Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beans and Potatoes, Corn and Tomatoes

...and cabbage, peppers, onions, squash, broccoli, lettuce...

The gardens are booming! Today we thought we'd take it easy but a lot of corn is ready to harvest, and leaving it will just tempt the raccoons so plans changed. The cabbages (Late Flat Dutch) were well past ready and if not cut now they'll be gone to waste. So sauerkraut making is on today's agenda too, using the same method I've used in past years.

This time of year reminds me of a song my friend Jeff Seager sometimes sings, a song about canning by Greg Brown. "My grandma put it all in jars." You can hear Brown singing it by clicking the link below:

The title of this post also reminded me of the nursery song Row, Row, Row Your Boat. I was surprised when I searched for the lyrics online to find all kinds of lyrics for this simple little song--some versions are quite long! This one is closer to the way I remember it as any of the wild ones I found. 

Now this got me wondering, what other nursery songs are there about gardening and vegetables? 

Well, there's Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow.

And One Potato Two Potato.

But who knew that the song that many of us sang with gusto on the playground had so many variations? I'm talking of course about Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit! This one would absolutely get you in trouble with any parent or teacher! 

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let's have beans at every meal!

Intery Mintery Cutery Corn is new to me, but sounds like it could be a fingerplay game:

Intery, mintery, cutery corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, brier, limber lock,
Three geese in a flock;
Along came Tod,
With his long rod,
And scared them all to Migly-wod.
One flew east, one flew west,
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.—

Make your way home, Jack.

Another version: 
Intery, mintery, cutery-corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn;
Wire, brier, limber-lock,
Five geese in a flock;
Sit and sing by a spring,
O-U-T, and in again.

Oddly, I found NO nursery rhyme about tomatoes! The great poet Pablo Neruda, however, offered this about the lowly fruit, and it's a fitting close to the rambling post:
Ode to Tomatoes 
The street
filled with tomatoes,
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

Now, back to the kitchen for me. Stay cool, my friends!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

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