Saturday, June 7, 2014

The scarlet month


After visiting  a beautiful garden on a high floor yesterday, I stopped at the Union Square Farmers Market, where I exercised restraint (one box of strawberries - my first of 2014, and three holy basil plants.)


In 66 Square Feet - A Delicious Life, I wrote:

JUNE

This is the scarlet season.

In Brooklyn Bridge Park the slender branches of serviceberry trees hang low with ripe fruit early in the month. The little pomes - inverted coronets - taste sweet when red and apple sauce-ish when purple. It is easy to browse quietly for a secluded hour here on urban fruit within arms’ reach. At Pier Six an MTA bus driver waiting for the start of his shift beside his bus asks, as he sees me reaching up for more, Are those things edible? Yes, Sir, I say, they are indeed. 

As I walk up the low hill at the western extremity of Atlantic Avenue and turn down shaded Henry Street towards home, I think about serviceberry pie, a highlight of my foraging year. I think the bus driver might like it. He might like serviceberry pancakes, better, though. What is more American? Pie, period? Or pancakes for breakfast?

And that is where I will be today. Walking that route (if you're quick on the draw, you can still come), looking for those fruit, and perhaps finding some mulberries at the tail end of the expedition. Our delayed spring means that the ripening may be off by a week or two. And I can always return for the serviceberries. Friends will visit us from Virginia, mid-month and I'd like to bake them a serviceberry pie.



7 comments:

  1. We are still waiting for strawberries to appear at our local organic farm. They are about a week behind this year. So, here's my question: how full was that one box of strawberries by the time you got it home?

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    1. I was good, and only ate three en route.

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  2. Will the mulberries really be ripe so soon? Here Michigan and back in Boston they were only flowering three weeks ago.

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    Replies
    1. There is an - ignored - mulberry tree behind our Harlem townhouse in someone else's neglected back yard. The fruit is black, and I am wondering how to get at it (note under door?).

      Depends on the trees' location, of course, but I think the first ripe ones are around, in NYC. Michigan and Boston are colder, of course...

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    2. Yes, polite request first, then scrumping plans have to be drawn up ;)

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  3. I'm keying in on your holy basil purchase. This year I started plants from seed, a first for me. At this point I add a few leaves to my green tea. I will be eager to read how you use it. Having success with the first planting I then purchased four more varieties from Horizon Herbs in Oregon. I've decided it is my Herb of the Year.

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  4. Thanks so much for this post...we have a bush in our front yard that no one could name for us. Well this year, it suddenly sprouted berries and I realized it's a serviceberry bush. So excited to go pick a load of them for some scones or a cobbler.

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