Strawberry Madness

Went picking this year again.  I’m not going to say there’s something wrong with me.  If I said that, it would imply that there’s a problem.  One I can’t manage.  I can manage this.  I totally can.

I’ve told some of this before.  About the slightly envious feeling I get when I see that people have arrived to the strawberry patch before me (“who does she think she is in her SUV.  She’ll probably want to fill the whole back up.  Greedy”).  About wanting, picking and buying too damn many strawberries.  So many that my brain  can’t comprehend it.  Refuses to comprehend it at every turn.

By the time I got home with my share of the take, 6 flats of berries (that’s about 60 dollars worth of berries at 1.69 a pound, do the math) I have already eaten more berries than is strictly healthy.  The berry patch people say it’s OK, and that you don’t even have to wash them.  They say that because they don’t spray them with anything but water, and because they’re yummy and copious.  So lets estimate that I ate about 20 berries in the field.  The thing is, that when they’re almost too ripe to pick for home use, they’re SO perfect for eating.  And sun warmed strawberries are so seductively wonderful, it’s just too much for me to resist.  Even after I remind myself about birds (aka flying salmonella factories) flying over the field.

So I’m home parked in front of the house with my garbage-y smelling berries.  Flat after flat of them.  I could only carry them to the porch one at a time.  It was such a richness of berries sitting on my porch.  I didn’t mind carrying them.  I was almost done unloading the car, and when I looked in the trunk to double check, there were still 3 flats in the trunk!  It was like they had multiplied while I was driving home.  I tried to count my blessings.  Carried all 6 flats into the house and commenced to cleaning them.  I cleaned berries for 2 hours.  I made 2 batches of freezer jam.

I took a dinner break and started watching the neighbor baby.  She sat while I cleaned more and made more jam.  I consolidated a flat, emptied out a flat, picked out the pretty ones to dip in chocolate sauce.  After the baby left and I ran out of sugar and sure-jell, I decided to try an experiment with Jell-o.  I have a sister-in-law who makes a killer raspberry jam out of jello and berries.  I only had orange jello.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

But first I have to confess that I actually drank about half of that batch.  It was so, so junky and wonderful.  Orange jello and warm strawberries.  Holy cow.  Now I’m actually starting to have seeds sprout from my skin.  At about 10 I decided it was time to fill the dishwasher and store the remaining flats in the fridge.  this involved more consolidation and some fridge cleaning (as it does every year).  I managed to fit them all in the fridge and got ready to crank up the dishwasher when I went to collect any stray dishes.

You know that Psycho music that plays during the shower scene?  That’s what played when I looked into the dining room.  There on the table was ANOTHER flat of berries, untouched by me.  How could there still be 5 flats here?  I am so strawberried out.  But in January I’m gonna be happy.

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3 thoughts on “Strawberry Madness

  1. Maggie says:

    I’ve always gone picking by myself in the past and have only picked two flats, so nothing compared to you, but still too many to reasonably do stuff with. This year I went with a friend, and she was ready to leave after only picking one flat, so I settled for that. It actually worked out well – I made one batch of freezer jam, did the fresh freezing thing with several bags, had some killer strawberry shortcake several nights in a row and am just now finishing the ones in the fridge.

    I was so jealous of the poeple with multiple flats when I was driving away from the farm that I almost cried.

  2. emily says:

    bainbridge island had a rough strawberry season: too much rain, not enough sun. they were late, and i might have suspected something was up when i learned that the farm had reduced the price by $4 a flat, but they were so damn beautiful… i’d say about 40% of the berries were the ambrosia i was expecting, 58% were ho-hum, and 2% were bitter. bitter! there are few things more jarring than putting a luscious, lumpy, fresh, red strawberry in your mouth and tasting asprin.

  3. oh yuck! that’s a nasty trick. I’ve just been informed by one neighbor that their sour cherries are ready to be picked (by me) and by another that her raspberries are ready to be picked (by me and repaid with some jam). I can’t be more specific about the locations because I’m afraid someone will go and steal them all.
    It’s making me crazy to think of all the other unharvested fruit I can’t get to sitting and being lonely for its destiny without me. Que pena.

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