The First Taste of Summer

Several days ago my mother called and said the green beans in her garden were ready and wondered if we would like to come pick.

About six minutes later I loaded Tater Tot and Small Fry into the car and we were GONE!  Well, that’s not exactly true.  We went the next morning, but if we could’ve left right after she called, believe me when I tell you that we would have been out the door.  

It’s not so much because green beans are my favorite thing from the garden.  It’s because, for us, it’s the first taste of summer.

Green beans don’t take very long to pick, which is a good thing because Tater Tot picked all of three.  After that, he was way more interested in jumping on clods of dirt.  Before we left, he and Poopsie surveyed the tomato crop.

checking the "manas"

My apologies for the picture, but I forgot my camera and had to use the one on my iPhone, and there isn’t a zoom.  (But I still lurve my iPhone.  LURVE it to pieces!)

As you can see, we are tomato people, and Tater Tot will eat tomatoes until the sun goes down.  He calls them “maynas.”  In Mama’s garden, he calls them “my maynas,” and she does not correct him.  According to her, “He can have every last tomato on every last plant if he wants it.”  She’s not kidding.  Mama planted several extra rows of corn (or “carn” as he says) just because he likes it.

Is it any wonder that whenever we’re heading home from anywhere, Tater Tot says that he doesn’t want to go home?  When you ask him where he wants to go, he says, “I want to go to Poopsie’s house!”  Every.  Single.  Time.

Several hours and two huge bags of green beans later, we headed home.  We didn’t eat the green beans for supper that night because as a southerner, I am bound by my heritage to de-string them and put them in a pot with a little onion, a new potato, AND THIS PART IS VERY IMPORTANT, a large hunk of country ham.  You can fry a little bacon and substitute it AND the drippings if you don’t have ham.  Either way, you’ve got to have some fatback cooking in there with the green beans, and you’ve got to cook them all afternoon.  As my mother’s dear friend used to say, “Cook them down slick.”  Otherwise, you may as well just open up a can and heat ’em up in the microwave.

Here’s how mine looked as they were cooking.  

cooking green beans!

They tasted just like summer.  Fresh and green.

Now if the corn, tomatoes, zipper peas, eggplant, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe will just come in, we can taste all the other colors of summer.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. boomama
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 10:30:02

    “Cook them down slick” – I LOVE THAT SO MUCH!


  2. Lora Lynn
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 10:36:00

    The rule of Southern green bean cooking is that you must cook them until they’ve lost all nutritional value and are simply salty mush. THEN, and only then, are they deemed edible. Yummmm.


  3. Mrs Lemon
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 12:01:41

    Yum. Oh my yum. I think my appetite just returned.


  4. Kerstin
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 12:19:47

    Seriously so jealous right now. 🙂


  5. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 20:18:48

    Some day, I just have to come over to your place for dinner. Scrumptious!!


  6. Mary Avery
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 21:23:15

    Mmm! That is the way to cook green beans! I can’t wait for our little tomatoes to get ripe. It makes me think about heading back home to my Dad’s garden and eating all his squash, corn, tomatoes, and bell peppers! Love it!


  7. kim sue
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 21:53:46

    the excellent thing about home grown green beens is that they don’t have to be shelled!


  8. Tatersmama
    Jun 16, 2009 @ 14:58:19

    Oh My Goodness! This has my mouth watering and I’m hankerin for some green beans right now!
    Unfortunately, we’re in winter now and nothing, but nothing in the stores is looking even half-way decent.

    And green maters? I would kill for a feed of fried green maters along with those green beans


  9. Trackback: Amen, Lewis! Amen! « Tater Tales

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