Mon cher mari,
After spending the last few days gaining intimate knowledge of our property: exploring all the nooks and crannies; learning which trees have slightly exposed roots and which mounds are clumps of grass and which are overgrown mole hills; discovering, all on my own, that the former owner never actually removed the metal frame of his pétanque court….. .
I would like to apologize for all the sharp words and harsh thoughts sent your way over the last 4 years.
I really shouldn’t have gotten so angry when you cut down all of the lovely young peach and plum trees that were in the middle of the lawn. (You said they were difficult to mow around.)
My words were less than kind when I criticized the way you trimmed the fir trees. (You said you couldn’t get under them to mow and whip the weeds.)
Perhaps I could have been less assertive when I suggested that, as long as the weeds have died off in the spring, couldn’t you just keep the orchard mowed all summer? I mean, it can’t be that much more effort and it would be so much easier for me to pick the fruit and gather the nuts. (You said you preferred to just use the weed whip once in the fall.)
Maybe I could have been a tad more understanding when every, single suggestion I made about doing more landscaping was summarily dismissed. (You said you wanted to tear everything up and have nothing but a flat, uninterrupted expanse of lawn, not alleviated by so much as a daffodil.)
Now, having done it all, I have a much greater, first-hand understanding of what you do all summer.
Now that I think about it…..
I’ve done it one time – lots of trial and error to figure out what worked.
I’d never even walked behind a power mower before.
The grass was 6 inches (15cm) long and thicker than the rough at the US Open.
The weeds were over my head in places, and the brambles long enough and dense enough to hide Br’er Rabbit.
If it hadn’t been neglected for 3 weeks, during peak growing season, it would have been a walk in the park.
All of that apologetic crap I said?
As soon as you get your strength back I’m putting you to work in the herb garden…. (That’ll teach him!)
Tout mon amour,
It’s late spring in my herb garden. The oregano, marjoram and garlic chives are at their peak. The basil, thyme and tarragon are following closely and the regular chives and rosemary are in bloom.
The savory is perfect.
I have the perennial, winter savory, in my herb garden. In late summer and winter, it’s usable, like rosemary; the sprigs, or the leaves, chopped. But, it’s the bright green soft leaves of early summer that I like best.
Both winter and summer savory (an annual) are used for culinary and medicinal purposes, with winter savory being the stronger, more aromatic of the two.
They are thought to be good for the stomach and the entire digestive system, (including as a cure for flatulence). Crushed, and applied topically, they will bring relief to bee and wasps stings.
More importantly, (step aside, Basil) they are thought to be the perfect herb for beans.
When the herbs and vegetables are fresh and in season, simple is best.
Here are two incredibly simple and delicious dishes using savory, for Weekend Herb Blogging, the event started by Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this week by Cate of Sweetnicks. She’ll have the complete round-up on her blog on Monday….check it out!
Green Beans with Savory and Garlic Chives
6oz (180gr) green beans
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbs butter
1 tbs fresh garlic chives, snipped
1 tbs fresh, whole savory leaves
Top and tail beans (cut off the ends…). Cut beans into 1 1/2″ (3.75cm) lengths. Put the beans and chicken stock in a small skillet or saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat just until beans are done, 10 – 12 minutes. Drain beans, add butter, herbs and stir to combine.
Roast Potatoes with Savory
2 – 3 potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbs whole savory leaves
1 tbs snipped chives
1 – 2 tbs soft butter
Slice potatoes in half the long way, then in half again. Then slice in half or thirds the short way. Put oil and paprika into bowl and mix. Add potatoes and stir, coating thoroughly. Put them into an old metal pie plate or cake tin or foil barbecue container (or whatever). Cook on barbecue (grill) for 30 – 35 minutes or until done… and you will need to stir them with a long-handled wooden spoon occasionally as they tend to develop ‘hot spots’ and can get a little crispy.
Or you can roast them in the oven. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet with rim (I use my trusty, round pizza pan) Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
To finish: Put potatoes into a bowl, add butter, herbs, and toss well, to melt butter and coat potatoes.
Sun’s out…back to the gardens…