Raspberries! They used to be my second favorite..with Strawberries taking the lead. Then Strawberries had to bite the dust when I became allergic to them. It was them or me..so I decided life without strawberries was OK. Sometimes during shortcake season..I get a little cranky. No more fresh strawberries on my toast in the morning, no bowls of berries for lunch, no freshly made Strawberry Jam, and no more fresh strawberry pies. Sometimes I think I am still grieving for those berries.. I walk by the containers of Strawberries in the grocery store and just inhale their essence...sometimes I just stare at them and I can imagine how they taste. I do taste them in my dreams..chocolate covered strawberries in your dreams have no calories or ill effects. Raspberries are now my number one favorite non lethal berry.
Yesterday, we headed over to one of my cousins. they started a Raspberry pickin' patch..so far they are only open to relatives and neighbors. The berries are wonderful, I love hunting and gathering..well the gathering part anyway.
My cousin and his wife have eight children, the oldest might be ten years old. When we drove into their yard, the children came out of the gardens one by one, and kept coming.. Far Guy said "How many kids do they have again? " He swore that there were way more than eight. They all had their rows that they had been weeding in the garden..onions and corn were the focus for the morning. These children of my cousins are very well behaved, they call their mother "Ma"..she speaks to the children softly, and they listen. She does not raise her voice, her phrases are sprinkled with please, yes, thank yous, good job and would yous. She is like a mother hen gathering those chicks around her seeing to their needs. It was heartwarming to watch. I felt like suggesting that she start a summer camp for some young Mothers I have observed in the grocery stores dragging screaming children around in their grocery carts.
I brought home lots of berries, I froze them on cookie sheets and then I packaged them in individual servings suitable for winter time consumption. We always use an old set of custard cups for our berries, so I used those to measure the portions. Then I thought, hey what better time to have a few neighbors over, so I made some phone calls, and in the evening we had a little get together. Nothing fancy mind you, but I made a quick trip to town for some Dairy Queen in quart containers..it was just perfect topped with the fresh raspberries. It was an enjoyable gathering, one long overdue on our part, one of those things you think "I should do that soon" ..so I finally did.
Gatherings..berries, thoughts, and friends...what are you gathering? :)