Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Flowers" © By Abraham Lincoln

My mother planted the idea of putting seeds in the ground for a bountiful harvest in the fall. I could always think of dozens of other things I would rather do than plant seeds. Sometimes she started seeds in cups or trays in the house and then we planted the small growing plants in the garden when temperatures had warmed the ground. I didn't mind it as much as I disliked harvesting these peas or green beans.

I loved to eat green peas right out of the pod while we picked them growing in our garden. Mom scolded me for eating them but they are delicious. I cannot think of anything that tastes worse than peas in a can picked off the store shelf or canned peas stored under the bed, wrapped in old newspapers for insulation.

A pea just doesn't taste good when it is canned but frozen peas taste like they were just picked this morning. I even like frozen sweet corn much better than sweet corn in a tin can. Canning does something to the taste of vegetables but things like peaches and pears seem to taste even better out of the can. Except I have to confess that I love to pick up dropped pears so ripe that the honeybees are sipping the juices. To me they are just flat-out delicious and I can understand why the bees go after them — I do too.

This all brings up flowers. Mother planted more vegetable seed than flower seeds. We had a few flowers that always came up on their own and that is about the only flowers we ever had. Mother would not tolerate a rose bush because she didn't like getting her dress, hose or apron snagged on them. We all love rhubarb and ate it one stalk after another in spite of earnest warnings from mom that we would get the "runs" if we ate too much of it.

I liked rhubarb pie a lot and with a piece of rhubarb pie in a cereal bowl and some fresh milk poured on it — that is about the best food you ever tasted. It is right up there next to strawberry shortcake. And I am not talking about those pitiful, round, cakes made especially for strawberries that are sold in grocery stores. You need a crisp, rich, crumbly type of bread or cookie about the size of a dinner plate that is made with butter, flour, and sugar. Pull off a chunk of that and douse it with a spoonful of strawberries and add milk or cream. That beats rhubarb pie and then some.

I look for “Flower Seeds” when I go to stores and have usually found assorted vegetable seed packs mixed up with the flower seeds. I have slapped my hand if it reaches for vegetable seeds because I don’t really want to deal with planting vegetables and then having to take care of them all summer.

I do like ripe tomatoes picked off the vine and would eat them all if I could but I don’t want to make a pig of myself.

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