Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Strawberries and honeysuckle

I woke up to find a wonderful addition to my breakfast waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Larry, who's out filling bird feeders, walking Scooter (they take a morning constitutional, out to the marsh and back, then yard rounds), and tending the gardens long before I'm even conscious, had harvested our first strawberries for me.

It's a tiny berry patch. That's the whole patch right there. It won't yield enough for a pie, won't accumulate for cereal topping. The number edible at any one time would even get lost in a yogurt cup.

So there was nothing to do but .... eat them. Bite into a berry, no ups, no extras, and get a delicious bit of flavor that I would have missed if I'd mixed them into something.

This made me think about my honeysuckle experiment. I was about 8 or 9. All us south'n kids knew how to pick a honeysuckle blossom off its stem, pull the stamen out which raked out a tiny drop of nectar, and catch that extreme sweetness on our tongues.

I'm a kid. I'm thinking, Wow! I bet a whole spoonful of this would be even better than my standard for gourmet flavor - a Nehi Grape soda.

I got a spoon and proceeded to spend, God knows, maybe 20-30 minutes accumulating the tiny drops of nectar in it. By the time I was fed up with this slow process, the bowl of the spoon was only about half full, but close enough. I'd get a sizeable sample of nectar. I gulped it. Horrors. The cloyingly sweet, slightly musty flavor nearly gagged me. It wasn't quite as bad as Creomulsion For Children, but it was bad enough.

Gorging just doesn't work at all for some things - they need to be tasted in tiny exquisite amounts. Others, like fresh-picked berries, would be fine by the bowlful, but can be little marvels one unembellished berry at a time.

1 comment:

Sherwood Harrington said...

It's hard to make a comment on a perfect post, Ruth, but I'll try.

We have a strawberry pot on our deck. About half of its openings are reachable by standard-sized chickens, which means that no human ever gets strawberries from those holes. The ones the chickens can't reach don't produce enough strawberries to do anything with except pick and eat without any steps in between.

Much like Larry's harvest.