Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Sunday was strawberry picking day out here in Baja Canada!

Every year we pack up the girls (and occasional visitors) and head off to the strawberry farm outside of town. We each get a bucket, and we share a row or two of strawberry plants, and we spend the better part of an hour or so pickin' berries, singin' spirituals, and plannin' on daiquiris.

Well the grownups really get that last part all to themselves. At least we hope so.

This year was a grey, overcast day, which suited us just fine. We've been out there in the summer sun, and that does take a bit of the zing out of the process. The girls marched out to the rows, buckets in hand, and commenced to denuding plants!

There is nothing quite like picking your own strawberries. On the down side, they grow rather low to the ground. This is great for kids, but tough on middle-aged backs. On the plus side though, it's easy to tell if they're ripe, and the people who run the farm build in for a certain amount of berries mysteriously disappearing between the plant and the bucket. Warm strawberries, fresh from the plant - if we could bring our own cream without raising suspicions, that would just be perfect.

The first time I ever went strawberry picking was in Connecticut, where my friend Julie was hosting a medieval feast. It was there that I discovered the eternal truth about strawberry picking: it doesn't look like all that many strawberries when you're out in the field.

It's kind of like Sam's Club that way. You get what looks like a reasonably sized container of whatever, and only when you get home do you discover that you have inadvertently switched orders with the Sixth Fleet, and somewhere out on the high seas there is an aircraft carrier wondering how to stretch a pint of strawberries across its entire crew while you are hoping only to dig your way through a sweet red avalanche to find the front door, only you don't feel like you are supporting the evil empire of corporate doom - it's just the neighborhood farmer, and that's just all right.

We've been munching on strawberries ever since, and eventually I will prevail upon Kim to whomp up a pitcher of strawberry daiquiris, which I will consume with a straw, preferably without taking a breath. Summer is definitely here.

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