I didn’t know when I woke up this morning that it was going to be The Best Day of the Whole Year!!!
It seemed like a normal Wednesday in late May. I woke up, ate a little breakfast, walked the dog and threw on some running clothes. I had plans to meet a friend to do a trail run. (Side note: I don’t run on the trails alone anymore. There was a lone woman attacked by a knife-wielding stranger on a local trail, which dampened my enthusiasm for solo trail runs.) My trail running friend is also a former chemistry teacher, so we have a lot to talk about while we run.
We did about 80 minutes on The Horseshoe Trail, which left us sweaty, tired, and with muddy feet after the recent rains. As we parted, I told him that I was headed to a local greenhouse to buy some annuals to plant in my flower beds today. I began driving in the direction of the greenhouse, when I felt an internal voice calling me in the direction of the strawberry farm.
My relationship with local, fresh strawberries is deep, intense and abiding. Sure, I buy grocery store strawberries out of season, but I think they really shouldn’t be able to label them as strawberries. They are not the same thing at all. They are the same as fresh strawberries like jumbo lump crab meat is the same as “krab” processed seafood sticks. They should have to call them pstrawberries. The p is for “pseudo“.
When strawberry season nears, I obsessively check the berry farm’s website like some people (I’m thinking of you, honey) check the stock market report multiple times a day. Shenk’s Berry Farm sells fresh-picked strawberries for about four weeks in late May and June. You can also pick your own berries there, but not at the very beginning of the season. The website usually gives strawberry aficionados like me warning of their impending arrival, but there were no recent updates, so I decided to take a chance.
As I approached the farm, I could see a person in the gazebo where freshly picked strawberries are sold, a good sign. My heart began to race, and my palms to sweat. There were some cars in the parking lot. I pulled into a space and walked up to the stand, a sweaty, muddy mess. There were two pints of berries left. I bought them and carried them back to the car with shaking hands. The Best Day of the Whole Year!!!
I brought the berries home and rinsed one pint. Standing at my kitchen window, watching a cardinal and a family of house wrens flitting around outside, I absently popped a strawberry into my mouth every once in a while. I was aware of the fresh, sweet, tangy strawberry flavor exploding on my tongue with every new berry. So unlike the artificially ripened berries shipped across the country. I soon looked down in horror to realize that I had eaten the whole pint!
I eat fresh strawberries every day of the season. Some will be made into strawberry pie, strawberry ice cream and strawberry jam, but most of them will be eaten just plain, right out of the box. They are best if you don’t refrigerate them. In Lancaster County strawberry shortcake is eaten for dinner as a main course, rather than as dessert. We know how to have a good time here in farm country!
My hubby made me promise that I will save some of the second pint for him, and I will. I am now debating with myself how to define “some“. Could three berries be considered “some“? Four? Two? I consider it a measure of my love for him that I promise to save any berries at all on the first day of strawberry season, but I am in a good mood. After all, it is The Best Day of the Whole Year!!!
I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review. Check it out for some more great reads (including some very yummy recipes!) I am also linking up with Shank You Very Much for her Dream Team link up and her Global Blogging link up.
I am linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap. Join me there for some fabulous fitness blogs! I am also linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5. If you like running and fitness blogs, check them out here!