This year it was for Father's Day. Last year: my birthday. Whatever excuse we use, June is a great time of year around here. Out in the country west of the city, past the village I grew up in, active farm fields blanket the landscape. Dad works out that way, and has been on watch for the last week or so. Mid-week, I got the message the first strawberry fields had opened, and plans were made.
Sis and I met our folks at the parental home early this morning, in a successful attempt to beat the heat. We drove out past the first few farms, where all the "tourists" stop, and went down to another farm that had just opened up their fields. Dad, Sis, StepMom, and I were all assigned separate rows, all as yet untouched. The picking was easy, the fruit sweet and juicy. We each picked two quarts, a pittance against the stories my Dad told from his youth, when his family, picking in these very same fields, would gather 100-150 quarts to put up for the winter. I think strawberries must have been less expensive then.
After we returned to the house, I spent close to two hours chopping. SodaBoy came out to join us for the fantastic summery lunch StepMom threw together while I chopped the berries. Pulled pork sandwiches, a trio of salads (one using fresh strawberries), and strawberry shortcake for dessert. After that we were all painfully stuffed, and lazed about for a bit. Leftovers are stacked in the fridge, and vanilla bean ice cream awaits in the freezer. Life is good.
What's next? Raspberries, of course.