Savory times

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 | All Things, Film, Friends

I headed to the McBurney Y alone after work to pick up this week’s abundant vegetable share: cucumbers, string beans, scallions, Early Jersey Wakefield heirloom cabbage, Perpetual spinach, fennel, Summer squash, Red Ace beets, Orient Express eggplant, and Summer savory. Quite a haul – and since SYB passed on his share this week, all for me.


Savory is a member of the mint family, native to the eastern Mediterranean and is primarily known for its two main types: Summer savory (which I received) is an annual; Winter savory, a perennial. Summer savory is milder and sweeter than the winter variety and used more often in cooking.

The Romans used savory as a food seasoning long before they used pepper; their soldiers introduced it to England during Caesar’s reign, where it became established for its culinary uses and its medicinal properties. The colonists brought savory to America.

The old English word “saverey” was derived from the Latin “satureia” – meaning “satyr’s herb.” Satyr — the half-man, half-goat creature in Greek mythology renowned for its lechery — associates the herb with its aphrodisiac powers. Over the centuries, savory was considered the herb of love, used to augment physical fervor. The German’s word for the herb focuses instead on its use as a natural digestive aid. Bohenkraut, means “bean’s herb”; besides enhancing bean flavor, one of the components of the herb is known to combat the problems generally associated with legumes. Savory also has been used over the years as an antiseptic. Herbalists recommend topically applied savory for instant relief of wasp or bee stings.

With my canvas sack filled to bursting with fresh vegetables, I trudged up Seventh Avenue to meet CS in Chelsea for a preview screening of the new Woody Allen film, Scoop. By the time we arrived – over an hour in advance of show time – the line had snaked across West 23rd Street, past The Hotel Chelsea. Free movies always seem to draw people in droves, unaffected by poor early reviews. Still, Allen had recently proven himself still capable of making a watchable film, and since we couldn’t be certain that we would be shut out of the theater, we decided to wait it out as the lines of potential audience members grew steadily behind us.

Just before 7:15pm, the theatre hit full capacity. As it turned out, CS and I weren’t all that close to the cut-off, so there were many others who’d waited in line longer than we and were denied admission. The very apologetic studio assistant came outside to break the bad news, bearing an armful of consolation swag. To make up for our not being able to see the film, we were given Scoop-emblazoned reporters notebooks.


We took the subway back to our respective homes and made plans to reconvene at our local watering hole. Bartender Paul was working again (Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays), as was the new $15,000 air conditioning unit. Which was a very good thing, given the string of recent steamy nights. Paul greeted us warmly, and even comped us a drink — our first buyback! — so we’re well on our way to becoming regulars.

There's 1 comment so far ... Savory times

July 28, 2006

It’s good to be a regular. 🙂

Go for it ...