Wednesday, June 30, 2010

new potatoes and green beans

Jenny-Leigh, Dad and Freddy on the Nunley's Narrows back porch before they put up the awning to give it some shade in the hot afternoons.
grand parents Sallie and George Nunley on their living room couch sometime in the 1960's just how I remember them when we were down there visiting one hot summer's evening.
The Nunley home place in Narrows Virginia, center shows the house's back porch as it was two summers ago.
Mom, Aunt Emma-Lou her sister and I sitting on the Nunley's back porch rocker and two person glider in Narrows, Virginia
That's what grandmother's glider looked like (from eBay item) only it sits in the shade on the concrete pad porch off the kitchen door.

My latest pot of freshly snapped green beans and new potatoes ready to simmer up a summer dinner treat.

This is my 4th or 5th pot of green beans and new potatoes this summer. I was visiting Manassas farmers market and saw them back in early June. I thought they would make a nice switch from spring greens salad or broccoli we have been enjoying. We have been trying to make more veggies part of our menu and this looked like a fresh new meal. I questioned Mother about how she makes hers and she says, you don't have to use fatback pork in them like the old folks did, she just uses some butter. I bought a batch home I used salt, black pepper and about two tablespoons of sweet cream butter. Amazing how fresh and delicious those freshly picked beans and small newly harvested small potatoes taste.

As a child I remember spending summer time with grandmother Sallie Nunley at the kitchen table or on the back porch glider snapping those long string beans from Grandpa's garden. We had to cut off the top stem and pull the strings out back then, modern beans don't have strings anymore. I always got a thrill out of that sensation & the sound: snap, snap, snap as I broke the beans into three sections. It is a lot like popping bubbles on bubble wrap, need I say more?
If you try some make sure they are local freshly picked green beans. I made the mistake of buying some "fresh green beans" at Whole Foods and where ever they came from they didn't taste half as good as the fresh beans from the Manassas farmer's market and subsequent fresh farm green beans from Washington DC's farmers markets once they arrived.
Digging around looking for photos of that glider I realized today would be my father's 80th birthday if he had survived his maladies. It's nearly two years since he died. These little things like beans and potatoes bring back sweet memories of summer time with his family when I was a child. I know those folks back in the Appalachian mountains ate a lot of home grown vegetables. It's nice to have that heritage and I think it has impacted my love of flower gardening as an adult. Now I like green beans and new potatoes but I as a kid I didn't care much for them the way grandmother cooked them till they were brown with pork fat. My mom however makes them really good in a modern smart way.

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