Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I got home late in the evening on Monday and found the message light blinking on our answering machine. Most of the time, I’d rather get a message than a live call. This gives me time to contemplate a reply. I have often fallen for someone’s passions when I didn’t have time to think about the consequences. Like, “hey, wanna come to a party? It’ll be great!” After I agree and when I hang up is when I normally come to my senses.

Anyway, the call on my machine would have been a joy to take live. A dear, dear friend had far too many Mt Hood strawberries on her hands and needed to part with an entire flat before the fruit went flat themselves. I called her back immediately and made arrangements to come down to pick them up right away.

These berries are so tasty and are nothing at all like the strawberries that are strip mined in California. We tend to get used to those big and beautiful yet tasteless California berries, but when a real strawberry comes to the tongue we realize that this is a remarkable fruit and it is something that reminds the joys of being alive every summer.

Anyway, thanks to my dear, anonymous friend for bringing the joy of summer to our taste buds. Thanks also for staying up late and entertaining us.


Blogger Beth said...

I love strawberries! And we finally had some that actually tasted like strawberries. An entire flat of them would have been heaven.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a recent trip to Eugene we picked up a half flat at a roadside stand near Manning, from some very nice growers. Every berry was a bit of heaven. Those big tough white inside California strawberries are a sad joke by comparison.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

We picked pounds of them last weekend and turned them into freezer jam. Of course, Lebanon-grown strawberries are the best. It's the Strawberry City after all. ;)

Seriously, they are amazing. Zero white core crap, and so sweet it almost hurts. The only berries I will eat.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

mmmmm Oregon Strawberries are my favorite thing ever!

9:20 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I am reminded of these little wild strawberries I'd pick when I was a kid. They were small like peas, but they were flavorful. Almost as potent as sweet-tarts.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous g said...

Hi best friend...

I like 'em dipped in chocolate!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous nemo said...

The Guy Who Writes This said...
I am reminded of these little wild strawberries I'd pick when I was a kid. They were small like peas, but they were flavorful.

Some of my best memories are in the summer when we'd escape the heat and bustle of the city and come to the beach where we had a home on a dune over looking the beach grass, beach and surf...down in the dunes around the 4th of July grew the sweet wild strawberries that we loved so much. Mom would give me a tin measuring cup and she used a big blue bowl and we'd spend sunny afternoons down in front of the house scouring the weeds for the little sweet berries-I wasnt very good at it, but tried my best, and probably ate as many, if not more, as I collected. Not to mention the fascinating distractions of anthills garter snakes and discovering the abandoned nests of the tiny birds who made their homes in the dunes. And when I had a cup full or so I would run to where she was and dump my little contribution into her big blue bowl.

After a couple of days of this picking the real action began up in the kitchen. The refrigerator was now loaded with the little berries, and they'd been hulled and washed-firewood was split, loaded into the woodlift and cranked up to it's place right by the stove. Then she would begin to make the jam...such a wonderous process. Big pots full of simmering berries and sugar- lot's of little jars- boxes of parafin used to seal the jars melted in a double boiler. I remember seeing rows and rows of jars cooling after being sealed...the deep dark red sweet nectar of the dunes visable through the clear glass. The jars were then transferred to the various shelves in the pantry where they sat waiting to be consumed in the future. The stuff was what heaven must taste like. The bread box was always filled with fresh bread from Harrison's or the jam would be spread on little homemade biscuits. Oh, if I could go back for just one bright summer day and be there with those people again and do the things we did I would give anything.

11:34 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

G, too late they are all gone.

Nemo, that was a nice slice. Thanks for sharing.

5:32 AM  

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