Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberry Season

There is nothing better than the taste of a freshly picked ripe strawberry.  These berries were taken from the field only two hours ago but they have continued to ripen since picked and will soon be past.  Fruit grown for commercial distribution has been bred to produce a harder more stable berry.  Those have also lost much of their flavor.  The named variety of these berries is a trade secret.  Their shelf life is measured in minutes but their flavor exceeds any attempt to describe it.

A little commercial never hurts.  Heller's were selling strawberries in this area when I first met Becky fifty plus years ago.  In that time they have mastered the art of growing this berry.  Their fields are clean and well tended.  Only nine dollars were necessary to make this basket of fruit mine.  I did have to pick them myself.

Age has mandated adjustments to how the berries are picked.  Daily medicine has made it impossible for me to do anything while standing with head down near my knees.  If I tried to do that, face down on the ground would be the result when I straightened up so I work while kneeling.  Becky can no longer kneel so she works bent over from a standing position.  Every time that I looked up today she was upright, arching her back to the rear.  I never expected that with all of those breaks her basket would fill faster than mine but it did.

No cook freezer jam preserves the incredible fresh taste of strawberries.  We now have 26 containers filled with this treat.  My day always begins with home grown herbal tea and toasted cracked wheat bread from a local bakery.  When the jam on the toast is from our freezer the day is off to a great start.

We do have two dozen of our own plants.  That number of plants supplies enough fruit for breakfast or a special dessert.  Strawberry season here lasts for only two weeks.  We treasure these days and look forward to berries or jam fresh from the freezer.  Freshly frozen berries are almost as tasty as those straight from the garden.

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