Savory: with Green Beans and Potatoes and (not) a letter of apology

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.

Wait….

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?

Never mind.Savory

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,

Ta femme.

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 Green Beans with Savory
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 Grilled Potatoes with Savory
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.

Bon Weekend!

Sun’s out…back to the gardens…

18 thoughts on “Savory: with Green Beans and Potatoes and (not) a letter of apology”

  1. I never minded mowing the lawn that much, but no trees to go around in my lawn! Now I am happy to pay someone to do it.
    I planted some summer savory this year but had no idea what it’s used for so thanks for the ideas! I don’t think I’ve even tasted it yet.

  2. Don’t think I planted savory – dang.
    Those potatoes look super good.
    Never walked behind a power mower – what a sheltered life you’ve been leading. At least that’s corrected.

  3. Caring for all that property in addition to a garden IS a full time job! I can’t imagine taking on all that work, even temporarily. I hope your husband recuperates quickly and completely. Maybe bringing your home-cooking to the hospital will speed up his recovery 🙂

  4. Mmm, I LOVE green beans with savory! Of course, our summer savory is just starting to come up now. And we don’t have winter savory I think I tried growing it but it didn’t survive the winter. Go figure.
    What about getting a couple of goats to do the landscaping? Then you wouldn’t have to use the mower at all. (When they aren’t trimming your grass, you could keep them on the petanque court.)
    Hope your husband gets well soon!

  5. My first wife could never understand why I spent so much time in the garden. When we went our seperate ways she couldn’t understand why the plants died without water or where weeds came from when there were none before…

  6. Kalyn, I like summer savory a lot – but have no luck with it here… But, it is known as the ‘bean herb’ in France. Hope yours is prolific!
    Tanna….But I can do other stuff (she whines…)
    Kevin, and I particularly like when one herb chopping does two dishes ;-))
    Lydia, know one ever thinks of poor savory..
    LisaRene, if it would ever stop raining… I could mow and the grass could stop getting so thick!
    Goats, excellent idea, Elizabeth. I’ve been trying to teach the dogs but they’re worthless (for trimming grass, anyway)
    Heidi, good thing he never reads this…
    Neil, what a good husband to spoil your wife so…. I may have been slightly sheltered but never that spoiled… Besides, he likes doing it, and if I did it, that would ruin the mystique, now wouldn’t it?
    Val, go for it~ Healthy food (well, except for the butter)

  7. LOL I can sooo relate to the man-of-the-house-wielding-power-yardtools plight. They remark on the beauty of nature and keeping it simple and lush with flowers when seeing it somewhere else, but THEIR yard must be flat and clear of any sign of nature. Something about claiming their land… I’ve had to claim some yardwork tasks just to save plants from the mower or ax.
    Hope you give that letter to your husband!

  8. I planted winter savory last year and it is doing very well: I am delighted. And I am glad to receive suggestions for using it: thanks!

  9. edamame, I’ll visit ‘-))
    Cymry, boys and their toys!
    Simona, I don’t really like it in the winter but in spring, the new tender leaves are wonderful!
    Nuria, it is indeed! I may have planted a few more than I need…

  10. One word: Yum!
    BTW, having votre mari in the hospital will change the way you think of him in the future.
    Everything looks so good here.

  11. Mimi, very likely…. It will change the way he thinks of him, too ;-))
    Thanks, Deborah! Savory is very under-used, I think.

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