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Garden of dinner delights

August 5th, 2003 · No Comments

Oh, the joys of little girls in a garden! Yesterday afternoon we went outside and picked part of our dinner. Abigail and Michaela helped pick green beans. Elisabeth had more interest in eating the dirt, so I let her crawl down the driveway. Sometimes I forget about the garden – as I did with the peas this year – and the produce gets a bit thick and old on the vine. But these green beans were thin and tender, perhaps even a bit young: teenage beans. I also took the first five tomatoes: three red Stupice and two yellow ones.

From her own patch of garden, Abigail picked flowers. She picked a couple individual flowers off of the new snapdragons. One was the color of sunsets: yellow-orange-pink beauty. Abigail also plucked the sole blue bachelor button. Two single snap dragon blooms and the bachelor button still sit in a turqoise vase on our dining room table.

Usually I don’t bother to put the flowers she picks in water, since they often have very short stems and don’t fit well in a vase. But I decided to try last night. I’m partial to bachelor buttons, especially blue ones, for they remind me of the flower wreath I wore at my high school graduation. I had asked the florist for some blue flowers – why I wanted blue I don’t remember – but when I picked up my wreath, I discovered bachelor buttons woven together with yellow and pink flowers. I don’t remember the yellow or pink names but I remember the name of the blue, and the sense of innocence and pride I wore with the wreath on that day in June. The dried wreath is in a box in our garage: sentimental but not as beautiful as a fresh flower grown by my five-year-old.

Coming inside, I made a stir-fry of the vegetables, adding red peppers from the grocery store.
“Is it going to be yummmy, Mommy?” asked Michaela.
Yes! Even though I blanched the tomatoes a bit too long, the flavor didn’t seep away in the boiling water – the pieces of red packed powerful taste: the ripeness of stored-up sunny summer days. The green beans were delicious too, cooked in sesame oil to the perfect crunch.

And for dessert, we each enjoyed one red raspberry the girls had discovered on the vines. Days like these I know why we were made to be in a garden!

Tags: gardening