fruits of the land gathered during bountiful summer harvests. It is one of the foods which originated in the Americas.
People in Central and South America have eaten green beans for centuries. Green beans made their way to Europe in the ships of 15th century explorers. Green beans were expensive and rare, gained culinary popularity in France in the 1600's and eventually made their way into Midwestern USA casserole dishes with mushroom soup and onion rings.
Thanksgiving dinners give honor to many fruits and vegetables which are native to the Americas, In El Salvador, green beans are very often prepared with eggs. This is one of our favorite dishes served at Casa Concordia in San Salvador. Although I don't have Alma's exact recipe, this is a pretty good recreation.
Salvadoran Green Bean Casserole
6 eggs, beaten
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 small onion, diced small
3/4 - 1 lb. fresh green beans
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Optional dried oregano
Prepare beans by removing ends and dicing into small pieces. Pour love oil into the pan - depending on your type of pan, about 2 Tbsp. Add onion. Saute for a bit. Add garlic. Saute until onions and garlic are just beginning to caramelize. Add green beans. Add a little more oil if needed. Saute until almost tender. Add eggs, salt, and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 - 1 tsp. dried oregano if desired. Cook until the eggs are scrambled. Serve immediately. Sometimes I add a chopped pepper (pick your favorite) for a bit of heat.