When my husband and I first met, his choice of herbs and vegetables was not broad or adverturous. It ran to lettuce and broccoli with the occasional green beans added for a rare change. My husband liked what his mother had served and didn’t see any reason to change. I still remember his mother saying something about liking ‘simple’ things. As in “I hope you understand that I don’t want anything different.” I have come to believe that ‘simple’ means things like lettuce and broccoli with no particular herbs. That’s because my mother-in-law only served lettuce and broccoli, for the most part, as a single Mom raising two boys. To be fair, she was a working single mom and her boys were not too terribly adventurous eaters. She mentioned once that she used to sneak spinach leaves into their salads without telling them.
Apparently they never knew this.
When we first moved in together I served a vergetable every night with dinner. He once asked me why we had to have a vegetable every night. I was stunned. Why would you not have a vegetable with every dinner? How could you now have a vegetable with every dinner? So I blurted out “Because my mother said so.” To which he had no response. I’m not sure I would have had a response. So I leanred to cook without a lot of herbs or a wide variety of vegetables and definitely no onions. I had been raised to add onions to everything, and I do mean everything, from sauteed onions and peppers to pretty much every vegetable dish known and on to beef stew and creamed onions. Nada, not in anything because that would mean only I would be eating the dish. He did not like onions and did not see a need to every have onions.
Fast forward to 20 years after we started living together, and 19 years after we got married. We own our own home and with the home came a small herb garden with chive. If I remember correctly, chive was the only living thing in that garden when we moved in. I think it was the only thing that resisted the gigantic cedar mulch that had been thrown over the whole area. After a few years, and I’m not exactly sure how this came about, we now eat chive fresh, in season, from our own garden with fish, beef, chicken, rice, pasta and as many things as we can think that would be enhanced. Chive, by the way, is a member of the onion family and my husband loves it. Fresh in the summer and frozen in the winter. This is how I get my onions.
I’ve moved on to growing more herbs and this year I dried them all and made my own version of ‘herbs de provence’. While he wasn’t into single herb flavors he loves the ‘herbs de provence’ and we have used these to enhance our fish, chicken and beef dishes. It’s been a slow but very rewarding growth in our eating habits. Oh, and we grow our own lettuce, too.