I remember the first house my parents purchased. Up until that point, we lived with our Grandparents. By the time the last child arrived, my parents realized they really needed more space, and probably also needed to give the older generation a break.
We landed only a few miles from our first home, on an idyllic crepe myrtle lined street. There was an abundance of fruit trees in our neighborhood, including apple, mulberry, peach and pomegranate. My Mom was not much of a baker, but our neighbors certainly were. They could turn any fruit picked from their back yard into an incredible edible. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time with those neighbors.
My Mom much preferred savory dishes. She set about having us girl’s build and tend to our own mini gardens. We planted tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers (I don’t think we knew anything about yellow or red peppers at that point).
While our garden was small, Mom managed to pickle our yield of cucumbers and provide for a year of incredibly delicious bread and butter pickles. Our tomatoes went into our nightly salads, usually a traditional Greek Salad – our favorite!. Over the years, as Mom became more confident in her abilities, she would make and can sauce from our home-grown tomatoes. Finally, she would use our green peppers to prepare a stuffed pepper dish. This was definitely not our favorite. In fact, had we been savvy enough to realize what was in store for us, we would have found a way to sabotage those dreaded green peppers. But, two out of three ain’t bad.
Most seasons we grow tomatoes, but every season we have fresh herbs. I love being able to exit my deck and decide on the spot how I want to flavor my drinks, salads and dinners. Each year I intend to do more, but I am just not quite there yet. Maybe next year…