Thursday, July 14, 2011

July strawberries

Confession? Strawberries were never my favourite fruit. And yes, I am still spelling, on my blog, per my South African education. Hence favourite versus favorite. But it's becoming harder and harder to do, as I switch allegiances and write for more American publications. Is the "ou" threatened? Maybe. And let's not even talk about travelling versus traveling.

Strawberries. This may sound trite, but nothing has won me over to seasonal eating as much as this tiny terrace has. I eat (and buy!) strawberries when my strawberries are ripe. And until my tomatoes are ripe it seems premature to eat tomatoes. I have become, to a lenient extent, the locavore I mocked. Perverse as that sounds, as I have always preferred to eat what is in season, I hate fundamentalist labels, especially labels-come-lately (since I have gardened most of my life and to some extent eaten from it), and I feel that if I want to eat a damn tomato in May I will eat a damn tomato in May. I don't CARE where it comes from. But I'm changing. Despite supporting spring in California. Because that means cherries, now.

I need to buy red fruit soon, at the Borough Hall Farmers' Market. For the pure pleasure of seeing it stacked in a bowl: red currants, gooseberries and raspberries. Then covered with white lightning liquor, their mid summerness trapped forever.

I also want to drive across this country. Criss cross. I have never eaten across California,  seen Minnesota, been to Alabama. I want to shop at the markets, cook under the stars, cook in downpours in a tiny Airstream kitchen, feed strangers, and forage for new things in places I have never imagined. And places whose myth beggars experience.

What won me over (back to the strawberries) was their scent. I smell them, on the terrace, in the sun, in the evening, when I water. Red, warm strawberries.  Absolutely worry-free, not a chemical in sight. Ripe in their own time.


  1. We have such an abundance of fruit here in California, but I am looking forward to my own new trees producing in another year or two....cherries, Asian pears, and peaches. We also planted 4 pineapple guava shrubs for a barrier, but I'm looking forward to seeing their little fruit also.

  2. Canadian spelling is the same.. I know what you mean

  3. We'll be waiting for you here in Virginia.

    Strangers just waiting to be fed and become friends.

    xo Jane

  4. Do you happen to remember the name of the color on that wall behind the strawberries? My husband is nuts about that color and wants to get a can of that paint.
    Thanks for your time!

  5. Ooh, Kellye, not yet, I'm too impatient for them to ripen - but mose def in late fall when the new ones have no chance of ripening in the short, chilly days.

    Autumn Sky - pineapple guava? Had to look them up. Jealous!

    Val - we are children of the Empire.

    flwrjane - sorry, but you ain't no stranger. You'll have to help cook, as a friend :-)

    Solange - see this post!

    Benjamin Moore Roseate. They should have me on commission :-)

  6. I'm so happy you brought up the spelling thing Marie- I've been having anxiety attacks with my spell check, I confess to frequently surrendering...

  7. Come to Alabama. We'd love to see you. Maybe we could take you to some of our best fish restaurants (all local).

  8. Funnily enough I never used to eat strawberries until I started to grow my own and it was the scent and the colour (notice the "ou"!) that made me like them.

    Being English, I know no other way to spell. It's right and proper that other places spell things differently but it does quite annoy me when people here don't use "our" spelling!

    That's just me though!

  9. Walk out into the middle of a strawberry field on a sunny day, and you will smell heaven.

  10. Funny. Odor is what brought me to strawberries. Altho ours come from our CSA,it was smelling them in the kitchen that made me a convert. I never thought they had much taste, but of course what I know now is that those that were picked three weeks ago and packed into a truck left their smell in Costa Rico or someplace.

    Now I just want to find some "Fern" and plant my own.

    And, I love your spelling! Wish we colonists had been more careful with our language and not let it get so sloppy.

  11. I've driven completely or mostly (at 2/3s) cross-country about half a dozen times.
    It's the most astonishing experience. All the "heart-" adjectives apply (e.g., -warming, -stopping -breaking)

  12. oof.
    that should be "(at least 2/3s)"

  13. Here in Alabama we grow lots of veggies and fruit. Most highways in summer have big farm or small farm 'fruitstands' which sell local produce. We have plenty of 'you pick' farms where you can pick fruit past ripe for shipping. Peach picking! Unbelievably easy and treacherous if you wander too far astray by glowing wilothewisp globes of peachy delights! Just watch out for wasps who love them too. Come, we'd love to have you visit. Katie

  14. a gorgeous photo
    a favourite of mine

    ;-) kisses to Mr. D xoxo les Gang

  15. You are an inspiration. Peaches are in season and we live on the orchard. We'd have you and Vince anytime (though peach season and prime flower garden season don't overlap as well as I'd like). Only threeish hours southwest of flwrjane. Plus we owe you prosecco.

  16. My husband and I are fans of Don Estorbo, and we also have turned our large front yard into a garden. Since you've not yet been to Minnesota, come. We'll feed you all our favourites- fresh pesto , good red tomatoes, roasted beet salad, and our first crop of plums and grapes comes due this summer.


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