I love berry-picking season. Not only because I get to bring home a quart of nature’s perfectly ripe candy, but also because it is always a reminder of how ephemeral summer is (especially in the Northeast). For example, just when I was ready to go on my annual strawberry-picking adventure, I found the speckled berry’s season had long since finished. Following a brief mourning period that involved crying into a pint of strawberry ice cream and the refusal to look at a grocery store strawberry for six days, I came to, and learned that there were many more summer fruits just yearning to be plucked and brought to a loving home. And so I obliged.
Another reason why I love berry-picking is because it is a lesson in decision-making. From the moment the berry is picked from its patch or tree, an invisible hourglass is flipped upside-down and a choice must be made swiftly as to how these little gems will be utilized before they turn into pumpkins (or rather moldy entities destined for trash). While there is no problem with eating a bowl of cherries straight-up, I feel that it is my duty to help these sun-ripened rubies to reach their fullest potential. But how? As cherry jam? As cherry cobbler? Or as cherry clafoutis???
To be continued…