RE: Grandma's best side dish...
First, a thank-you for the topic and to FT for his tribute, which applies to my grandma, Gam:
Actually, any memories associated with her are special. Thanks NYNM for rekindling my memories and love for her, beyond her food.
All the green bean recipes remind me of my maternal grandma's; I don't think my paternal grandma ever cooked anything at all! Gam was a veteran of the Depression, during which her husband, Dandy, was a country doctor who was often paid in food as well as a serious hunter. She cold cook anything! Her venison CFS was to die for, as was her rabbit with white gravy.
Gam's green beans were cooked with some ham or a ham hock, a little onion, maybe a little vinegar, and S & P. They came out withered, not mushy, and with a very intense flavor.
I'm running on here. My very favorite recipe was her salt-rising bread. Kind of like durian in that it has an offensive smell while in preparation but an exquisite flavor when done. I can probably find the recipe if anyone wants it.