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Pickle Me This

June 24, 2008

Fun with Ichigo

For the second year in a row I’ve found my bookish pursuits in line with the season. It was almost a year ago that I first read Animal Vegetable Miracle, and I’m now reading The Perfection of the Morning, having finished the mesmerizing Prodigal Summer just before it. Both books inspiring a yearning to get closer to the earth, and so I did when any earth loving city dweller does for such a connection in the month of June–I ventured out past the suburbs.

Around our house June is one of the best times, full to bursting with fun and fetes, the sunshine and the solstice, and then the strawberries. I don’t have faith in a lot of things, but the very fact that delight manages to grow itself on trees (or at least bushes) suggests to me the world’s inherent goodness. The amazing abundance of summer time and sweet things, and all of this is well celebrated with a trip to the strawberry patch.

I went on Saturday with our friends Carolyn and Steve, and proceed to pick far too much out of fear of not enough. It was a gorgeous afternoon, well-spent toiling in the fields in suburban fashion. Ten litres I picked, an entire bucket and more, and I also acquired some new freckles and aches in my old lady knees.

Afterwards we came back to my house and the toiling continued (for a woman’s work is never done, moan moan, but of course, as usual, I did my suffering in silence). Carolyn and I made batches and batches of jam (albeit freezer jam, as our preserving ambitions still have some way to go). We used an obscene amount of sugar, and then ran out of sugar and had to go buy some more.

Soon the fridge was full of jammy delights the kitchen resembling a strawberry explosion. Dripping down the cupboard doors, staining counter tops, a couple of grubby finger prints up and down the telephone. Piles and piles of dirty dishes and utensils, and then, for fear of not having dirtied absolutely everything (and because it is one of my favourite things to do), I baked two strawberry pies. One for eating that evening (and it was delicious), the other put away in the freezer for a while. I intend to do as much with every fresh fruit appearing all summer long, and then come winter have a defrostable treasure trove of summer fruit goodness.

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