Probably a hybrid descendant of Cucurbita pepo, the common pumpkin. Waverly Root, in his engaging book The Food of France, expresses surprise to have found "pumpkin pie" in France. In Berry, a district about 150 miles southwest of Paris, he discovered that they traditionally make a tart of pumpkin that they call citrouillat. In this country, pumpkin pie often appears in the holiday season. When rightly seasoned and served under a benign cloud of schlag, it can become a heavenly experience. —Henry Evans
149 copies were printed and sell for $200 each.
592 Eggplant and Yellow Peppers
Whether you consider its place in the garden or the kitchen, the eggplant is decorative, flavorful, and inspiring. I can just visualize the eggplant in a wonderful dish of moussaka, and the yellow peppers in a ragout of veal and mushrooms, with a baguette and a glass of good chardonnay—sounds like a tasty dinner! The genus Solanum is believed to contain 1700 species. It is an extremely amazing genus, including everything from the eggplant and potato to the deadly nightshade. Louis XIV introduced the eggplant to northern France, and Thomas Jefferson did the same for the United States. According to Waverly Root, the southern Italians and the Arabs of the Middle East know a lot about cooking eggplants, but, strangely, he doesn't mention the Greeks. —Henry Evans
112 copies were printed and sell for $300 each.
579 Hybrid Tomato
Lycopersicon hybrid. Drawn at the University of California, Davis. The common tomato derives from the South American species Lycopersicum esculentum, and, from the very outset, has had folkloric reverberations: Lycopersicum translates "wolf peach," which sounds a little ominous. For centuries, the fruit was considered poisonous, dangerous, and imbued with mysterious and evil qualities. We now know better. The rest of the tomato plant is definitely poisonous. Kingsbury, in his Poisonous Plants of the U.S. and Canada, refers to a number of instances where livestock have been poisoned by eating tomato vines. —Henry Evans
124 copies were printed and sell for $300 each.
Allium ampeloprasum. Henry purchased these magnificent leeks at our local Safeway store and drew them at home in St. Helena, California. When he finished the drawing, he braised the leeks, making a savory addition to our evening meal. Leeks are one of our oldest cultivated vegetables. According to Waverly Root, "Herodotus reported that leeks were among the rations of the workers who built the pyramids, and Cheops is on record as having paid his court magician a fee of 1000 pears, 100 pitchers of beer, an ox, and 100 bunches of leeks." —Marsha Onomiya Evans
139 copies were printed and sell for $200 each.
602 Onions, Shallots, and Garlic
Allium cepa, A. cepa, and A. sativum. These vegetables, drawn at home in St. Helena, California, represent some of Henry's favorite cooking ingredients—reason enough to portray them together in a print. In addition to being a wonderful artist who was able to capture the essence of his botanical subjects, Henry was a marvelous, imaginative cook. His many life interests were diverse—from string quartets and opera, to travel, gardening, writing, and Roman history. —Marsha Onomiya Evans
91 copies were printed and sell for $150 each.
621 - Peppers
Capsicum annuum. hybrid. These peppers were drawn in the garden of Tony Fennu. Tony is no more, nor is his lovely garden, but the memories of those warm summer days will never leave me. Tony's garden was friendly and bountiful. All who came to his house were honored guests and recipients of boundless hospitality. Perhaps these peppers found their way into one of Sestina Fennu's magnificent cacciatores. —Henry Evans
116 copies were printed and sell for $150 each.
Diospyros kaki. The drawing was of a branch from a Japanese persimmon tree that Henry planted at home in the Napa Valley. It took six years before the tree bore any fruit, but it was well worth the wait: the persimmons were resplendent, prolific, and very tasty. —Marsha Onomiya Evans
450 copies were printed and sell for $300 each.
580 Species Tomato
Lycopersicon cheesmanii. The drawing was made at the University of California, Davis. All eight of the species tomatoes originate in South America and adjacent islands. The species shown here inhabits the Galapagos Islands, but, unlike most plants, it thrives in unusual circumstances. Many examples have been found living among the rocks at the water's edge, and these plants are constantly doused with salt spray—not the usual habitat for tomatoes as we know them! —Henry Evans
118 copies were printed and sell for $150 each.