Strawberry shortcakes with creme fraiche whipped cream

June 20, 2010 § 5 Comments

Hurrah!  We finally went strawberry picking (after being thwarted last weekend)!  And it was, of course, everything I was hoping for.  If there is anything in this world that tastes more marvelous – or looks more beautiful – than a rotund, juicy, crimson strawberry, warm from the sun, plucked and eaten right there in the field, well then I’m feeling hard pressed to figure out what it might be.  The darling little flavor-packed, mixed variety of strawberries available at peak season on farms and in farmer’s markets should make us feel ashamed that we even call those ginormous, watery things that are shipped around the country most of the year, “strawberries”.  They’re just not the same thing at all (though, in the spirit of full disclosure I’ll admit they can be kind of good on occasion, and if someone gives me one dipped in chocolate, I’m afraid I’m not saying “no”).

For me, scrambling around on hands and knees in the dirt, searching for the jewel red berries, as if collecting treasure, sends my gatherer instinct into hyperactive mode.  And eating the berries themselves.  Well, now that is the really good part.  A ripe strawberry needs nothing else.  It defies my standard food writing vocabulary, even the most flowery stuff I can muster, and sends me searching for some deep extended metaphor, or something, to convey my feelings.  Maybe a spiritual metaphor, or a relationship metaphor.  I picture myself telling them “Strawberries, you are absolutely perfect just exactly as you are.”  And isn’t that all any of us really want to hear in a relationship, and believe about ourselves? « Read the rest of this entry »

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