Good morning to everyone. Hope you are enjoying the morning as much as I. I cannot believe how much joy it gives me to sit, drink my coffee and listen of the sounds of birds chirping away outside. They must be in heaven this morning because in their tray of food I added some left over angel food cake.
This morning I decided that the topic to write on would be strawberries. The time of year is approaching for Strawberry picking in nearby farms. Although it just might be a week or too late with the erratic weather we have been having. Just recently, when I was up in Wisconsin, I passed the Strawberry farm and they had all the Strawberry Fields covered because of frost. I cannot imagine that at this time of year they would have to do that. I hope for the farmers sake that all will be well for them. Hey, anybody out there remember the song Strawberry Fields Forever? Just came to me. Haven't heard that for a long time.
Well, believe it or not, I have a pretty long history with Strawberries. As a child it was a family outing to go strawberry picking. We did it every year that I can remember. Now most people might only pick a couple of quarts of those wonderfully delicious little red fruits, but our family had Grandma. That meant we needed to fill the trunk of the car with as many as we could find. I remember the scene as though it were yesterday. Oh, not so much the picking in the fields...I was young, and everything was an adventure, but the being home afterwards. We would carry all the strawberries into the yard. Grandma would have dinner ready for us and we would all partake n the food and then it was really WORK time. All those Strawberries needed to be cleaned and all the stems needed to be removed. Now this may not seem like such a big deal when you have a few quarts, but when we got home we filled a babies bathtub full many times over. It seemed as though it took hours for the 5 of us to get through cleaning them all,....but oh in the end, it was worth it. Grandma was just waiting for those strawberries, and for dessert that night she always prepared Strawberry Shortcake with fresh whipped cream. What a great way to end the day!
As years went by, I got married, and organized with friends a Strawberry picking day. We had a caravan of friends follow us up to Wisconsin for an adventure hat they had never experienced. I had also invited a nun friend, Sister Kingnetta with us. Now I had organized it so that everyone brought something so after the picking we could have a picnic. The fields were just full of those ripe berries, but being older...I never realized it was such tedious work. Bending over in the hot, sweltering sun. At one point, I became frustrated because my toenails were painted red and every so often I would think there was a nice red strawberry beneath the plant when in essence it was only my toe. The day went on and one of my dearest friends husband got sick....She landed up giving me her picnic contribution and they left and went straight to the hospital. I don't recall what was wrong with him in the end, perhaps heat stroke or sun stroke. I do recall her being so upset though because not only did she spend the day at the hospital ...with all the anxiety and trouble she totally forgot about the strawberries that were in her trunk. You have it correct...they all grew fur coats and she had to throw them all away.
Well, back on the farm, once we were all finished, we were gong to go and find a rest area to stop and have lunch...turned out we didn't come across one and a cousin who lived nearby offered for us to go to her house....We all followed her...brought in all the food and just waited and waited....She put all the food into the frig and offered us something to drink....After a hour or so she never brought the food out, everyone was too embarrassed to say anything so we all left to go home. We even left the food....We came back to my house, sunburned and hungry and landed up ordering pizza. What a day. Then I managed the next morning, by myself, to clean all those strawberries that we had picked. I of course have no restraint so there was a trunkful as well. I was just like Grandma...I made strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream, strawberry pies, strawberry bread I even froze some in bags.
I wouldn't mind making some jams and pies today, except that now I can no longer eat strawberries due to diverticulosis. Strawberries have seeds and I am not allowed anything with seeds. I still love those delicious little tasty treats...once I even went as far as to peel one. Pretty crazy, I know..but oh it tasted so good. I was once watching a programs where they squeezed the strawberries through cheesecloth to expel the seeds....hmmm...might just be making some seedless strawberry jam. I have wondered why recently I have had such a desire to go back and repeat those delightful moments in time. My husband says perhaps my Grandma is whispering the suggestions in my ear...that's a comforting thought. If for nothing else, it will carry on the legacy. Grandma's legacy. When life was full of family, adventures and delicious moments.