An old friend came to visit, bearing gifts from his garden on Waiheke Island. It’s usually dry over there, but this year the gardeners are happy because of the torrential rain that fell over the weekend.
He brought purple beans (that turned dark green when I cooked them), silver beet, cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs that he’d tied carefully into separate bundles: parsley, thyme, summer savory, sweet basil, chives, and lemon verbena – ‘for tisane’ (He’s French).
What better gifts can there be than someone’s home produce, carefully tended over many weeks. The basil, tomatoes and thyme went into tonight’s ratatouille; the chives into a salad; the summer savory with the beans. Ah, summer flavours, food eaten outside, and the taste of a friendship that began in Paris and continues 40 years later. Life is good.