I missed strawberry season. Writing about it, that is. Now I can write with the fondness and longing of nostalgia, and portion out a handful of frozen berries--and words--here and there. Before being frozen, they were wonderful, tasting of sunshine and sweetness and the warmth of early June days in the great lakes state. I ate bowls full, dusted with sugar. Layered with shortcake and whipped cream.
Now, cherries, blueberries, and peaches stake a claim for summertime, as the days shorten incrementally while the temperature ratchets up, up, and slides back down with a capriciousness synonymous with summer.
And the vegetables, not so glamorous or clamorous as the fruits, but ever more abundant...the summer squashes, tomatoes, prolific herbs, lettuces, new potatoes, cukes, and the beginning of the variously colored sweet peppers. I’m awaiting fresh corn, dreaming of succotash and corn chowder, and simply boiled ears of corn dripping with butter and salt. Ecstasy.
Eating is never quite so fresh and good as the mid-to late summer here. Occasionally my mind flits ahead to fall, when heartier fare will fill the farmer’s market stalls and the rigors of teaching will shape my days, but like a zen master, I bring my brain back to this present moment, to these foods wanting to be eaten and appreciated now. To the glory of greens, the simplicity of washing, minimally cooking, and eating with a clear and joyous mind.