Les Haricots Verts

Day 18 - Les Haricots Verts Green Beans watercolour sketch

Since I’m in Paris again for another week, I figured I’d title this post in French. I wasn’t sure if I would have time to paint, but then I realized I have no idea what time it really is. Here it’s nearly midnight, but since it’s just my normal time to paint and post and I can’t sleep, I figured I’d go ahead and make something for today’s prompt. Of course, growing up in the States, these little vegetables were called green beans. And unlike the previous two posts, they were a definite favorite. My grandmother’s green beans were cooked soft with oil and tasted rather incredible. Once grown, I realized, they also lost all nutritional value, but that flavor is one of the best memories I have of family gatherings. I tried replicating it as an adult, but never quite got them to taste the same, so went back to the healthier steamed version.

Food is such a wonderful way to connect with family. Getting together to share various culinary treats is always such a pleasure. Here, with my French family, the food shifts to incredible delights that I simply can’t easily get in America. Fabulous flavors that I always miss when I’m gone. Though I’m readily adopting the flavors here, I still find the language incredibly difficult. I’m pleased that I’m understanding more and more, but speaking French for me is a huge challenge. It’s like my mouth was built only to make American sounds and creating the French ones is some form of oral gymnastics that I’m not built to replicate. But I’m still determined to keep trying and hoping that eventually I’ll be able to speak in complete sentences that don’t sound like might actually be understood.

Thankfully, food is a much simpler language to master. It’s a beautiful way to communicate and share moments and memories. Taking a bite of delicious food only requires a knowing glance to create a common connection. It’s a rather amazing thing and, in spite of everything, I’m so grateful to be back with family and having the opportunity to experience it again. Each bite feels like a gift. And each moment is one that I’ll remember forever. Whether it’s a taste of chocolat or plate of les haricots verts, there’s nothing more delicious than these moments of love shared with family.

Join us for the November Doodlewash Adventure: A Celebration Of Food,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Olive Green, Phthalo. Green Light,  and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 18 - Les Haricots Verts Green Beans watercolour sketch
Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Green beans, tasty cooked and raw. Great that you found some time to paint, I just hope the jet lag sorts itself out for you soon…find some strength in food 😀

    • Author

      Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕 Yeah… nothing beats green beans! And food definitely helps just about anything (and a little wine never hurts!)

  2. Christina Record 8 months ago

    Lovely watercolor! You’re making my mouth water! I may have to run out and get some haricots verts. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and enjoy Paris!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Christina! 😃💕 So glad you liked these! Wasn’t sure how to make green beans look interesting. hehe Appreciate it!

  3. callmetrav 8 months ago

    Well said, eating food with family is the best way to enjoy it. I enjoy my green beans with olive oil, and minced garlic. Sometimes I’ll crumble bacon over them.

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    It’s something all families do, don’t they? Get the clan together no matter the continent or the language, and out come the plates and bowls of cold fish and hot soups, the trays of cheeses and happytizers, the mugs of tea, coffee, nog, and beer. Over steam and scent, we laugh, we share, we cry, we celebrate. Your family must be so pleased that you and Phillipe came when you were needed. Long after the family distress has calmed, they’ll remember – Phillipe and Charlie came home, and we were all together.

  5. mysukmana 8 months ago

    In java this vegetable cook and called oseng oseng mix with tempe

  6. Teri C 8 months ago

    Yummy looking beans. Your description of speaking French is right on. So darn difficult.

  7. Jill Kuhn 8 months ago

    I always think of the green bean casserole around Thanksgiving. You know the one with canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions?! 😉 I know it’s not healthy but it reminds me of holidays with my family. ❤️ It IS amazing how food connects us with family. Cheers Charlie! 🍷

    • Author

      Thanks, Jill! 😃💕 Yeah… Philippe actually makes green bean casserole, but demands that it be from scratch with fresh ingredients. I have to admit… it’s rather amazing, so a new tradition has been born! hehe

  8. Margriet Bierens 8 months ago

    Great that you’re back in my favorite town, the language will go better and better Charlie.
    In the meantime have pleasure.
    The family they don’t speak English?

    Mmm Haricots Verts I like them! My way is first boil a bit of water and seasalt, let glide the cleaned beans into the pan. Let cook for about eight or ten minutes and when finished a little bit of butter on top, that,s how I like it the most they taste with salmon, white fish, chicken or beef. Because the taste is in a way neutral I guess. With potatoes, Rice or as a salade.

    Nice Doodlewash Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margriet! 😃💕 Only one member of the family speaks conversational English, but I’ll keep trying to understand and learn the language. 😊 And Yum!! Thanks for sharing your recipe! That sounds divine!

  9. M. L. Kappa 8 months ago

    Very crunchy-looking beans! Enjoy, and keep up the effort with French, it’s totally worth t for thempleasure both you and everyone else will have when you’ve finally mastered it. 💕

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Marina! 😃💕 Hehe… I don’t know about mastery, but I’d settle for a little light conversation. May take me years, but I’m still trying!

  10. Laurence 8 months ago

    Sure, if you come in France one week each 2 month your french will be as fine as the natives ! Ah ah !! One week is short because of the jet lag ;)) Welcome Charlie ! Enjoy your french week !

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Laurence! 😃💕 Hehe… I think it’s going to take a LOT more trips to sound like a native. But the jet lag is thankfully not quite as bad this time so that’s good!

  11. Tom Merriman 8 months ago

    I have to be ‘in the mood’ for green beans, Charlie. I love them when in the mood, detest them when not. And I only know when I start eating them. I know. I’m weird.
    I learned a little French and German whilst at school centuries ago, but now all I can do is count. That will get me really far, I know… and I’ll probably also speak these few words with a really broad northern English accent to boot. Good painting, by the way. I can look at Haricots Verts whatever my mood! 😀

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃 hehe… glad the doodlewash version of green beans is always on the menu! That’s funny, I think I’m the same with Tofu… don’t know until I eat it if it’s going to taste fabulous or repulse me! Lol

  12. Jodi 8 months ago

    beautiful beans – I have been off the radar for a little bit lately – why are you in Paris again? hope all is ok!

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