Last week, or a couple of weeks ago (I can’t really remember, they all blur together) I had a personal culinary epiphany that led to a buying decision this weekend at the local lawn and garden shop. Oregano. It’s not like I was unfamiliar with oregano before, I just never paid it any attention. That was until Mrs. Primate did the shopping while I went to get some prescriptions refilled and planned a meal of chicken souvlaki for me to make (because at that point, which seems like part of the distant past, she worked later than I did) for dinner.
I got home from work that day, had my evening coffee (something I did once in the not-so-distant past when my morning started much earlier and my evenings would end far too soon if I didn’t fortify my alertness with a delicious mug of joy. I digress. I pulled out the recipe and realized that the meat needed to be marinated for something along the lines of two hours. OOPS. Well, I had less time to work with so I got cracking. Apparently the secret marinade that the Greeks use on their delicious souvlaki is olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and oregano.
Look up at the photo. This is what flashes in my brain when I catch a whiff of oregano. The flavor of Greek food that I’ve always wondered about? Oregano. The smell that makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a square on an island somewhere with ancient ruins, Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, and bougainvillea everywhere? Oregano. The scent of blissful early summer evenings in the Mediterranean wondering what adventures the next day would hold? Oregano. I instantly realized that I love oregano, I always have. Oregano is my pretty-girl-who-was-right-in-front-of-my-face-but-I-didn’t-realize-it-until-the-end-of-the-John-Hughes-teen-movie of herbs and spices.
When we were picking out herbs for our little herb garden on Sunday, you’d better believe that as soon as I saw the “Greek Oregano” plant I said “oh we have to have that one.” And we do.