Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Summer has arrived

Ok, add another food to my list of favorites: raspberries.

When we were housing-hunting a few years back, the fact that this house had an established raspberry patch was a MAJOR selling point. Sure, the house needed a new roof and had few dead mice rotting away inconspicuous corners, but raspberries negated all those minor, unimportant details. I took it as a sign and made an offer. Once the deal was done, I cleaned up the mice carcasses, lugged in my furniture and waited impatiently through the winter and spring for my first batch of raspberries to arrive.

Raspberries are sneaky. Early on in the spring, before the canes have filled out, you can't imagine that you'll ever have more than a handful of berries. Then they flower, and you feel a little more optimistic as you watch the bumblebees humming around and the green berries forming.

When I saw my very first ripe berry, I ate it with gusto. And then I saw another, and I ate that one too. And after a few days, I had a whole handful of berries, which were also eaten out-of-hand. Life was GLORIOUS.

I can't pinpoint when it happened that first summer, but I do know that one day I walked out to the backyard and there were so many ripe berries that I couldn't eat them all. And now, inevitably, ever single year there comes a point which once seemed impossible: I just can't eat any more raspberries. The thought of going into the backyard becomes downright depressing. My precious berries start falling to the ground. I've made tarts, coulis, put berries in salads, mixed them in with my yogurt. Every June my friends and I make multiple batches of jam. These attempts to trick my taste buds into thinking I'm eating something new doesn't quite get to the root of the problem: there are just too many damn berries. Eventually, I wave my white flag and admit defeat. Nature always wins. Berries rot. The hot summer days get gradually cooler, the vines die back. And then at some point, I find looking longingly out the window, wondering if next summer I'll have enough raspberries.

So, you can imagine that when I looked outside last night and saw the first red berry of the season, I had mixed feelings. And then I ran outside and ate it.

1 comment:

tom said...

I have an idea! You should find/create as many recipes for raspberries as it would take to use them all up. Then you should make them, take pictures and let us know how it turns out. Oh, and post the recipes!