The first stall I hit at the farmers' market last week was the one with the organically grown strawberries. Given that commercial strawberries are one of the heaviest sprayed crops, organic is a good thing to look for in a strawberry.


I bought three quarts. Before I left home I'd put together a Rube Goldberg arrangement of box, plastic bag, and tote bag so that I could keep the berries from bruising as I carried them home by bus and subway. As I was carefully  loading the berries, a woman approached and said, "Oh, that's a lot of berries! Are you going to make jam?"


To me that was an idiotic remark (not that I'm judgmental), since who would bother to make jam from a mere three quarts of berries? I'd need at least a flat (eight quarts). Besides, our household no longer eats much jam of any sort, so I no longer bother making it.


I told the woman that the berries were just for eating. I said, "I eat berries only once a year, and this is it—these late-June days." I didn't tell her how greedily I pig out on berries, because that might have been embarrassing.


When I got home I made biscuits (using our fancy extra-fat European-style butter from the Cheese Boutique) and we had giant strawberry shortcakes for dessert after our (also giant) salad with its fava beans and fresh peas.


The next morning I made a smoothie with a frozen banana and a double handful of strawberries, plus yogurt.


And I still have a quart and a half in the fridge. Shall I make a rhubarb-strawberry pie (there's rhubarb in the freezer) or cobbler? Or another strawberry shortcake? Whatever it is I should make it tonight, since they won't keep much longer.


Oh, the joys of the strawberry season are made bittersweet by its brevity!


Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
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