Sunday, June 20, 2010

Strawberry Pickin' Good

One of the things I miss the most about living in Washington is the plethora of fruit and vegetable stands that dot the roads on your way to places like Fife, Sumner and Tacoma - I'm sure they're everywhere else in the State, but those are the three places my parents used to get our fresh fruit and vegetables.  In fact, we used to buy sweet, crunchy, fresh ears of corn off the back of a pick-up truck parked opposite Mama Stortini's in Sumner from a farmer named Norm, who was completely deaf and wore overalls (I'm pretty sure he wore overalls, but I could be making that part up). 

Here, in comparison, there are also fruit and veg stands - only, they're not sold off the back of a farm, but rather off Kilburn High Road and Oxford Street, where the "fresh" grapes soak up probably 95% of the petrol fumes, human germs and God-knows-what-else-is-in-city-air.  While I don't buy this fruit for such reason, I see people buying it all the time and I'm curious to know if it's "better" (it's certainly cheaper) than supermarket produce. 

Whatever the case is, I really miss those fruit stands back home, with mounds and mounds of Honeycrisp apples arranged in perfect pyramids or fresh strawberries and Rainier cherries sold by the boxload.  In particular, I miss the pick-your-own fields from my childhood, where my parents took me to have my first strawberry-picking-outing.  So I was super excited when Adrienne suggested we (we being me, John, Joe, Jodi, Rob, plus Charlotte and Heidi, her and Rob's two adorable little girls - and Darcy, Joe and Jodi's celebrity dog - whew!) meet up at Grays Pick-Your-Own Farm in Berkshire this Saturday for some strawberry picking goodness and of course, the requisite pub lunch.

Though a lot of the strawberries weren't quite ripe yet (and those that were had been picked by earlier hands), we still managed to get a good bunch which I hope to turn into a strawberry short cake or use as a pancake topping this morning (if my apple and cinnamon pancakes turn out disastrous).  Jodi picked some gorgeously plump (but tart) gooseberries and I'm excited to see what she makes with them.  It was especially cute to see Charlotte (who'll be 2 in September), picking her own strawberries with Rob and Adrienne's help, as it brought back memories of my own strawberry picking experiences.  And there wasn't short a jealous (or perhaps curious) eye on the tube, as John and I lovingly carried ours back to Warwick Avenue. 

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