In early June, after the possibility of frost, my husband planted a wedge-shape patch of cream-colored Tenderpick seeds and about eight weeks later, right on schedule, we had our first picking of green beans. They were humdingers—grassy green, slim and evenly shaped with tapered ends, and blemish-free. If you ran a finger along the side, it felt smooth and slightly nappy, almost velvety. I could have married those beans.
After our annual first-picking supper of beans with sweet butter, I made tabbouleh with beans and feta and lemon chicken with beans. I ransacked my side-dish collection and sautéed them with cheese, roasted them with soy and tossed them with tomatoes. Eventually the plants got their tired end-of-season look and we had to call it quits.
—By Jean Kressy