Realistic aromas can waft from vivid strawberry photographs. Peer for mere seconds before your mouth waters and senses rise with a pleasing dopamine rush!
An absolute favorite memory of my youngest years is the fresh strawberry season when both sets of my farming grandparents (living only about 2 miles apart) would grow their own bounty.
The first was a respectably-sized patch, laid out in a sloping plot, atop a steep hill. The second was a sprawling, large, flat patch, set in a sandy plot that felt as hot as the blazing desert.
The thrill of waking each summertime morning to the fragrance of these juicy jewels was beyond words alone.
I’d roll out of bed and go straight to the kitchen, where there would be talk of what time the first pints of the day would be picked from the large patch.
Some had to be captured before the midday sun rose high above the beds and scorched them. Others would need hours of rays before their full color appeared. Then there were always a few of the most delicious ones, harvested just before dusk and nightfall, if someone had energy to go out one last time.
As talk and coffee flowed, breakfast sausage or bacon flash-fried in the skillet. Soon, cracked eggs were dropped into the hot drippings, and lacy edges would form around the rims.
A glistening bowl of tender, ruby-red berries made the table’s centerpiece; enough for all to generously garnish their plates.
Piecrusts or lightly sweetened shortbread biscuits would be baked later, for desserts to serve after the supper meal.
Finally, freezer jam was made from the last of the crop.
I realize the seasonal harvests of each region, such as gooseberries and morels, plums and pears, peaches and pecans, watermelons and corn on the cob, persimmons and potatoes, and numerous others – all provide their own heavenly experiences. Without a doubt, I richly enjoyed many.
Every able child deserves the chance to regularly work into a full sweat and get their hands in the dirt during planting or harvesting. As a result, the flavor of their efforts will come through on a plate of fresh goodness, at the table of kindred spirits where loving hands are joined together in gratitude.
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