Friday, July 13, 2012

season for raspberry picking

Summer means raspberries. Always has and always will.

I've never eaten a raspberry without thinking of Grandma. That raspberry patch was her pride and joy. She'd rise and dress early in the morning while we were all asleep and head out to that quiet, calm coolness; braving the briars and endless scratches, and set to the work. She was very protective of that space. I think those rows and that time were sort of a sanctuary for her, despite the labor involved.

With all that bounty, there was more than enough to share with everyone; extended family and friends alike. We'd look forward to endless freezer jam (There's nothing like it. The kids remind me of that often.), homemade raspberry ice cream, and the scoops of berries to top off our cereal bowls. And, oh. There was just nothing like those summer stay-overs at Grandma and Grandpa's where we'd sit down at the breakfast table to a simple treat of cream or half-and-half poured over a bowl full; always with a sprinkling of sugar for extra sweetness.

Ahhh. Those were the days.

Now, we continue the tradition on a much smaller scale. Delighted when Mama lets us help her pick from her own patch. Going out in our own yard and popping a perfectly ripened, sun- warmed jewel into an open and eager mouth when the urge strikes. Lucky when there's even enough, some mornings, to bring in a handful for own breakfast bowls.

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