Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Garden of Highland

This time of year has me thinking of gardening and harvesting. My parents have an enormous garden. We worked in it like slaves every summer, all summer long. I remember weeding from 9-12 and getting maybe one row weeded. This may be my adult mind exaggerating childhood memories, but it was BIG and we did work HARD. We always enjoyed a plentiful harvest. We'd eat fresh picked foods all summer and then can A LOT of stuff. We'd eat corn on the cob, BLT's (tomatoes from the garden on Mom's homemade dill bread), and creamed green beans for dinner. It was simple but luxurious and extravagant and sumptuous and sybaritic (how do you like that word, Josh?). My mom writes e-mails detailing what they are picking and eating (right now: tomatoes, apricots, raspberries, green beans, lettuce, herbs, what else Mom?). I'm so jealous we aren't closer. My own garden consists of a few tomato plants, a couple of herbs and some potatoes that sat so long in the cupboard they grew eyes and Jonah wanted to plant them as an experiment. The potatoes are the only ones thriving. My sister Heather has an amazing garden. It's full of huge, green, lush plants that are actually producing (something my garden does not do so well). She definetely got my Mom's green thumb. Lately she's been harvesting green beans. I've been craving green beans, so drove to Viva Grande! and harvested (for a small fee) some of my own.

Creamed Green Beans (courtesy of Petrea Kelly)
"Cook fresh picked green beans in small amount of water.
Make a white sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour -- cook together, add about 2 cups milk. Add salt to taste and plenty of pepper. Drain the beans and mix them with the white sauce. I like to make quite a thick white sauce and save a little of the bean water to add to it -- it seems to be more flavorful."

If they are really great, fresh, young green beans with little blemish I like to eat them this way:
Melt a few tablespoons of butter in saute pan. Add washed and snapped green beans. Saute over low heat (stirring or shushing the pan - what is that called?) until beans are dark green. Season with salt and pepper.


robin kendall said...

Another idea is to saute in olive oil and season with salt and pepper...very fresh tasting and very healthy. I like to do this with fresh asparagus, too.

jordan said...

That sounds nice. I want ten kids to maintain a garden for me.

Petrea Kelly said...

Sorry Jordan it wasn't that easy---somehow the 10 children require a lot of help, instruction, supervision, and "working with" and it was necessary to protect certain things from overly enthisuastic rototillers (Bronson was death on zucchini plants!)---but it was a great time to all work together and enjoy the great harvest. We still look forward to all the firsts---first green beans, first tomatoes, first corn etc.
I hope they learned something about the law of the harvest, the satisfaction of a job well done, and how much more tasty things are that you grow yourself. Petrea

Mom in Mendon said...

I love that my grandchildren's heritage includes the Brian and Petrea Garden.

Your recipe reminds me that my dad, Lloyd Pack, grew up with creamed vegetables. He was born in Kamas, Utah, a little dairy town, and he ws an adult before he knew that vegetables could be served without creaming them.

Ben said...

The Kelly garden is way up there for inspiring me for what I want for my family. I have had some of the best meals of my life there, and it all came from their own dirty work. So, so inspiring.