Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heirloom tomatoes and green beans

I thought I would post a picture of my baby tomato plants that were given to me by a friends daughter. She has a wonderful sunny yard for a garden. Alas our yard is mostly in shade. She also is into planting heirloom plants and we were so excited to see that. We will keep you up to date as the tomatoes grow but I did want to hit on a subject about the food we now eat.

Above is an old photo from my mother in laws thanksgiving or Christmas dinner back in the 80's that my wife took (this was before we were married). Now my mother is law is a to die for cook. She is 83 and cooke's breakfast and dinner almost every day, my father in law will be 85 in May and they both are doing fine for now. There is nothing I have ever put in my mouth that was not a absolute delight. And she is the master of deserts. I think it is because my mother in law does not use processed foods. Food pictured is strawberry salad, green beans, potato salad, creamed corn, chocolate pie, and Carmel cake. Sweet potato casserole and a baked hen.

One day when we were there (and I know I bug her hovering in her tiny kitchen hoping to absorb some of her secrets) Wife and I commented on that we followed her directions on how she cooked her green beans but alas they never tasted like hers. She asked us what kind of green beans did we use? We had no idea, Kentucky wonders was the only one we could think of we did go to the farmers market but was not sure what type of bean it was. She told us rattle snake beans was the ones she used. Never heard of those. She said they were kind of speckled but when cooked that they were all the same color. She also preferred silver queen for her corn and purple hulled peas.

This was like a light bulb going off. Wife and I had commented several times food just did not taste the same as when our parents cooked. Now we are talking food in a bowl and placed on the table not serve your self off the stove. Yes we also remember helping to clean and shuck the corn snap the beans and shell peas to but up in the freezer but we never paid attention to the kind or type.

We looked in vain for several years at our farmers market for the rattlesnake green beans and last year they had some. We found out that they are considered an heirloom type plant. Our friends daughter has some of the seeds of the rattle snake and silver queen. We hope she grows some.

So the lesson learned is to buy or if possible plant some of the older ones and you may find the taste is so much better than the mass produced ones. We heard that about the tomatoes so we will keep you up dated.
By the way my mother in law said there was a sweet potatoes she would eat as a child in LA. that was very red on the inside and very sweet. She has not seen any since she moved away from Houma. So if any one knows what the name is or if they are still around please let us know.

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

You are exactly right heirlooms haven't been hybridized out of their flavor.

Hybrids have their purpose being more resilliant to certain ailments, but a lot of them have also lost a lot of flavor.

Hubby only likes the silver queen and pink eyed purple hull peas. And certain varieties of tomatoes.