Life is like a bowl of berries
We had the most decadent breakfast Monday morning. All it really involved was washing some fruit and serving it in a bowl. But it was indulgent.
The next two weeks are the apex of berry season. Strawberries are on the outs. Raspberries and blueberries are debuting. For just a brief period of time, they’re all appearing together. This is the time to eat berries with abandon.
Berries are pricey- especially raspberries. They also spoil quickly. With raspberries, sometimes all you can get is two days or so before mold sets in. Their perishability depends a lot on the conditions during harvest, their age and their storage conditions.
I was up at 5:15AM on Monday to bring my oldest daughter to the pickup point for a weeklong sleep away camp (Sigh. I miss her.). As I made my way home, I saw nasty dark clouds on the horizon. The AM radio hosts were all talking about some fierce storms moving our way. Heading straight for the farmer’s market before the weather hit, I blazed my way through, snatching up flowers, greens, squash, cherries and lots and lots of berries.
I was greeted by three starving children by the time I arrived home at around nine-o’clock. Breakfast… what to do for breakfast? As I pondered this question, my kids dove into the grocery bags and started shoving dimpled fistfuls of luscious berries into their mouths. Ahh, yes. Berries for breakfast. Perfect. My husband was beginning his first week since quitting his job and berries are his favorite.
So I washed and dumped a pint each of white, red and black raspberries into a bowl. I parsed my way through the last quart of strawberries left from the week before, trimming squishiness and hulls. A large handful of fresh blueberries finished the melange. Gorgeous.
Looking at the bowl, I realized that I’d paid around $20 for the berries in that bowl. I felt a little decadent- guilty actually. Isn’t that funny? Would I have felt guilty spending $20 for breakfast at a local restaurant? Are you kidding? I wouldn’t even blink.
Yogurt would have been a perfect accompaniment. Alas, I was out. So we served the berries with honeyed whipped cream. Needing to assuage my maternal guilt, I hard-boiled a few of the beautiful eggs I’d gotten from my sister’s friend, Lashell, who has a farm in Michigan. I’m burned out on scrambled eggs.
Indulge your family this berry season. You only get two months to do it. Berries offer a rare combination of intense, complex flavors, eye-popping color and sensual texture. And if the expense freaks you out, save money by buying two less packages of processed food this week. Berries are a celebration of summer and God’s amazing generosity in making beauty and flavor emerge from the dirt for our nourishment.