Monday, January 12, 2009

Seeds and Hope: I forgot to fill in I am hoping in my Daybook entry...

If you read my daybook entry below, you probably realized that I left "I am hoping" blank in order to think of something and forgot to fill it in when I thought of it.

Yesterday, my dear hubby and I ate lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant after church. Now, I don't think of Cracker Barrel as a place to buy seeds. But, as I was browsing around while we were waiting for our table, I came upon their line of Burpee-themed collectibles. There among the pretty watering cans and such, was a cardboard display box filled with Burpee seed packets -- mostly heirloom or unusual varieties. What caught my eye immediately was an old French variety of haricots vert or green beans, as we call them.

Now, years ago, when I was seventeen, I spent a summer in Paris in a dormitory where the cooking was done by Portuguese nuns. They often prepared the most delcious green beans. I have never come across an exact duplicate of the particular color of the green in the beans or their taste in the U.S.

Now, of course, I love my Southern U.S. green beans, cooked down with some ham. (I'd still use good, old-fashioned fatback in the beans if I didn't think the cholesterol would cause an immediate clog in our arteries.) But, I did also loved the French beans and never figured if it was the type of beans themselves that I was drawn to, or the style of cooking them or soil and weather conditions in the area where I was staying that made them so delightful.

The beans pictured on the front of the seed packet looked something like the seeds I remembered. So, I bought a packet, along with a packet of carrot seeds of an old variety.

So, I am hoping that my Cracker Barrel seeds weren't just for show, but are real, viable, Burpee quality seeds. There's always something hopeful about buying seed packets. Don't you think? It's hope that spring is coming. It's hope that your little garden crop will look and taste as beautiful as the art work on the seed packet promises.

To me, watching plants emerge from planted seeds is one of God's wondrous beauties! It's especially true in my case. My father loves plants and has a green thumb and plants grow simply because he walks into a room. My husband grew up working in his family's garden, and is a credible gardener -- when he wants to be. In my case, seeds grow in spite of my hit and miss, very amateurish gardening. It's always so fun to gather the harvests!


Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

I didn't know Cracker Barrel sold seeds but I will have to go by tomorrow and check at the one in our town. I prefer the heirloom seeds over many of the new varieties. Thank you for sharing that information and I also enjoyed the story.


Angela said...

Your comment interested me - I have looked at recipes in USA magazines over here [Real Simple, and Martha Stewart] and often thought that YOUR green beans look a little different from what we in the UK call "French Beans"! I do hope your planting is successful!
blessings - Angela [aka the Pastor's Wife who has not seen The Bishops Wife]

Elizabeth said...

Hi Elizabeth-Plain and Simple --

I don't think Cracker Barrel usually does sell seeds. This is the first time I've ever seen seeds there, and I have been going to Cracker Barrels for many years. But, this year, they have a Burpee inspired line of things, and, along with it, they are selling some heirloom seeds. I hope you find something for your garden!

The other Elizabeth

Hi Angela,

Over here, we have what we call French style green beans, which are are cut differently -- I suppose they are cut Julienne style. But, they don't look like or have the texture of the ones I had in France. I'd be curious to know what your UK French Green beans are like. I'll post if the planting turns out to be more like what I saw in France. I was in France a couple of years ago, but it was in winter, and I didn't see any green beans, so I'm having to go on a very old memory from when I was seventeen.