A Case of Mistaken Identity

May 2008: My parsley plants are huge this year, I told Ken, my husband. The leaves of the flat leaf variety, my favorite, are enormous. It must be some kind of hybrid that makes them so big.
July 2008: I slid some parsley into my BLT tonight, Ken. The leaves were tough but it tasted okay. Don’t think I’ll do it again though. I’ll mince them up in the fall. They will probably be better in soups and stews and as a garnish for fish. That hybrid isn’t so great, goes to show you that bigger is not always better.
Saturday, October 4: Time to cut down the basil, thyme and parsley to mince them into piles to be frozen for winter dishes. There is nothing like fresh herbs originally from the garden, pulled from the freezer and added to the warm aroma of roast chicken or a spicy goulash. But hey, these parsley plants are monsters. The leaves are bigger than ever. The stems are more like stalks. I cannot even pinch them with my fingers but must use heavy scissors instead.
Sunday afternoon, October 5: Time to pluck the parsley leaves from their heavy stalk-stems and mince them into bags. Pillows of leaves overflow the bowl. I pull out the wooden board reserved for vegetables and sharpen the heavy knife. Slice through lush bunches of green, and CHOP, CHOP, CHOP, like the TV chefs. The crisp leaves burst with the moist aroma of….of…something that is not parsley.
What is going on here? I remember picking up the squishy black tray at the nursery last May, happy to find the flat leaf parsley label that identified the tender shoots springing up from their rectangles of soil. I planted them in the sun, near the tomato plants and basil, fed them compost, watered them when it was dry, watched the little teeny, tiny, baby plants grow into adulthood.
I leaned into the pile of partially chopped leaves, trying to talk myself into a parsley kind of mood. Then chopped some more.
Pushed my nose into the moist leaves and sniffed again. Hells bells, this ain’t parsley. It’s not the clever sharpness of cilantro nor basil’s licorice sweetness. I wanted to deny it. I did not want to admit that Ken and I took care of a summer garden thinking we had all this great flat-leaf parsley, when what we really had was a bunch of…skinny celery.
Next year, I’ll plant from SEEDS.

This entry was posted in celery, flat leaf parsley, garden, identity, sunflower seeds. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Case of Mistaken Identity

  1. Kim says:

    Skinny celery! LOL!! Di, that’s too funny. At least it wasn’t something…dangerous. So, you chop them up and put them in baggies and freeze them? No water or anything? I have some excess basil here…

  2. Sparverius says:

    That’s a true bummer. Now what??

  3. Anonymous says:

    Might not be celery, rather lovage which tastes & smells like celery but resembles parsley. We use to flavor soup and it is good with carrots too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, well, any of those would be good for another Black Swallowtail larva!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did not know you can freeze basil. Will do that with leftovers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is so funny because it is exactly what happend to me this year. I did exactly the same thing-thinking I bought parsley and what grew was huge.I was so proud of this patch of great big ‘parsley.’ Our son, a chef, was up this summer and said, “Mom, taste this. It is NOT parsely.Sure enough, celery.

  7. deejbrown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Bevson says:

    Too funny. My parsely self sows. Try seed next year.

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