Saturday, October 08, 2011
A Taste of the Past
We were driven in a wagon drawn by a tractor about a half mile out into the orchard. A friendly woman met us at our destination, gave each of us a bag that would hold a bushel of apples and showed us the four different kinds that were available to pick.Most everyone was filling several bags. We gathered a modest six of three kinds, which took mere moments.
It was such a nice day we decided to walk back to the barn and store. Apples are certainly the main crop on this farm, but there was quite a pumpkin patch, a goodly field of strawberry plants and other berries. Three people were picking over the remnants of a field of tomatoes. And then we passed several rows of peas (most of them long gone, of course) and yellow string beans, of which there were still quite a few. Almost without thinking a bent over, snapped one off the plant and bit off a piece.
I was transformed instantly to my childhood. That taste was almost magical. A fresh string bean that could be snapped in half and crunched. We do get the at the store often, but the poor things days before lost their snap and the sharpness of their flavor.
Most of the years of my childhood we had a garden in the backyard. There were always peas and beans and I do not ever remember any of them making it to the dinner table.We kids ate them fresh. It was a wonderful thing, and I am grateful--almost giddy--to know that it still is.