Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Days

It seems as though strawberry days were a long time coming this year. All spring long the weather was noncommital, leaning back toward winter as often as it strained ahead toward summer. Now summer is having the same problem making a stand--a few hot, humid days had us adjusting our expectations to July, and then today we're wearing sweaters and wool socks. Go figure.

But there has been summer enough to bring berries to
market these last couple of weeks. The best I've had were those we bought from our friend Alvin at the market. I think I'm the only one who got any of these perfectly ripe, sweet and fragrant berries, though, because Alvin was hiding them in the back of his van. Since he doesn't grow them himself, but rather distributes them as he does with honey, maple syrup, wild rice, and various other things, he didn't want to put them out until the other berry growers at the market had sold out.

I told Mala about it after the market, raving over Alvin's hidden cache. "God, he is so principled," she said, disgustedly....

Well, you can't eat principles, but having some standards about local, seasonal eating means you can enjoy these first fruits of summer to their fullest. While the berries are fresh, ripe, and local (and preferably organic, like Alvin's, and like the excellent berries that
Jackie had at the market last week) we indulge, we exult. When they're finished--and the strawberry season looks to be a short one this year--we don't buy those giant, pink, flavorless berries from California, but look forward to raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, melons, pears, apples....

The classic strawberry shortcake made with Mary's magnificent buttermilk shortcakes, whipped Cedar Summit cream, and market berries, is wonderful. Equally good was the impromptu berry breakfast pictured at the very top, made with leftover scones that we didn't sell at the market. We just broke up the two-day-old currant scones, sliced berries over the top, a sprinkle of sugar, a good pour of cream. Great day in the mornin'. I would eat that.

Text and photos copyright 2009 by Brett Laidlaw


HungryinSW said...

That looks like an amazing impromptu breakfast!

Trout Caviar said...

And economical, too, Teddy, great way to use up leftover scones! Cheers~ Brett