Berry Good Indeed

Posted on July 13, 2017 under Storytelling with 3 comments

 

“Strawberry fields forever. “

The Beatles.

What is nature’s perfect food? This is a topic that has been bandied about for centuries. For the longest time growing up, we were told that milk was numero uno.  An “ apple a day” is supposed to keep the doctor away. In this part of the world, some might argue that the first mouthful of fresh, warm  Atlantic lobster , dipped in melted butter and washed down with an icy cold ale is as close to perfection as one can get.

At this time of the year, there can be little argument that the humble strawberry just might be at the top of the list.

Most of us ancient specimens remember going to pick wild strawberries in our youth. In those warm, idyllic days of summer with school in the rear view mirror, we would gather up any empty tin can and head out into just about any field and pick wild berries to our heart’s content. Very few of them arrived back home. We always ate more than we picked often ending up in a sore tummy. Beet red fingers and a red raccoon mask were dead giveaways.

While you see the odd person picking strawberries in the wild, you’re more likely to see people at a grocery store, a produce truck or at a U-Pick. But picking strawberries is not nearly as much fun as eating them. While strawberries are great for smoothies and are even better in preserves served on warm homemade bread, you simply can’t beat strawberry shortcake.

The secret to an awesome shortcake is world class biscuits made right at home. They’re not hard too make. If someone with my meager culinary skills can produce a respectable biscuit, then yours will be infinitely better. “Some like ‘em hot; some like em cold.” My personal preference is warm biscuits.

The whipping cream has to be fresh and real. None of this stuff squirted out of an aerosol can. It can’t be runny. If it doesn’t whip properly, immediately go to the store and get another carton. Whip until fluffy.

The piece de resistance, the centerpiece of the whole operation , is the strawberries. You must wash them, according to an unimpeachable source ( my wife! ). While hulling the berries, you should test one or two to make certain that they are worthy of being in the shortcake. Throw them in a bowl and smush them up, adding a touch of sugar if the berries are too tart for your liking.

Warm biscuits, fresh strawberries and whipping cream. Just another example of heaven on earth.

One of these days ( soon ), I will take the grandchildren to Haverkorts  to pick a few baskets of berries. Many claim that our local berries are the best to be found. We’ll get down on our knees, swat away the odd mosquito and fill our baskets. My hunch is that a few will go astray in the picking. Hope they don’t do a weigh in before and after picking! I see a new motto for these purveyors of fine strawberries and world class maple syrup: “ Have a quart or two.”

Among the many standing orders from my wife ( coffee by 6:30 a.m.; always wash bras in cold water; obey the speed limit ), there is one that stands above all. During strawberry season, make sure that there is always a supply in the fridge.

Life is “ just the berries.”

 

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Comments

3 Responses to Berry Good Indeed

  1. Mary Cecilia MacPherson says:

    You are delightful, Leonard PD. You make me smile when you are not making me laugh or when you are not making me think. When I really like a person, I tell them they are the berries. Well, guess who’s the berries.

  2. Marian Draper says:

    Lots of fun memories with this article.
    My Dad had three strawberry patches and Mom made the best Strawberry jam
    Between Moms supply of jam and a freezer full of berries
    We made it through the winter with lots of these sweet treats.
    Thanks for the memories.

  3. Miriam Gillis says:

    Touching a few memories for me, Len! Thanks for bringing smiles to faces.

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