Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thyme Enough

Prim and flower-sprigged when planted in April, now the thyme is gushing out of its pot like bosoms out a bodice, like foam out of a stein, crazy like a troll head, gobbling up its basil neighbor and eying the tarragon pot next door.
"Sweet in spring, beer and boobs by summer," says B, watering the sun-trounced garden at 1 and 95 degrees, "Yeah....troll-headed gusto: the sign of a good garden."

But what to do with it all? We've eaten hanks! Hauled in dewy in the evening, chopped blossoms and all, to mound over chicken thighs baked in clay or roasted stewing with the carrots and garlicky olive oil. We're sprinkling it on melon and honey: a little hairy while chewing, but deliciously fragrant too. A mouthful of thyme and watermelon brings both the cool melon belly of the cultivated garden and wild, baked hay field together and right up your nose - and with the fork still in your mouth, you're in an old walled garden, English, I'd say, sitting in wicker in a grass-grown orchard.

But wicker sitting garnish is too coy for my supply. Careful to keep a little shower of blossoms in reserve for the bees, the exuberant plant is so densely matted, we can cut it from below without making a gouge, we nibble it absently while reading on the deck, we pinch it just to sniff it as we go by, bringing bruised leaves to each other across the garden saying, "Here. Smell." and holding a hands under a nose. The other one says, "Ah. Thyme. Yes. Nice." It seems all the better for the hedge clippers. We think it likes us to eat it.

If that's the case, we've been trying to accommodate and learn something about it, since we're eating it, writing about it, taking its picture, reading by its side, sitting with it in the evening as the robins chuckle good night.

Today, while we lunched (the thyme stood up to and then held hands with a burly tomato and cumin curry full of sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion mounded in a bowl of brown rice and raw spinach doused with a sluice of soy and orange juice) we wandered, bowl in hand, around the library and Web looking for Thyme lore.

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