The older I get, the more impatient I seem to become.
What happened to achieving the wisdom of not sweating the small stuff and letting whatever will be to be?
Someone send me that memo again, please.
Case in point: strawberry season didn’t come soon enough for me this year. While I was ecstatic to find Ontario greenhouse berries in the grocery store at the beginning of May, what I really wanted were those Niagara berries that compel me to drive across town to the farm stand that specializes in them.
They usually show up mid-May, thanks to the farmers using plastic mulch to heat the soil and trick the plants into thinking it’s warmer than it really is so they’ll flower and fruit.
But mid-May came and went with temperatures that demanded I still wear a sweater and a jacket, and they didn’t do the job needed to fool those berries into growing quickly.
This week, I could stand it no longer. Get me some Niagara berries, already, I thought. I tweeted to my berry farmer friend for the scoop. Good news came back in a social media second — good thing, given my current issues with being able to chill.
Berries are here, he replied.
I picked up my daughter from day care half an hour later, and we were en route to the farm. We’re going to the berry farm, I told her excitedly as I buckled her in.
The woman working the till remembered us from last summer. This is what happens when you make a habit of showing up several times a week for a berry fix. You see, my daughter is a berry fiend, her appetite ferocious for the heart-shaped fruit. And in turn, she put the peach at risk of being usurped from its plum position of my favourite fruit ever. Last year, thanks to the frequent trips prompted by her then simple request for “Bah-wees” I ate more strawberries than I ever have. I craved them like I used to long for those fuzzy peaches if I went too long between baskets.
While I could at least wait until we paid for our quarts — and mostly flats — before I started eating them, this wasn’t so for my girl. There was a good dent in our haul before the cash register was even in sight. She gulped those berries, hulls and all.
The juice would drip down her chin, and be caught by her previously clean t-shirt. Her bliss with every bite is what turned berry-buying into a ritual — our ritual. Seeing the pure joy that my child got from something so simple was sweeter to me than the berries themselves, and I’d be reminded it was time to return a few days later when dousing her stained clothes with Spray’n Wash before doing a load of laundry.
So back we’d go. Our visits unfolded predictably: Pick up Olivia from day care, oblige her requests for Bah-wees, head to the farm stand, grab our berries, eat some berries, pay for our berries. Repeat.
I warned the woman when I saw her Wednesday after so many months without contact: She’d be seeing a lot of us this summer.
And I made a mental note to buy some stain remover next time I was the grocery store.
It’s ritual season, after all.
Check out these other strawberry recipes from my fellow Canadian Food Creatives (#CDNfoodcreatives):
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries by Food Mamma
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Covered Strawberries by 365 Days of Easy Recipes
Dark Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes by She Bakes Here
Roasted Beet and Strawberry Salad by A Pretty Life
Simple Macerated Strawberries by She Loves Biscotti
Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles by Homemade & Yummy
Strawberry Ice Cream with Drunken Rhubarb by Sugarlovespices
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Toasted Almonds by Crumb Kitchen
Strawberry-Rhubarb Streusel Buns by Crumb: A Food Blog
Strawberry Rolls with Basil Cream by The Cinnamon Scrolls
Strawberry Shortcake with Lavender Lemon Cream by My Kitchen Love
Strawberry Streusel Shortbread Bars by The Bluenose Baker
Strawberry Vanilla Cream Tart by Tiny Sweet Tooth
Yogurt Cake with Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb by Making Healthy Choice